It’s not the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last: Facebook has changed its algorithm (for the third time in as many months). What does this mean? As a Facebook user, you will notice changes to your timeline: you will see less posts from business pages you like and follow, more posts from friends, and the same amount of, if not more, sponsored (paid for) posts, in Facebook’s attempt to help you “have more meaningful social interactions.”
As a business owner, these changes may feel more drastic: since your posts will appear in your audience’s news feeds a lot less, and for shorter durations, you will see a decrease in engagement. If you rely on Facebook to help build a community around your goods or services, or if Facebook is part of your pipeline, these changes will most certainly have an impact on your business, and not necessarily for the better.
Don’t worry though, you’ll still be able to pay for boosted posts to help drive engagement.
If you can’t tell, we’re not a big fan of these changes. While the intentions behind them are good (putting aside the troubling idea that Facebook is suggesting it knows best when it comes to your browsing experience), bigger businesses that can afford to pay for more ad space will still populate user news feeds. Meanwhile, posts from small or local businesses that users have chosen to follow and support will appear less. So instead of seeing posts from that new boutique you recently discovered and became a fan of on Facebook, you’ll be seeing posts from Nike, or Apple, or whatever other brands or companies the social media giant knows you’re a fan of based on your activity.
Sure, there are ways around this. Business page posts that generate a conversation, or get a lot of likes or shares, will appear in more of its audience’s news feeds. Certain types of posts will prove more popular with the algorithm- for example, posts that include photos or videos, or an outbound link. Of course, if you have the budget for it, the easiest way to ensure the ongoing success of your Facebook business page is to pay for it.
So, is Facebook a lost cause when it comes to marketing? Not at all. What this algorithm change really signifies is the need for a fluid and comprehensive social media plan. Luxury business owners who rely on Facebook as their only means of social media engagement may find themselves scrambling to master Twitter or Instagram, or they may need to revisit their marketing budget to account for more ad spend. Better content may need to be created. Postings may occur less in order to focus on quality. One thing is for sure, though, those unwilling to adapt to evolving online environments will be left in the dust.