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Facebook Algorithm gets personal

It seems Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s resolution must have been family oriented and he’s willing to see it through. On January 11, he announced the Facebook algorithm will be changing (again!) to prioritise content that sparks conversation and meaningful interactions, particularly those from family, friends and groups. 

Zuckerberg is stripping Facebook right back to its core. 

“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” he stated. 

It’s definitely not the first time we have seen major algorithm changes from Facebook, but this is one of the most significant. The brains behind Facebook want us to feel positive and happy, which comes after recent criticisms that they were failing to take responsibility for the content it shows users landed them in hot water. 

As a regular user, the shift means that we’ll be likely to see more cat videos from our crazy Aunt on our newsfeed and less from viral media sources. 

But what does this mean for brands? Public content will now need to fight harder for a spot in our beloved newsfeed as Facebook decreases the visibility of posts from businesses and publishers. To reach prime position, content must encourage conversation and inspire people to react or comment on the post. 

As the Facebook world adapts to these changes over the coming months, brand Pages may see their reach and engagement decrease. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – for two reasons.  Firstly, posts will now be reaching the newsfeeds of those that actually care. Even if the stats reflect a decrease, the posts are most likely to be placed in front of people who have the will and want to make the purchase or show interest in the post. Quality leads over quantity. 

Secondly, quality posts will reach the right people. So as long as your talented marketing team (cough, PIER, cough) continue to produce content that people want to engage with, these changes are no cause for concern. It just means our quality posts are no longer competing with outdated memes to reach the eyes of our target audience. 

Organic reach has significantly reduced in the last few years to reaching less than 2% by the end of 2017, making targeted advertising more necessary than ever. While we can use our expertise to predict the effects of the forthcoming changes, only once the dust has settled can businesses understand the true impact of Zuckerberg’s latest efforts. At PIER our focus has and will remain to put out quality and engaging content to highly targeted audiences, and to closely monitor social media accounts to recognise trend changes and respond appropriately. The only thing guaranteed in the world of Facebook is that just as we get used to this round of changes, another will be waiting in the wings ready to evolve the online advertising world again. 

If you’d like to chat to the team at PIER Marketing about these changes might affect your business, give us a call on 03 5975 3742 or drop us a note at hello@piermarketing.com.au