Over the next few weeks, Facebook will be making the most significant shift to the News Feed that they have in years. The updated algorithm will prioritize what users’ friends and family share, while de-emphasizing content shared by publishers and brands. The rationale for this, per Facebook, is that it will enrich users’ feeds with more “meaningful” social interactions. This is likely a response to the blowback from “fake news” and election tampering, and the more recent increase in press coverage such as reporting on various study findings regarding social media’s negative impact on mood, self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.
One of the biggest questions we can expect to see from clients is, “Will this change impact the performance of my ads or the ways they are ranked?” Our answer to that specific question is “No.” Ads should see little or no impact from this change. It’s important to remember that Facebook already instituted a similar algorithm change back in 2015 when it allowed for the “See First” functionality. At that time, digital agencies and marketers realized that the new best practice for Facebook was this: if you want your brand’s content to be seen, you’ll have to boost your posts (e.g. pay for them as ads).
Since that time, DAC has been optimizing our ads based on selectively boosting the content that is most likely to resonate positively with our brands’ audiences. With this new change instituted by Facebook, it simply reinforces the need to take audience relevance and feedback into account in order to deliver ads to the right people based on the right business objectives.
If, as a marketer, you haven’t previously relied on boosted posts (paid ads) to get your Facebook content in front of your audience, this change WILL likely impact the reach of your content; you’ll have to review the importance of Facebook in your marketing strategy to create the right paid support strategy.