What’s the hype about the latest Facebook algorithm update? Let’s take a look how it can affect your business.
When Facebook rolled out back in the day, there were no business pages, ads, promotions, or even groups. To join Facebook, you had to have a .edu email extension. The entire premise of the platform was built on trust and security, with users knowing it was a place they were among peers.
Once Facebook was open to everyone/anyone, people started creating profiles to use for their businesses. This was a short-term solution, but people and Facebook realized the way individuals interact and engage with people versus businesses is markedly different. Facebook also wanted to give businesses a toolset they could use to make that experience better. So we’ve seen a lot of growth in the Facebook business pages, tools, and resources.
People have literally started, run, and grown online businesses entirely on the backbone of Facebook. And many have done this without buying any ads. These individuals running their business on Facebook, and often without a proper website, have lost their mind each time there’s a Facebook algorithm update. (Don’t get me started on the people who don’t think they need a website because they have a Facebook account!)
Okay, now to the algorithm update.
What changed in the Facebook algorithm?
What we’re seeing is the response to a stretch of time where individuals and organizations were creating entire systems designed to mislead and spread disinformation. For example, a kid bought the domain denverguardian.com, wrote a few fictional “news” pieces, and then fake Facebook accounts would share those articles. Because many people on Facebook only read the headlines of any articles posted there, they would see this “news” headline, a seemingly legitimate URL attached to it, and hit the share button. This was done time after time with an array of stories and misleading websites. Facebook has committed to reducing the amount of fake news that is literally fictional, made-up stories, by prioritizing person-to-person engagements and interactions. So, you’ll see more of your friends and families posts and fewer posts from businesses you’ve liked on Facebook.
Is the algorithm update good or bad?
In my opinion, it’s good from all perspectives. If you’re a consumer on Facebook, it’s a great thing because you’ll be more likely to use Facebook more, knowing there will be fewer ads discussed as posts from businesses and more content from actual people. For businesses on Facebook, this algorithm update means you’ll need to spend a few bucks and use a little strategy to reach your audience (which you should have been doing anyway!).
The Facebook algorithm update will de-prioritize organic publisher and business content. There are people losing their minds over this algorithm update, saying it isn’t fair, or Facebook is just doing it to make more money. In reality, every time a business page posted organic content to their audience on Facebook, it was essentially just an ad. An ad the business didn’t have to pay for. People could click, buy, signup, and learn more. All through a post that cost the business nothing. This update shouldn’t come as a surprise. Think about it. Where else does your business get free advertising?
- You don’t get free billboards on the highway.
- You don’t get free airtime on the radio.
- You don’t get free TV spots.
- You don’t get free direct mail distribution to thousands of households.
- You don’t get free access to thousands of email addresses.
- You don’t get free digital ad banners on websites.
You don’t get free advertising.
If your marketing plan for your business relied solely on the ability to publish organic content for free on Facebook, you didn’t have a marketing plan to begin with. Just like you’ve (hopefully) budgeted for digital ads, TV/radio, outdoor, or whatever else you typically do, go do the same with social media marketing. Budget for ads, create a strategy and campaigns with real objectives and get back to work.