It’s been roughly one month since the end of the world: Facebook once again changed the News Feed algorithm.
With little surprise, these changes have again resulted in a decline in organic reach for content published by businesses and brands. Predictably, this resulted in a slew of articles from famous business, marketing, tech, and social media pundits criticizing the change, and bemoaning the effect it is having on publishers – businesses, brands, marketers, and more – who have become increasingly dependent on Facebook for reaching their audience.
Almost universally, this change has been seen as being bad for business.
While I understand why so many see this as being negative, I’m a little more optimistic.
In fact, I see this change as being good for business.
THIS IS A CHANGE TO BENEFIT USERS
Continuously optimizing the News Feed, in this case via adjustments to the News Feed algorithm, is good for business because Facebook is nothing without its users, and without its users, the appeal of Facebook for business is nothing.
Thinking about Facebook ‘without users’ may seem dramatic, but the social media landscape is vastly different than it was just a few years ago; newer social media networks have reached critical size, user behaviour has shifted, content publication is proliferating, and more. I believe it to be smart – check that – critical, that Facebook continue to find opportunities to optimize user experience, sustain engagement, and maintain relevance.
I understand the most immediate and obvious counterargument to this; that it is us – businesses, brands, marketers, and more – that pay for advertising on the platform, thus making Facebook a viable business, but again, we’d never consider paying for advertising solutions without Facebook’s robust user base. Therefore, it’s in all of our best interest that Facebook continue to evolve, test, and optimize, even if there are growing pains along the way.
THE CONTENT RACE NEEDS TO EVOLVE
For years, a primary challenge facing businesses and brands hoping to harness the power of social media for marketing efforts has been to figure out how to continuously feed their content pipeline.
This has resulted in an absolute glut of content being created and published to vie for every second of consumers’ fleeting and divided attention. And to make matters worse, most of this content is horrendously terrible, created to fill an open slot on a content calendar, instead of being thoughtfully created to provide real value to targeted audiences, and work toward achieving real business objectives. We’re all guilty here, I’m not pointing fingers.
This needs to stop! We’re being our own worst enemies. We need to stop focusing on how to create a volume of content and the lazy, unfocused organic reach it may achieve, and instead focus on strategically relevant content that is of extremely high quality and value, and how to place that content in front of the people that matter most.
If Facebook’s most recent News Feed changes can help to shift our perspective on the content we’re creating and publishing away from the content race we’ve all been propagating, and toward thoughtfulness and quality, we’ll all benefit, and that includes the consumers we’re ultimately hoping to engage.
Have you noticed any changes to organic reach since Facebook’s latest algorithm adjustment?
Do you see this as being bad for business, or as necessary iteration on Facebook’s part?
How do you plan to combat declines in organic reach on Facebook?
How do you plan to combat declines in organic reach as other social media networks shift to algorithm based feeds?
As always, it would be great to discuss this more with you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBsocial
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