Some publishers say that organic ads on Facebook are dead. Others are quite anxious about the huge News Feed algorithm changes that Facebook is rolling out rather quickly. A few businesses are taking their ball and going home right now.
What does the new Facebook mean for your business? Let’s cut through the rumors to the actual changes that are being made.
A More Personalized Facebook News Feed
For Facebook users, the News Feed will now prioritize the news items that friends and family prioritize instead of a general feed for all users. In this way, Facebook is following the new social trend of localizing content that many other platforms are taking on.
Publishers and industry experts both agree that the change means that the everyday Facebook user will see less of the content from publishers and brands. What is still speculative is how much more these brands and publishers will have to spend in order to get back to the same volume of views before the change.
Facebook has been caught purposefully turning off the organic spigot. This has been the case ever since Facebook went public and became beholden to outside investors who prioritize rising quarter over quarter profits. No matter what else is going on, Facebook now has the legal obligation to do business in the way that is most advantageous to these investors. If that means less respect for organic ads, then so be it.
Rising Ad Rates
As Facebook moves away from wide net organic content into delivering news vetted by social circles, the price for breaking into these social circles will become much higher. Facebook rates rose 35% over the last quarter in 2017 alone.
Organic reach is at an all time low. In 2017, a business page with 100,000 likes can expect Facebook to serve ads to around 1,500 people on average. A high percentage for organic reach is 2%, which is no better than the return rate on a cold call email blast campaign. Under these conditions, doing the groundwork to build a viable audience on Facebook seems trite – even useless for a truly new company.
Facebook continues to deny that the organic news feed will be genuinely affected by the new changes, even in the face of these statistics. However, it continues to deny that the organic news feed has been affected by its past changes as well. If the top agencies and brands on Facebook are to be believed, there is a fundamental shift in the way that Facebook is doing business.
Adapt or die.
Facebook Protecting Its Own Interests
Regardless of what side of the argument you happen to be on, there is no way that you can blame a company for defending itself under the auspices of capitalism. Facebook has been under an incredible amount of scrutiny. The Trump administration’s claims of “fake news,” while seemingly a general claim, was focused on Facebook as one of the main culprits. Accusations of low quality content have also plagued the platform from all sides. In order to appease the aforementioned investors, and quickly, the company had to find solutions fast.
What This Means for Your Business
No single advertiser will outweigh the opinion of the executive administration of the United States. Nor will that audience be able to stand up to any pressure from a majority of consumers who are dissatisfied with the results of their news feed. In the future, you can expect a great deal more attention to be paid to these audiences. Much less will be paid to the small and medium sized company/feeder website with a complaint about ads or news not being served.
Companies who are looking to be included in the new version of the Facebook News Feed should consider moving away from the legacy tactics that made them so popular. True authenticity and unique viewpoints will rule the day, as niche audiences will continue to search for perspectives that appeal to their immediate and heartfelt needs.
There will be a few holdouts who will put more money into increasingly polarizing viewpoints or clickbait titles and exploit monetary holes in the system. These holes will be plugged. Also, companies that are truly facing the wrath of the Facebook updates will not be able to keep up with the budget of these companies. As such, finding the truth and appealing to local audiences will eventually win the day (along with budgeting slightly more to play ball).