Yesterday, Facebook made an announcement that its News Feed will change to favor person-to-person engagement. In normal Facebook fashion, the announcement is light on details.
Facebook is continuing its quest to improve the user experience, as it should. Favoring people over brand pages isn’t anything new. Facebook may be trying to go back to its early days when people were utilizing the site to engage in meaningful connections versus passively reading content and news. According to Zuckerberg, “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long-term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos, even if they’re entertaining or informative, may not be as good.”
This continued effort to improve user experience will likely impact organic “free” reach, but nowhere in their announcement did Facebook mention an impact on paid delivery. However, as organic reach opportunities for brands continue to diminish, ad competition and pricing may increase, particularly for News Feed impressions.
Additionally, from an advertising perspective, we will take cues from announcements like this as we develop our content approach for Facebook. Unlike other auctions, advertising space on Facebook is not won with the highest monetary bid. Facebook determines the potential value created by each ad by the advertiser bid, ad quality/relevance, and estimated action rates (how likely Facebook thinks a person is to take the action you’re optimizing for with the ad). The winner of an auction is decided by the overall value and will be charged the minimum price. Facebook takes this approach to provide a positive and relevant experience for its users.
So what does this mean for you?
Without specific details from the announcements, we don’t know exactly. Below are a few initial recommendations to continue optimizing for News Feed promotion organically:
- Since Facebook will be favoring person-to-person interactions with friends, family, and groups, this may be a good time for brands to start thinking about or focusing more on Facebook groups for engaging donors in a meaningful way.
- Create content (organic and paid) that encourages “meaningful interactions between people.” However, it’s important to note that Facebook is watching for “engagement-bait” (for example, Comment below for a free XYZ). It will demote posts like this in the newsfeed.
- Watch the video from Mosseri regarding this announcement. It provides a good overview of Facebook’s current ranking philosophy for organic reach.
Per Mosseri’s announcement, Facebook is NOT eliminating brand page content from the News Feed. There may be fewer of them. For our paid campaigns, we will test, try new placements and optimizations, and continue to watch for any changes as they relate to this announcement. We’ll continue expanding into other social platforms such as Instagram. When we’ve seen announcements similar to this in the past, the biggest change we’ve encountered is increased ad costs over time.
Facebook’s continued effort to provide the best value and experience for people will not only be a good thing for Facebook, but also for your ROI in the long term. Together, let’s continue to think creatively to share engaging content with prospect and donor audiences in ways that more clearly provide value to their lives!