Facebook is looking to improve through change. The big question everyone is asking is what are they changing? Conversations have indicated that concerns have been looming over this social media giant’s organic reach. The overall reach appears to have been on a downward slope, which has been confirmed by Facebook’s Brian Boland.
Boland is the VP of ads product marketing, and disclosed that there is a vast amount of content being shared from individuals and businesses. There is a limited amount of time to be able to consume the information because of this vast amount of content. Facebook’s number one goal is to deliver high-quality News Feed to users in an attempt to lure them back into the social media scene.
Socialbakers is a social media analytics firm who did a study on the debate over Facebook’s Page engagement. Phillip Ross, an analyst for the firm, reported that although the buzz had been that changes in the algorithms were harmful to the social media’s organic reach, their study numbers proved the opposite. It appears the opportunity for branding has never been better for users to place their content in front of people, thus making their data counter-intuitive to the mainstream babble. Part of Socialbaker’s study entailed them pulling data from three million of Facebook’s largest pages which revealed that the shares, comments and likes, engaged by the social media friends on the Page posts were up by 30 percent since January. It had also shown consistent growth since August 2013. Since Facebook details that there are approximately 30 million small business pages that are currently active, it also marks an indicator of the numerous under-achieving pages not addressed in the Socialbaker’s report.
Media outlets are having great success with emulating brands which will only enhance content with customers, despite commentary which was confirmed, that Facebook purposely adjusted algorithms to leave brands out of the News Feed. This tactical maneuver actually encouraged brands to purchase more advertising. The CEO of Socialbakers, Jan Razab, sees the social media titan drastically growing in the business realm. Big brands are choosing to publish quality content through the Facebook platform, which is engaging users within the social media sphere. They are doing this through learning more about what viewers like versus dislike, and are adjusting their algorithms accordingly. On the authority of Facebook, the average user could potentially have about 1,500 stories per day in their News Feed, but only 20 percent surface, which is why the algorithms are being tweaked to improve the numbers.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has a vision to ultimately redesign algorithms in such a way that each user will be catered to with a digital newspaper that is personalized to their liking, which screams overall improvement and change. They have been testing auto-play ads which would play on cue while scrolling through the News Feed, but would not have any sound unless clicked on. These videos would only be videos which were specifically uploaded to Facebook, not from third-party sources. Larger images are also part of the new platform, which can encompass the breadth of the News Feed.
Ross’s observation as to why the media outlets have so much activity on their posts is that there are endless subjects to talk about, whether it is newsworthy or something for fun. Brands recognize the need to captivate their audience with fewer words and leave the chit-chat to the fans. Brands are benefiting as they allow the media to take the lead, in that it provides an ecosystem of opportunities for the News Feed to effectively touch the fans. Media success is viewed as a predictor of brands’ success. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, he once said that to change is to improve, but to be perfect is to change often. Changing often seems to be an improvement that Facebook will continue to adopt as they strive for perfection for their audience. Social media will be forever changing as technology changes and as the likes and dislikes of people change.
By Jill Boyer-Adriance