Why brands need to stop worrying about Facebook’s latest algorithm changes

clare austin

Clare Austin Head of Audience (Social & Native), Sydney and Europe

I got to work to find five emails from colleagues and peers in the industry asking ‘What does this mean for us?’ I’d decided to walk to work (sans phone in hand) and had missed my usual news catch up meaning I had missed the biggest news in social (in the last day).

A few articles later it became pretty apparent that what is happening is really not that big a deal for brands. If you’re a publisher, get your wallet out as you are going to have to start paying a lot more if you want to get the same metrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 key things you need to know about the change

 

– Facebook actually started this in May, so it’s been going on for a few weeks. King Content has been monitoring brand channels carefully and we haven’t seen a decline in traffic or increase in ad prices. This means it does just seem to be affecting the big publishers, those posting and amplifying multiple times a day and basically trying to dominate the channel. A recent report from SocialFlow showed that Facebook organic reach has declined by 42% already for publisher pages this year.

– Any publishers who are getting good organic reach, are now going to have to pay for it; this is basically FB taking back control of their channel.

– It’s agnostic of media type – so publishers who switch to video will still be penalised.  Pretty hilarious when Facebook have just been paying publishers to create live video. In theory this new video live content should be seen less if it’s coming from a publisher. Uhm, let’s see what happens there.

– FB are trying to bring the community element back. They are currently losing this slice of the pie to Snapchat and other channels, so they are adjusting things (for a while) to stop people from going elsewhere or dropping off completely.

–  They just released ‘News Feed Values’  as well! How convenient:  http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/building-a-better-news-feed-for-you/

– Publishers will be heavily reliant on users sharing their content to maintain that reach. This means it needs to be good and so the ‘quality content’ discussion rears itself again!

 

How will this affect agencies and brands? 

 

My guess is it won’t, for now.

This is Facebook taking control back from big publishers and making them pay for prime real estate on their channel. Facebook is a cheap/cost effective way for big publishers to distribute content and reach their audience multiple times a day, shock horror, they want them to pay more for it now.

It is also Facebook realising the ‘values’ of their product and that they need to keep people sharing and communicating with each other before they lose this to their competitors. It’s a way of letting users feel they once again have more control over their newsfeed.

The only thing it will affect is native distribution, if agencies/brands are doing a custom piece with the likes of BuzzFeed and normally get added drivers through Facebook, then expect to see the price of this increase or metrics from this source decrease.

I imagine, within a few months ad prices on the platform will start to increase as the big players start releasing they need to pay and bids become more competitive, but until then sit tight, you’re okay.