Will Facebook's new algorithm destroy its relationships with brands?

Facebook announced in June that it would push posts from business pages further down in our feeds and focus on posts from our friends.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

If you have recently noticed a change in your Facebook newsfeed, then its algorithm is working. Posts from your friends have appeared higher up the newsfeed than posts from brands.

Facebook has always maintained that the driving principle of its news feed is to connect people with their friends and family.

This update means that content posted by friends you care about; photos, videos, status updates, or links, will be higher up in your feed so you are less likely to miss it.

If you do not have a lot of connections on Facebook you could now potentially see multiple posts from the same person in a row - this was hidden from you in the past.

People with a lot of friends will see content posted higher up in their feeds. They will still see posts from news articles and pages - if they interact with them.

Facebook says that "friends and family come first". If you click Like on posts from certain friends, then you will see posts from them at the top of your feeds.

Facebook wants you to add that Like, or Reaction to your friends' posts so it knows exactly what you want to see - and exactly how it can use the data to target its advertising more accurately.

So how do brands cope with this change to the algorithm?

The biggest issue for brands is the way that Facebook now handles page posts. Facebook says that impact of these changes on the distribution to users of Pages will "vary considerably" depending on audience composition and posting activity".

It admits that in some cases, "post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline".

Facebook goes on to say that if a lot of referral traffic is from people sharing Page content, and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact.

However if the majority of your traffic comes directly from Page posts, your traffic will decline. It goes on to say that it encourages Page admins to post items that their audience are "likely to share with their friends".

It recommends that Page owners also add targeting - a paid campaign -- to their posts to boost reach. It recommends other paid for options such as boosting posts and using Facebook ads to publicise discounts and promotions.

This algorithm change will impact businesses with small marketing budgets who can not afford to pay for each post to be seen. Personally, I can no longer see any posts in my feed from the small businesses I have followed.

Large brand posts appear as usual as sponsored posts in my feed. News sites have disappeared as I do not regularly interact with their posts, but I still consume their information -- if I can find it.

Brands are competing for views with user generated content - which is often far more sharable than PR generated campaign material. There has been a decline in original user sharing which Facebook is trying to address.

Making brands suffer the consequences of not paying for their content to be seen could be a bad move. Losing their Facebook audience might turn many brands - and revenue - away.

In an oversaturated social market, there are many other sites where you can spend your marketing budget and get a better connection to your customers.

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