Facebook to Update News Feed Algorithm: Organic & Paid Implications for Advertisers

Facebook recently announced an algorithm update that will significantly decrease the amount of organic promotional content appearing in users’ News Feeds. The News Feed update is Facebook’s response to a survey where users reported they want to see less promotional content and more relevant stories from friends and Pages they care about. Starting in January of 2015, the update will provide new content and volume controls for organic brand posts that include promotional messaging. Previously, no limitation existed to the amount of organic promotional posts shown to users in their News Feeds (unlike ads, which are regulated in terms of volume). Facebook’s update will take place at the user level, meaning people who frequently engage with organic promotional content will still see similar content from Pages on their News Feeds. Organic promotional Page posts include the following traits:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

facebook organic algorithm update *Image courtesy of Facebook IMPLICATIONS for ADVERTISERS Facebook’s update is beneficial to advertisers as it will improve the quality of users’ News Feeds and increase visibility to highly targeted ads and quality organic Page posts. Starting in January, advertisers should expect to see changes in:

  • Organic Reach: Organic distribution of promotional organic posts will start to decline in January. Brands currently see a 2-5% reach of organic posts, so the decrease likely won’t affect brand performance as compared to past Facebook algorithm updates.
  • Organic Post Content vs. Promoted Post Content Strategies: As of 2015, brands should start to consider separate content strategies for organic posts vs. promoted posts. Organic posts should tell a story; organic posts should focus on more creative brand messaging and less promotional wording in order to effectively reach users. Brands should begin to leverage unpublished Page Post Ads to support any promotional content and reach users at more significant reach levels.

Facebook advertisers will not see any direct changes in Promoted Page Posts as a result of this update. However, removing promotional organic posts will give highly targeted ads greater visibility, and advertisers should watch for increased click-through rates on Promoted Page Posts appearing on users’ News Feeds. For more information on Facebook’s News Feed update, please contact your Performics Account Team today

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