Shocker: People are pissed at Facebook again. But this time it isn’t about privacy concerns or a failed IPO. The latest criticism to the social media giant has to do with how Facebook displays posts from pages in users newsfeeds. Facebook recently updated Edgrank – their proprietary algorithm that among other things, determines which posts should appear in your newsfeed, based on a variety of factors.
Page owners are complaining that they’ve seen a significant drop in impressions since the update. To add insult to injury, Facebook suggested that page owners use paid promotions and advertising to make sure that their posts are seen by their fans and followers. Now before you say “meh, this sucks,” and give up on Facebook, let’s take a look at few ways that businesses can actually benefit from this recent change.
You get what you pay for – Let me just preface this by saying that I am not making any guarantees or saying that by hiking up your ad spend that you’ll improve your ROI. But I will say that like most things in life, you get what you pay for. If you pay for more visibility, you will get more visibility. Why is paid better than free? Well with “free” or what marketers refer to as “organic” reach, you aren’t guaranteed any specific level of visibility. In fact, you’re not guaranteed any visibility. However with paid reach, since you control your budget, you also control your targeting.
Targeting – Not only can you choose how many people see your posts, but you can also filter what types of people see your post. With paid posts, you can segment by age, gender, geographic location and even personal interests. This ads a tremendous amount of value to your campaigns and significantly improves your ROI. You can also adjust the time of day your promoted posts display, which can also come in handy.
Quality is king – Paid isn’t the only way to make sure your fans and followers are seeing all of your posts. The same way Google rewards quality content by ranking sites higher in search results, Facebook rewards quality posts with a higher number of impressions. Although it may not be the easiest way, creating and sharing quality content is the most cost-effective way to boost your impressions for page posts.
Everybody ISN’T doing it – Like many other facets of digital marketing, social media is growing so rapidly that strategies and best practices are oftentimes outpaced by industry growth and saturation. Having a competitive edge is vital to a business’s survival. Especially from an online standpoint. Going by the supply and demand principle, I would assume that the average cost for paid advertising on Facebook will rise proportionally with adoption rate. So while “the other guy” is complaining about how much Facebook sucks, you can start taking advantage of the current ad rates. By reallocating a small portion of your marketing budget to spend on some paid posts, you can get a leg up on the competition.
More users means more content. As the Facebook community grows, the content pool is diluted. Just like Google, Facebook displays content based on the highest quality or the highest bidder. So instead of looking at the recent algorithm change as a drawback, try to figure out some ways you can use it to your advantage and stay ahead of the curve.