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Facebook’s new advisory on newsfeed visibility [@SmartInsights alert]

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 23 Apr, 2015
Essential Essential topic

Newsfeed algorithm changes which could affect the number of organic site referral visits you get from Facebook in future

Facebook newsfeed referral traffic

Importance: [rating=3]

Recommended link: Facebook Official Newsfeed FYI post from 21 April 2015

We're alerting Smart Insights readers to this change to personalisation of the Facebook newsfeed algorithm since it could potentially affect the volume of referrals that your site gets from Facebook if you're not posting the right type of content or at the right frequency.

In their announcement of the change Facebook explain that their algorithm aims to...

"give you the right mix of updates from friends and public figures, publishers, businesses and local organizations you are connected to.

This balance is different for everyone depending on what people are most interested in learning about every day. As more people and pages are sharing more content, we need to keep improving News Feed to get this balance right".

So, what will change and what are the implications for newsfeed visibility and so referrers from company pages?

  • 1. People who get relatively little content in their newsfeed may get more. This would seem to benefit company pages who post more frequently since Facebook previously had rules in place to prevent users from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row, but with this update, they are relaxing this rule.
  • 2. Friends content will be prioritised more over brand content through personalisation. Facebook explains that:

    "this update tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it.

    If you like to read news or interact with posts from pages you care about, you will still see that content in News Feed".

    This suggests that company pages may find it more difficult to get visibility since updates from friends will be prioritised. However, it suggests that brand content will still be delivered provided it is a brand that is interacted with...that 'you care about'.

  • 3. Updates about Friends commenting on or liking a post are reduced in prominence. Here, Facebook explain that their research shows that people they don’t enjoy seeing stories about their friends liking or commenting on a post, so these updates will appear lower down in News Feed or not at all. This would seem to reduce the 'social amplification effect in Facebook', so perhaps encouraging brands to pay more for visibility perhaps.

Finally, Facebook recommends in company page owners follow its guidance on 'best practice guidelines on driving Facebook referral traffic' highlighted in the image at the top of this post. Although this is labelled 'for publishers', it has guidelines and examples on post content, frequency and targeting that are relevant for all company page owners.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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