Facebook’s Updated Newsfeed in January Means New Challenges For Social Marketers

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On its blog, Facebook announced that beginning in January 2015, users will see less promoted page content in their News Feeds. The change comes from a survey Facebook conducted with its users

“Why we often look to people on Facebook to tell us how we can improve,” the company said in its post.  “As part of an ongoing survey, we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

According to the people surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:
  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
Examples of these types of Page posts:

Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of above type of content in their News Feeds. As Facebook as stated before, the News Feed is already a competitive place , and as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.

Many business owners might not know what it means for them, their brand, and their messaging. Facebook will be on the lookout for posts that soley push app installs and purchases, or reuse the same exactly content from its ads, says Ulrik Bo Larsen, CEO and Founder of Falcon Social. In this case, the easiest change marketers can make is get rid of sales-y content.

“By making content more entertaining and engaging, and conversing with fans rather than selling to them, brands organic content will perform better and not be flagged by Facebook,” said Larsen. “The simplest thing companies can do is make sure their copy is framed in the right way. Overall this will be better for the consumers and brands. Consumers will only see the content they want on their news feeds, and brands will have a more natural dialogue with their followers.”

However, Facebook assures that there’s still a place for brands on the social network.

“Pages still matter — a lot,” Facebook explained. “It’s important to note that Facebook is increasing its investment in Pages. Given the substantial traffic to Pages, we are exploring ways to build more features into Pages. A lot of this is in response to how we’re seeing people interact with business Pages. Some of these interactions include messaging to communicate with a business directly or browsing video and photo content. We’re also exploring ways to better customize Pages based on the industry a business is in, similar to how we rolled out menu sections for restaurant Pages.”

The update is set to start rolling out in next month.

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