What does Facebook’s latest algorithm change mean for brands?
What’s happening with Facebook’s algorithm?
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook are adjusting their newsfeed algorithm to prioritise content ‘from friends, family and groups’ rather than ‘public’ content posted by businesses, brands and the media.
This is an attempt to combat the explosion of public content – particularly video – across the channel over the past few years and return Facebook to its original purpose of connecting individuals and facilitating ‘meaningful interactions between people’.
What do the algorithm changes mean for brands?
Whilst Facebook have been fairly vague about the exact nature of the change, it’s likely to mean there is less advertising space available within the newsfeed in which brands can target users.
With less space available, brands can expect the cost of advertising to increase across the board, with higher cost-per-clicks, CPMs and cost-per-video-views for all campaigns.
On the other hand, fewer ads populating the newsfeed should create a less cluttered user experience in which good creative has a better chance of cutting-through. It might even mean that engagement rates with quality posts will increase, as there’s less competition within the feed from other brands for a user’s attention.
How should brands respond to the changes in their digital advertising on Facebook?
With more competition for fewer ad spaces, the quality of creative will become even more important. Investing in high-quality ad formats that encourage engagement – Zuckerberg has suggested Live Video in particular – will ensure that the higher advertising costs deliver a fair return on investment.
Zuckerberg hinted that promoted content which ‘encouraged interaction between communities’ would be most successful. Brands should therefore consider the role they can play in facilitating conversations amongst their fans and customers, rather than just broadcasting their message.
Facebook have made big changes to their algorithm in the past that have had very significant impact on advertisers, but brands and their agencies have negotiated them and found the best way to work with them. This will be standard from now on as the digital advertising arena continuously evolves. Perhaps the most important things brands can do is pay extra close attention to the results their campaigns are generating and adjust their Facebook strategy in line with what’s really happening on the ground.
Brands need to think very hard about their marketing strategies as a whole, experimenting and testing across all channels to find what’s right for them and their audience. No brand should be dependent on one platform, even one with the reach and power of Facebook.