In January, Facebook announced it would be prioritizing content from “friends, family and groups” in our news feeds. Of course, this caused a collective freakout from those of us who manage brand pages.
What does it all mean and how is it affecting reach and engagement for brands? After monitoring and analyzing three months of data, here is what we’ve found with our clients:
The Bad News: Across the board, “reach” for many of the Facebook brand pages we manage is down 25-30 percent. This is definitely a direct result of Facebook’s algorithm updates.
The Good News: We haven’t seen the same decrease in average engagement per post. Individuals are still “engaging” with our clients’ social content via reactions, comments and shares.
What We Know: When making the announcement for these changes Facebook made it clear that we should all be focusing on content that generates conversations. “Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.” Comments and shares are currently King.
What’s Still Unknown: We don’t have enough data at this point to understand exactly how many comments per post we should be targeting, nor how long the average comment should be. We are keeping a close eye, post-by-post, on these types of specifics, but for the time being what we know is all comments (and shares) are positive.
The Takeaway: We should be seeking loyalty instead of views. We all have growth metrics we’re looking to achieve, but at the end of the day Facebook is no different from other marketing and communications channels – meaningful relationships and conversations are more valuable than quick wins. Understanding who your audiences are and what they want out of your digital content is paramount. As Nick Ascheim (SVP of Digital for NBC and MSNBC) points out in this worthwhile read, “We have adopted loyalty as our North Star. Not because we don’t aspire to be big, but because we do.