Earlier this month Facebook announced a change to the way its news feed works. The company stated that it wants the experience to be more user-to-user focused, which will mean more content coming in from friends and less from brands (or “Pages”). By reprioritizing posts published by brands/companies, it reduces the number of fans who will see organic posts – the range is estimated to be 0% to 2% of brand fans being reached with one organic Facebook post, but actual results are yet to be seen.
Facebook’s head of News Feed posted about this change: “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
Facebook might be allowing an exception, or at least a special circumstance, for posts coming from established news organizations, such as CNN. There might also be differences for posts coming from government organizations, but this hasn’t been officially reported on yet.
What is definitely coming is the end of an era for high organic owned media reach on Facebook and Instagram. For many clients at Tracx, Facebook and Instagram make up nearly 70% of a brand’s owned media posts and interactions activity. If those brands are not paying to support their content, that could steadily decline over the coming year.
Additionally, as part of enhancing the user experience for 2018, Facebook is giving local information a higher priority in the news feed. The announcement states: “We are prioritizing local news as a part of our emphasis on high-quality news, and with today’s update, stories from local news publishers may appear higher in News Feed for followers in publishers’ geographic areas.”
Much like Google’s search algorithm, Facebook’s algorithm is working on showing users more from “trusted sources.” How a source is determined to be trustworthy, in both cases, has a lot to do with clicks and time spent on page. Also, both sources know that prioritizing news that is informative will increase their trustworthiness as a preferred vehicle to those sources.
Next Steps for Social Media Marketers
For teams using social media dashboards, like those in Tracx, making sure everyone who uses these tools understands these changes should be a top priority. If users work across departments to post and pay for sponsored content, these individuals should be in frequent communication, especially if they are high volume publishers.
For more information about what teams can do or how these changes might impact strategy, see our blog post “5 Social Media Marketing Ideas Beyond the Organic Facebook Post.”