For years marketers have been using Facebook pages to help build a targeted audience that they could directly promote their products and services too. These pages were also great for building brand recognition and even developing a ‘relationship’ with the customers. Unfortunately, Facebook has just announced that they will be rolling out three new updates to their News Feed algorithm, which will reduce the likelihood that these pages will be seen by potential customers.
The updates are designed to give users an improved overall experience by displaying more content from their “friends” and less from the pages they follow. This move is, according to Facebook, done because of surveys they have performed on their users. The users apparently have said that they prefer seeing a greater number of posts from ‘real people’ who they are friends with than posts from Pages, even if they are actively following the pages.
It is not completely clear at this point just how much of an impact the algorithm changes will have on the traffic going to these pages, but most experts seem to think it will be quite significant. Facebook, of course, is attempting to downplay the impact this could have, but it is clear that this is a big change for Page owners.
In a blog post published on the Facebook page you can read, “The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline. Overall, pages should continue to post things that people find meaningful and consider these best practices for driving referral traffic.”
It is important to note that this update is not targeted against the ‘link bait’ type of pages, which Facebook has been battling for some time. This update will likely impact all the most active pages on Facebook, even those who already follow the specified best practices laid out by Facebook.
While Facebook has an obligation to cater to their actual users, there is really no question that this update is going to harm the marketing efforts made by page owners. All marketers who use Facebook pages will want to make sure they are well aware of this update, and take steps to try to find alternatives for driving the traffic that they need.
Of course, this update will not affect paid advertisements. If you need a quick way to regain traffic to your page, paying for the Facebook ads may be an effective option to consider. This, after all, is likely what Facebook really wants from this update.
Eggs in One Basket
This is yet one more example of why it is so important to diversify all your marketing efforts. If you have all your marketing efforts focused on Facebook pages, for example, you will likely be struggling to regain the losses you will experience due to this update. Marketers who are diversified, however, shouldn’t have nearly as dramatic an impact on their overall marketing efforts.