What Facebook’s EdgeRank Change Means for B2B Marketers
If you manage your company’s Facebook page, over the past few months you may have noticed a sizable drop-off in both your profile’s reach and engagement. You may have asked yourself, “Did my posts really become that much less interesting, practically overnight?” The good news is that, no, your audience did not collectively start to reject your content. The bad news, however, is that the problem lies outside the control of most marketers.
In late September, Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, which determines what posts appear in a user’s Newsfeed, experienced a significant overhaul. Jeff Doak, who maintains a great blog on Social Media Measurement, wrote that the profiles he has access to experienced, “a sudden decrease in reach starting on September 21, ranging anywhere from a 24% to a 63% decrease (averaging out to around 45%) in average organic reach when compared to the previous two months.” The EdgeRank Checker blog offers similar findings, reporting (emphasis theirs) that, “62% of Pages’ posts [during their testing] didn’t even make it to the Most Recent Feed.”
The general consensus is that Facebook instituted this change as part of a new policy, where the newsfeed will display 80% organic content and 20% sponsored. Facebook’s decision has drawn some harsh criticism from critics, such as Doak, who claims, “This is Facebook doubling down and admitting that they really don’t have any interest in brands having a real relationship with the fans they’ve accumulated.”
Despite such backlash, it appears that the EdgeRank change is here to stay, so the question marketers needs to ask is, “Well, now what?” Firstly, it means that now, more than ever, the content marketers post to their page needs to cater to the interests of their followers and foster engagement. A key facet of the EdgeRank change is it will suppress Newsfeed appearances by pages containing content that is generally ignored. Take a look at what subject matters and media formats have driven the most likes and comments in the past, and narrow your focus to them.
The changes also mean that it may be time to explore investing a small portion of your marketing budget in Promoted Posts. Jason Miller from Marketo recently published results detailing great success with Promoted Posts, which helped increase both their engagement and lead target pipeline. Of course, as Miller notes, simply giving Facebook money will not solve all your problems with the site: “The reason that these ads work is because they are promoting your good content.” If your budget has the room, Facebook ads would certainly be worth experimenting with while promoting your next whitepaper or webinar.
What do you think? Do you agree with the critics who claim Facebook is turning its back on brands who are not willing to pay up? Or do you feel the EdgeRank alterations will help your business’ quality content rise up from among the white noise of the Newsfeed?