As reported today, Facebook has (again) re-engineered the algorithm that determines which branded posts appear in a user’s newsfeed. And this time, it has some serious implications for advertisers.
In the past, Facebook promised advertisers high levels of visibility for promoted posts, even using their Reach Generator product to guarantee that 75% of a brand’s fans would see a promoted post. But Reach Generator is no more, and moving forward, promoting posts will act instead as a “booster” to that content, amplifying reach as the post’s popularity increases.
For brands, this means they can no longer buy their way into a user’s newsfeed.
While this isn’t a sea change in Facebook’s approach to prioritizing content in the newsfeed, it will challenge brands to increase the quality of their posts. Moving forward, only posts that generate clicks, Likes, comments, and shares will appear in the newsfeed. Brands won’t be able to brute-force unpopular content into a user’s feed, regardless of how much they spend.
It won’t replace relevance; it will reward it.
For users, this means more relevant content, more of the time.
This development may pose a short-term challenge to brands that do not consistently generate good content. But as Facebook deals with increasing criticism for the volume of ads that a user sees in their newsfeed, this move aims to reduce user fatigue. By Facebook’s logic, the fewer, more relevant branded posts that a user sees, the more likely they are to pay attention and interact.
And as brands shift their strategies to post exclusively high-quality content, they will be rewarded accordingly.
So what can brands do about it?
As Facebook stops letting advertisers pay their way into relevance, the answer to this question becomes increasingly simple: post quality content, all the time. There’s no shortcut to generating content that is remarkable and on-brand. And while the implications of the algorithm shift aren’t yet clear, they will inevitably point toward reducing or eliminating content that doesn’t benefit the user.