written by Matilda Rutter

Will the Facebook News Feed changes impact your brand?

This year, Facebook is on a mission to return to its original purpose of helping people make meaningful connections with each other, and is changing the way the platform works to make this happen.

In his announcement, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook had listened to the community and was concerned that “public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Facebook has also conducted a big study about the affect of social media on people’s well being, which supports the move for the platform to facilitate meaningful interactions between people.

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good,” Zuckerberg says.

Therefore Zuckerberg is “changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

The first changes will be seen in the News Feed, where we can expect more content from friends, family and groups and less content from businesses and publishers.

The changes are intended to maximise the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook and reduce the amount of “passive content” – videos and articles that ask little more of the viewer than to sit back and watch or read.

What does this mean for brands?

  • The changes will mainly affect publishers and brands that rely on organic reach to drive traffic to their sites.
  • To have paid content viewed higher up in the News Feed, it will need to encourage conversations and engagements between people, in the comments area on the post.
  • Engagements such as link clicks (eg links to a news article) and reactions will be less influential on a post’s visibility.
  • Therefore the reach of posts that don’t encourage interactions or engagement and that only ask for link clicks or likes will decline.
  • This means that a brand’s Click Through Rate (CTR) may decrease and Cost Per Click (CPC) may increase.
  • Branded content on Facebook needs to be meaningful, relevant and comment-worthy more than ever before, so make it count.

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