Facebook Could Limit Your Brand’s Reach

Algorithms… We love to hate them. With each change from Google, Facebook, Twitter and so on, it seems that we have to reinvent the wheel. Here is what you can expect from Facebook’s next algorithm change…
Now that we have our sites mobile ready and have successfully survived #mobilegeddon, it’s time to face the next digital upset. Facebook announced that it is changing its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends over advertisers. Facebook users will think this is great news, but if you’re a brand paying Facebook for promotion you might be shaking your head with frustration.
This change of direction will put a higher priority on users’ social posts and a lower priority on paid ads. If you’re targeting users with hundreds of friends, this can put your ad pretty low on the totem pole and have an overall shrinking effect on your organic reach.
Now, you may be thinking “Doesn’t Facebook make money from these ads? How can they afford to do this?”, Yes, Facebook does make revenue based on paid ads: 73% of its revenue to be exact. However, according to last quarter reports, Facebook has some wiggle room to lower the importance of its paid ads in its overall business plan.
Last quarter (Q1 2015), Facebook’s stock grew by $0.42 per share on the open market accounting for a 42% growth last year. A 42% growth is huge (to be specific, $3.85 billion huge!). Facebook earns about 73% of its revenue from advertising, equating to $3.3 billion. This rapid growth leaves Facebook free to focus on its users a bit more and its profits a bit less.
Facebook’s success doesn’t need documenting. In the last quarter alone it gathered 48 million new active monthly users. Its humble beginnings were mostly targeted in the US and Canada, but from there it has targeted Europe and also the Asia-Pacific areas.
So, what can brands do now?
Social media strategies can still succeed, with a few minor adjustments…
Since the launch of brand pages in 2007, Facebook has been making it increasingly difficult to market organically through their platform. So the question remains, why does Facebook do this and what can be done to promote your organic reach?
Facebook has realised its importance to brands, but by understanding the methods they use to classify the importance of your post in news feeds you can do more to push yours through the ranks.
Here’s a rough breakdown of the News Feed Visibility equation:
Interest x Post x Creator x Type x Recency = News Feed Visibility
Interest= How many people follow your page.
Post= The specific post’s performance based on likes, comments and shares.
Creator= The performance of past posts on your brand site.
Type= Photo, link, status.
Recency= How new your post is.
It is important to understand that this is a very simplistic view of the actual algorithms that Facebook uses, but it can give you a rough idea of how your posts will be treated. The most important aspect of your posts is to be sure that the ‘health’ of your overall page is as high as possible. By keeping up with what is happening on your page you can protect your image and your post placement.
Tips for a healthy page:  

  • Post often but ensure that you are posting quality content.
  • Keep all spam completely out of your page and monitor any sites linking to your page.
  • Be respectful in engagements on social media, because face it: the whole world is watching.
  • Thank anyone and everyone who interacts with your page. It takes some time but will produce fuzzy feel goods in subsequent interactions.
  • Be sure that you are keeping your side of the value exchange. People pay you with attention; make sure that it is worth their time.
  • Be helpful and easily accessible in all interactions.
  • Know what others in your field are doing on their own pages; they might have discovered something that you haven’t yet.

Let us know what you think about these latest changes on Midphase’s Facebook page