Facebook changes algorithm, but nothing really changes for brands. It’s a pay for play world.

by Susan Getgood on January 16, 2018 · 1 comment

in Branded content,Digital media,Facebook,Social media,The Marketing Economy

Facebook announced last week that it was changing the algorithm to favor posts from friends and family over those from brands. It also recently gave users access to the SEE FIRST button for personal profiles as well as brand pages, allowing users to note whose updates they wanted to see first. This is great news for Facebook users, who have been complaining that the algorithm seemed to deliver posts from the same handful of friends, ignoring many others. “I never see your updates,” the oft-heard refrain.

Cue, immediate uproar from publishers, advertisers and brands that these changes would prevent their fans and followers from seeing THEIR updates.

Tempest in a teapot. The only way for brands to reliably get their content in front of their audience on Facebook at scale is to advertise. Facebook ads, boosted posts, branded content. Now it is simply more obvious.

In the short term, yes, these changes are unfortunate for those brands that have developed models for organic Facebook success. They will have to rethink their models and consider using paid posts to get the sharing started, rather than just relying on their content to drive organic shares. But, as long as the content is good, and worth sharing, does it really matter that you have to invest in a small amount of paid to get the party started? I don’t think so. I have long believed that what matters isn’t whether something is paid, owned or earned. It’s whether someone wants to share it. Previous posts on this topic include Shining a light on the native advertising debate from 2014 and Is earned media an anachronism from 2011.

Net, not much has really changed for brands. Facebook is just loudly fixing something that has hampered its user experience, and basking in the brownie points from billions of users.

By this week, the digital advertising press seemed to agree. Nothing new here, more of the same said both Digiday and Adweek.

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1 Susan Getgood January 17, 2018 at 9:37 am

A piece on DIgiday today reinforces my thesis — that Facebook wants marketers to engage with its PAID content opportunities, and is slowly shutting down other avenues. If you want its audience.

Today’s Digiday article focused on the value of branded content created by influencers using the Facebook branded content tool as a way to get brand messages in front of users. Ya think? OF COURSE that is the direction Facebook wants brands to go in. It has been setting it up for more than a year.

Sure, there were a few mis-steps when it launched its branded content tool. Most notably that initially only verified pages that were classed as a business and had high volume of fans could apply to use the tool, but they fixed that *months* ago. My DOGS’ page is authorized to use the tool! Marketers just have to suck it up, incorporate Facebook paid into their plans and diversify into other tactics so they aren’t so reliant on Facebook.

Link to article: https://digiday.com/marketing/awesome-dynamic-influencer-marketing-gets-boost-facebook-changes/

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