Facebook recently announced an important change to the News Feed that will significantly impact digital marketing strategies. Facebook intends to radically restructure the News Feed algorithm to de-emphasize publisher and brand content, and prioritize friends’ posts and activity — particularly posts that spark conversation.
What does this mean for marketers? Organic reach on the platform — already notoriously difficult to achieve at scale — will soon be a thing of the past.
Facebook is making these changes to combat the scandals currently plaguing the News Feed. Last year, fake news and foreign election interference surfaced as major problems. By pushing friends’ posts to the top of the News Feed, and organic posts from pages, brands, and publishers further down, Facebook hopes to fix its propaganda problem and radically improve the user experience. These changes might affect Facebook’s business in the short run — the stock market didn’t respond favorably to the announcement — but improving its core product experience will likely further cement the platform’s social media dominance.
Facebook isn’t pulling organic brand content from the feed entirely, but it will become more difficult for brands to make an impact on consumers through the News Feed. Marketers must get smarter and more diligent about their digital strategy. How? By honing in on their target audience to drive impact with carefully allocated paid media strategies — particularly those that take advantage of the sophisticated audience targeting and compelling ad formats offered by Facebook.
Facebook also stated that video content that is passively consumed will be de-emphasized in the News Feed, widening the divide between the feed and the recently introduced Watch tab that contains professionally produced, longer-form video content. Facebook is still betting big on video, and its strategy continues to evolve rapidly, adding new ways for users to consume video and new options for advertisers to buy video ads outside of the traditional News Feed. It’s imperative that marketers stay up-to-date on these and other changes to social video platforms — otherwise, they risk wasting valuable marketing dollars.
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