How will Facebook's new algorithm impact social media marketing

11 July, 2016

If you see your Facebook stats drop in your social media marketing dashboard, don’t panic! 

Recently, the company announced that it would make changes in its algorithm to privilege friends and family information on its news feed.

According to Adam Mosseri, VP for Product Management of Facebook,

“More than a billion people have joined Facebook, and today they share a flood of stories every day. That’s why stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends. If the ranking is off, people don’t engage and leave dissatisfied. So one of our most important jobs is getting this ranking right.”

Why can’t we be friends?

According to Mosseri, “Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family (…) To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, we put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. We learn from you and adapt over time."

Facebook’s research shows that, after friends and relatives, people have two strong expectations from the newsfeed. One is to entertain, while the other one is to inform.

 “People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative”, according to Mosseri.  

What does it mean for Social Media Marketing?

Despite Facebook’s statements and opinions in favor or against this new change, this is still an open book. According to Forbes, the announcement is still a bit “ambiguous” about the exact changes rolled out, and the portal Contently claims that “Facebook doesn’t announce its algorithm changes unless they’re going to have a big impact, and this one will.”

Their blog recalls how social media SEO has worked: a study from analytics company states that 40 percent of publisher traffic comes from Facebook.

So, is it good or bad for my company?

Some people are confident. Others fear. Forbes states that the visibility of posts made by brands and organizations, especially content publishers, is going to decrease, as this will “disrupt several content distribution campaigns, and makes the value of syndicating on Facebook much lower – unless you want to pay for that syndication.”

People use social media as information gatekeepers. For example, a Pew study states that 62% of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook. But, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer, publishers claim that they get the biggest boost from the “social media juggernaut” when individuals share stories that are compelling to them personally.

This is where the changes on Facebook get more tricky. Those who argue that the change could benefit some businesses remind us that the algorithm still focuses on user activities. But, according to The Wall Street Journal, “given Facebook’s sway, many publishers are expanding their presence on the network, despite concerns about ceding even more power to Facebook.”

 “The thing that we’re worried about is people connecting to their friends less than they want because publishers post so often", Facebook’s Mosseri said.

There are hopes

The Wall Street Journal quotes the case of, a portal that publishes “feel-good” stories and gets about 75% of its traffic from Facebook. So they don't fear the change.

In fact, they're confident. Its representatives said that the publication started to see a ”bump” in traffic earlier in June, which is attributed to the fact that “Facebook users are more likely to share the kind of inspirational content produced by the site.”

Are my visits going to fall dramatically? Or will it be possible to bump me up?

The truth is, we’ll have to wait and see how it impacts social media SEO. In the meantime, it’s important to keep writing remarkable content that people want to read about. That is one thing that Facebook made clear. So whether or not the algorithm reduces our number of likes or whether it helps nurture the right people, we may need to check it out in our analysis. 

One thing is for sure: a good Social Media strategy (as part of Inbound Marketing, for instance)  is not about simply buying ads or even selling your product or service on what the company representatives call "friends and family portal."

It’s about having a content strategy, informing people about what they want to hear, with a clear gameplan on what your business wants to get from a given social media platform.

Mike Dyer, president and publisher of the Daily Beast, told The Wall Street Journal that this is "a perfect example of why publishers need to be judicious in continuing to make bets that put them in control of their own destiny.”

What do you think about the recent changes to the Facebook timeline algorithm? 

Ranya Barakat

Ranya Barakat

Ranya is an entrepreneur with over a decade experience in pulling up her sleeves and getting S*** done. She is specialized in inbound marketing and inbound sales.

Twitter Linkedin
Inbound Marketing

How to reduce database churn rate

When it comes to lead management and CRM, the churn rate of a given company’s database is an important indicator of how healthy is their digital marketing strategy and sales process.

15 June, 2019
Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation, Digital Marketing

Paid ads vs organic traffic

What can one say that hasn’t been already saying in the good ol’ paid ads vs. organic traffic debate?

25 October, 2017
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

Growth Hacking and Digital Marketing Trends

When it comes to B2B endeavors, the use of digital marketing strategies or growth-driven tactics for demand generation and acquiring new customers -such as Inbound Marketing- may produce a mental ...

03 November, 2016
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

5 Digital Marketing Trends to Follow

Nowadays, more than 50% of searches are on mobile, 91% of Facebook use (daily active users) is on mobile, and 80% of Facebook advertising revenue is mobile.

01 November, 2016
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

Growth Hacking and Inbound Marketing

Growth Hacking. Just the name sounds like one of the coolest concepts ever. And even if it sounds like a faraway term, this methodology does just what its name says: hacks. It improves the growth of ...

26 October, 2016
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

International SEO: the perks of Latin American Inbound

An Inbound Marketing Strategy in Latin America requires exact SEO optimization to grasp the diversity of terms used in the region. However, there are untapped riches and a great space to grow for ...

05 September, 2016
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

7 Tips to Improve your Blog performance

Everybody likes your company's blog, but your sales haven’t improved yet? Probably it’s because your content strategy is not aligned with your sales goals. In other words, your blog is not inbound ...

31 August, 2016
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

4 tips to spam proof your social media strategy

Months ago, Facebook announced that it would change its algorithm to privilege friends and family information on its news feed.  Now it's Twitter's turn. Earlier this month, the ...

26 August, 2016
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing

How to Report on Your Marketing

Of course, it´s a great thing that digital marketing professionals can get many benefits from automation processes today. I mean, just the fact that we're not going to do anything manually makes us ...

04 July, 2016