Laehn: Navigating Facebook’s Updated News Feed Algorithm

In early 2018, Facebook announced major changes that will continue to shift what is shown in News Feeds toward posts from family and friends. With these changes, Facebook’s algorithm will prioritize posts that spark back-and-forth discussion or inspire people to share and interact with other people using the world’s most popular social network.

While it’s too early to say exactly what these changes will mean for businesses, it’s clear Facebook is heading toward what many call “Facebook Zero.” This refers to when Facebook will no longer show a business’s posts or articles for free. We believe this change signals a new era for Facebook Business Pages, where businesses are required to pay for the placement of content in consumers’ News Feeds.

“Folks, this is a pretty HUGE update,” posted Premier Facebook Marketing Expert Mari Smith following the announcement. “To see solid ROI on Facebook, businesses must invest in ads. The good news, though, is advertising done properly on Facebook and Instagram can dramatically grow your business.”

And here’s more good news: The Des Moines-based company our team has built, Denim®, makes it easy for companies to optimize, launch, and scale social media and mobile ads.

Social Media Advertising Best Practices

“News Feed equals Main Street, and businesses must learn how to advertise there,” said Michael Stelzner, Founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner.

Here are some things for businesses to keep in mind as they shift their social media strategies to include advertising.

  • Establish mobile and social media advertising budgets. Is your firm spending money, time, and effort sharing content on Facebook organically? Now that hardly anyone will see shared articles and posts from business pages, it’s time to establish paid advertising budgets. According to eMarketer, spending on mobile advertising is expected to increase 92 percent from $53 billion in 2017 to $102 billion in 2021. And by 2021, mobile advertising will represent nearly 80 percent of total digital ad spending.
  • Optimize ad content and audience targeting. Because advertising is the best opportunity to get into consumers’ News Feeds, make sure you are targeting ads to the right consumers at the right time with the right message. This is why Denim has aggregated more than a billion data points (and counting) on consumer engagement with hyper-local mobile and social media ads powered for insurance and financial services companies. The data contains rich stories about consumer behavior that we’re using to help our customers make smarter marketing decisions.
  • Add more video to your social media mix. We know people crave video content. More importantly, this type of helpful, educational, and entertaining video content is more likely to drive interaction and discussion through likes, comments, and shares – which is key with Facebook’s revamped News Feed algorithm. “Companies will need to begin doing a lot more story-telling with their videos and content,” shared Stelzner.
  • Advertising on mobile and social media is one of the best ways to connect with today’s digital consumers — and it’s only getting better. While Facebook’s announcement earlier this year does signal the end of organic reach for businesses, it doesn’t mean businesses should put less effort into their mobile and social media engagement strategies. In fact, they should take the opposite approach. By establishing a social media and mobile advertising budget, leveraging data, and optimizing ads, businesses won’t only survive Facebook Zero — they’ll thrive.

For more insights, tips, and best practices to successfully advertise on mobile and social media download Denim’s ebook: Facebook Zero: How to Survive and Thrive.

Tim Laehn is the Director of Marketing at Denim, a Des Moines-based company providing an intelligent, intuitive mobile and social media advertising automation platform for financial services companies.