How Much is Facebook's News Feed Actually Changing?

Fb News Feed

Facebook got people talking last week when it announced the following: 

Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about. With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses. 

The announcement left brands wondering, Will audiences see our Facebook content and ads as much in 2018 as they did in the past?”

The short answer? Yes. 

For perspective, how different is last week’s announcement from this announcement Facebook made in January of 2015?

As part of an ongoing survey, we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content. Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds.

We can talk algorithm changes until we are Facebook blue in the face. The bottom line is, how to tell a good story has never, and will never, change. 

Here are three things for your brand consider in 2018—not only for Facebook or other social media, but for your overall marketing program. 

• Content That Matters: Tell stories—on your Facebook page, in your collateral, on your website, in your radio spots—that matter to your customers and stay true to your brand. We all know what engagement baiting and bad sell tactics are—don’t do that. Tell. Good. Stories. You know what good stories are because people are interested in them. Don’t sell. Tell. 

• Continue Using Paid: This algorithm change doesn’t have an impact on your paid campaigns on Facebook, so continue to create compelling ads and posts you pay to promote to target audiences. Facebook delivers tremendous ROI, and that won’t change. And of course, pay to play on other platforms that work for you, as well—display, search, TV, pre-roll, etc.

• Analyze/​Optimize: Always assess how campaigns are performing—data helps tell good stories because you know what’s performing and can shift your budget to the best-performing topics and platforms. It could be weekly, monthly or quarterly. Establish a timeline for measuring your campaigns. 

Why did Facebook get people talking last week? Because they told a good story. No matter what new platforms and technology emerge, the tenets of telling a good story will always stay the same. Remember that in 2018, and beyond. 

Jon Alhart is Vice President of Content Marketing and Social Media at Dixon Schwabl, and he’s an authenticity advocate. Follow him on Twitter or contact him at jon_​alhart@​dixonschwabl.​com.

Jon Alhart
Managing Partner, Demand Generation

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