If you didn’t spot this news already, Facebook just changed the game significantly. Underneath an announcement to “make sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent”, Mark Zuckerberg effectively just killed organic reach on Facebook.

From now, Facebook friends and family posts will start to take precedent over public content including posts from businesses, brands, and media – prioritising what it calls ‘posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people’.

Facebook will punish posts that try to click bait their audiences e.g. posts with a ‘Tag a friend/Follow us/Comment Yes” as it will see them as worthless.

As an end user that sounds great, less click bait, spam, unwanted posts – but for marketeers, brands and businesses alike, it’s time to rewrite the strategy. Don’t and you’ll be sending your £££’s into social oblivion. Facebook just set it’s intent to move to an ad platform. Cut through is only going to be achieved going forwards by paid social activity.

How? Consider the typical Facebook journey. Brands get you to like their page once, giving them the opportunity to engage with you when their content appears in your timeline, when they post organically on their page. (although only circa 20% of them will see it currently anyhow). What this means is that it will become irrelevant (to a point) how many people like your page, as unless they actually visit your page they will never see the organic content you post there.

Brands will therefore need to pay to get their content in front of their audience and cannot rely on organic feeds reaching them.

The good news is that paid content can be targeted to reach your desired audience, people who haven’t previously engaged with your brand and who otherwise wouldn’t have seen it.

Hopefully it will also improve the quality of content and creativity coming from the industry as well, as by rewarding creativity, it might strike at the heart of mediocre agencies, and get them off their laurels – thus ending the default social media agency fee justification of a post a day.

At OnBrand, we welcome this further maturing of the Facebook platform, as it reflects our path of travel – know your customer – who they are, where they are, and what they want from you. OnBrand social strategies embrace what we believe are the three pillars of a good social strategy – great content, precise and targeted social reach, and tuned into to what your customers truly want.

In summary:

  • Facebook are changing what appears in your news feed
  • Organic reach is over, if you want to increase visibility then paid content is the way forwards
  • Click bait will be punished
  • Engagement and true brand conversations will benefit
  • Creativity and relevance will be rewarded – create content that matters.