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Facebook’s Algorithm Update: Problem or Opportunity?

Facebook’s Algorithm Update: Problem or Opportunity?


As part of its ongoing shift towards “connecting people with their friends and family” (aww!), Facebook has this week announced yet another algorithm update. No surprises here really; this latest tweak means users will see less content from brands and publishers, and more from their friends. It’s a continuation of several previous updates, all of which highlight Zuckerberg & Co’s aim to make the platform a place where friends’ stories are prioritised, and shared content is king.

Indeed, in a statement yesterday, Facebook’s Adam Mosseri noted that a decrease in publishers’ organic reach “will vary a lot by publisher, mostly based on how much of their referral traffic or their reach is based on people who actually share their content directly.” In other words, don’t expect shoddy content to perform organically. Articles, imagery and video still needs to be relevant to your audience in order to entice them to want to share. But this algorithmic shift will certainly add another barrier to that process, and (spoiler alert) for the many publishers who rely on Facebook as their primary platform for sharing content, solutions will ultimately boil down to $$$.

But the digital ecosystem is vast and expansive, with plenty of unchartered territory just waiting to be explored! Rather than relying exclusively on Facebook, brands should have an integrated approach to digital – that way budget isn’t blown on promoting one Facebook post before other channels have even been considered.

  •    For example, Huskies’ Director of Search, Social & Performance Dave Hayes gave a recent talk on the rise of messenger apps at Dublin conference 3XE. He explained how, given the massive growth of apps like Whatsapp, WeChat and Viber, brands have started shifting towards using them as a means of consumer communication and interaction. Snapchat is another channel into which publishers are increasingly dipping their toe, particularly for a younger target market. It’s perfect for real-time marketing, and can offer users a virtual glimpse into live events and product launches. Instagram is a key channel also worth exploring, and it too recently updated its algorithm. Huskies’ Digital Analyst Evelyn Chao wrote this piece on the implications for brands.
  •    Influencer marketing is also worth considering in your digital strategy. As Mosseri noted, “We found over and over again in all sorts of ways that people prefer real and genuine content over things they think are disingenuous or shady.” This goes for all aspects of the online experience; users are increasingly turning to fellow consumer endorsements and word-of-mouth recommendations, as the feel they’re trustworthy, authentic and real. Taking the time to identify and build relationships with key influencers is a powerful way to positively reinforce your brand’s image and credentials online.

Though all of these platforms may not be right for your brand, it’s worth figuring out which combination will help you achieve your goals. The digital space is not a fixed constant, it will always offer new challenges and opportunities. A carefully thought-out strategy will ensure your brand doesn’t get lost in the noise, clutter – and algorithms!