Last Tuesday, Facebook announced yet another change to its News Feed algorithm. At this point, I’m sure you’ve grown used to the familiar hysterics: Brands are getting the short end of the stick (again), organic reach is dead, it’s time to ditch Facebook for good. If you’ve read my coverage of Facebook’s big algorithm change earlier this year, you probably already know how I feel about the fuss.
If these changes are concerning you, you’re probably doing it wrong.
So what’s changing?
First things first: Here’s a quick overview of the social network’s updates.
- Facebook is gently lifting the limit on the number of times a page’s content can appear in a fan’s News Feed. This change is made specifically for users who do not have a large number of connections on the platform. These users may now receive multiple updates a day from each of their connections.
- A focus on friends. Facebook is placing the focus back on personal connections and prioritizing content from the friends with whom you are most engaged. That means less focus on organic brand content (gasp!).
- Focus on original content. You’ll see much less (if any) posts about your friends commenting and liking other content. There goes viral reach!
Why this shouldn’t worry you
Facebook isn’t what it used to be, and that’s fine. It’s a media platform — a really, really effective one, albeit not a very social one anymore. According to a recent study, Facebook is by far the largest social traffic referrer to external sites, and its dominance over other social platforms is only growing. Changes to its algorithm are only making the user experience more seamless and enjoyable, which means more value to marketers who understand how to effectively communicate in the space.
I outlined pretty clearly in my last post how to effectively communicate in the modern era of social media. It’s not about “viral content” or scoring big with “real time marketing.” It’s about understanding your audiences, creating customized, personalized content that they’ll care about and utilizing the tools that Facebook provides us to reach them most effectively. That last part is the part that most marketers get upset about, because most of those tools cost money. But before you start complaining about putting money into your social marketing efforts, ask yourself this: How many other media channels allow you to distribute content for free?