What does Facebook’s Algorithm Change Mean for Marketers?

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Facebook announced yesterday a tweak to their news feed algorithm. In a nutshell, relevant posts, articles and news items are favoured ahead of meme photos.

What was a news feed again?

Facebook’s news feed is the first thing users see when they log into their account. It contains updates from their friends, “liked” pages, and (sometimes) Facebook announcement. In other words, Facebook news feed is social media prime real estate.

And why is the algorithm important?

What goes on each user’s news feed is not random. It is determined by Facebook’s own algorithm – like fast food secret recipes, the algorithm is only known to people inside Facebook’s corporate fortress. But Facebook’s own news room does announce how the algorithm is supposed to work.

Why should the marketer care?

According to the analysis site AllFacebook, there are three main aspects to the new algorithm:

  • Ensuring users see more useful news articles in news feed;
  • Highlight stories with recent comments;
  • Both favoured ahead of meme photos.

Facebook made this change because, according to their research, people prefer quality articles and relevant news about what they like ahead of memes.

What does this mean to the marketer? Facebook is rewarding interaction, which is fostered by news and information that individual users find useful, with which they could engage in conversations with other like-minded people. Marketers should therefore be encouraged to:

  • Understand their audience/potential clientele better;
  • Produce contents that acutely address that audience’s needs;
  • Seek innovative ways to enhance engagement, whether by comments, likes, or sharing.
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