What Facebook's Algorithm Change Means For Your Brand

Why You Can Expect A Downshift In Activity on Your Brand's Facebook Page

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg announced a “major change” in how Facebook will prioritize content for the news feed. The platform will be shifting away from “public content” (posts from news outlets, brands, etc.) and back toward its original focus: people. For individuals, this means seeing fewer stories from the Washington Post and Nike, and more from Aunt Nora in Shoreditch.

Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships, sent an email to major news distributors on the network with an explanation of how the changes will impact news organizations and individuals. According to Campbell, the algorithm changes at Facebook will mean: “Interactions between people like comments, shares, and messages will be valued more than reactions and likes.” From our understanding, those interactions will determine the kind of content you see more of in your news feed. Content from Facebook Groups will gain traction, too.

Why Does This Matter For Brands?

The content brands publish on Facebook falls into the category of “public content,” and much of what Zuckerberg and Campbell are saying boils down to this: pre-recorded video and external links will now be downplayed in value by Facebook’s algorithm. What do brands share a lot of? Pre-recorded video and external links. (We almost only share external links!)

Looking Into The Vast Emoji-less Future

It’s not that depressing. There will still be emojis, and while it’s clear that a downturn in activity among brand, and news, publishers on Facebook is expected, it’s not the end of the road (or world). Zuckerberg and Campbell have expressed that some content is worth being valued by their algorithm. For instance, links from brands shared among friends won’t be penalized. In fact, as that link then inspired a “conversation” on Facebook, it will do fine with the new algorithm. Content local to the user is reportedly going to get a pass, too. For brands that operate locally, this may mean that a small shift in your Facebook strategy (away from video and external links) may work well.

We are not surprised by of this. Facebook has made it progressively harder for brands to thrive on its platform for years now. It’s been a pay-to-play field for much longer than the platform is willing to admit and this move only further reinforces that. If a Facebook Page is still central to your brand’s marketing efforts, we recommend drawing your attention to other digital strategies, namely: search.

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