On June 29th, Facebook announced changes to its news feed that may impact HubNami clients. Facebook will be changing its infamous and mysterious algorithm to prioritize posts from users personal networks. Facebook claims that this is in response to user feedback and in keeping with their longstanding “Friends and Family Come First” values statement.
What does this mean for our organizational users? Facebook admits that “this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.” In his post for Slate, Will Oremus put it more simply, “Facebook says it is tweaking the settings of its news feed software to give a little more weight to posts shared by actual people—e.g., your friends, family, and others you interact with a lot on Facebook. Inevitably, giving more weight to one type of post means giving less to others. So you might see slightly fewer posts from groups, media outlets, brand pages, and other sources that are not actual humans whom you know in real life.”
This might sound like trouble for organizational users who rely on direct posts. The social media world has become a confusing and constantly shifting landscape for business users, as channels modify algorithms and products in a very competitive field. As NPR’s David Folkenflik said in response to this release, “We used to hear about apps or programs being in beta form - that is being tested and figured out. I think this is the land of the eternal beta where Facebook is going to be overwhelmingly testing and retesting, seeing what will keep users on their pages.”
Fortunately there is a simple solution. Although direct posts will now be getting lower priority in feeds, shared posts will become more visible. This gives a big advantage to companies that use social media analytics. Using tools like HubNami lets social media marketing teams drill down to see exactly what makes individual posts successful. Facebook’s changes make knowing what content is most likely to be shared essential. In short, organizations that regularly use metrics to understand and duplicate their (and their competitor’s) most effective posts will win big in this environment. Organizations that don’t will be buried by your aunt’s cat videos.