Last month, Facebook announced its new initiative to make News Feeds more focused on the news. News Feed algorithms were adjusted to reveal more links to media organizations like Buzzfeed, TIME or Huffington Post, making it more like Twitter, a frequently used source for easily accessible news and current events. This switch will be most noticeable on mobile devices, as links to outside news sources will be prominently featured in that format.
This shift towards a more “news”-based News Feed, in contrast to the usual wedding photos and baby announcements, poses a new hurdle for marketers that utilize the site for targeting consumers. Because the focus has shifted to these links to outside publishing sources, it is becoming more difficult for brands to utilize Facebook like the average user, sending out messages, posts and updates to reach their consumers. This will likely bring about a decline in organic reach for marketers that would demand the contribution of more money.
However, if brands can follow the lead of publishers benefitting from the news source focus, the transition to this new algorithm can go very smoothly and actually help marketers reach consumers more effectively. Publishers are already establishing ways to create interest based on referral traffic from Facebook and the positive or negative responses to the content and timing of posts.
Maintaining the large audience many brands have already cultivated on Facebook remains, of course, at the forefront. However, it is now even more important to monitor how that audience responds and reacts to marketing strategies and specific ads.
The emphasis now should be on relevant messaging in partnership with trending content, as established by the tracking of consumer responses. Content should not only cast a wide net, but should also have a pertinent and specific message that makes its presence on a user’s News Feed worthwhile. More and more consumers are growing bothered by unnecessary ads, posts and brand content on Facebook, making it key to take note of these responses in order to more effectively and positively reach users.
Overall, while the new algorithms behind Facebook’s News Feed may take some getting used to, the changes should ultimately help brands learn to measure audience interest and further establish effective, meaningful interactions with consumers to even more efficiently market their message.