What happened: Recently, Facebook announced new rules for brands and their organic posts on the social network. After years of allowing businesses and companies to build online communities – and share news, deals and updates with them – Facebook slowly has been altering the algorithm that allows branded posts in your news feed. For marketers, the changes have been occurring for months, the organic posts have been reaching fewer and fewer fans, and the strategies are shifting. Now, Facebook publicly has addressed how brands will need to buy advertising if they plan to sound like an advertiser.
What it means for brands: Pay for play is the new normal. Facebook has surveyed its users and found that they prefer to see videos, photos, news articles and updates from their friends more than from brands. Thus, Facebook is treating branded posts with less weight, forcing businesses to promote their posts as though they are “renting space” on the platform and encouraging brands to focus on the quality of their posts. Facebook says this is for the good of its user base and that creative, engaging posts still will bubble up in the news feed. However, the organic brand posts appear to an average between 2 and 8 percent of fans – which is what all brands should target. Gone are the days where you may expect your 100,000 fans to see every single post. Securing 8 percent of those fans with an unpaid post is considered success. The good news is, quality content is still gold, and a PR-driven approach to social still is a good place to start.