How Facebook changes will affect business in 2017

Facebook logoOne of the social media giants, Facebook has remained dominant in the social media space because of its commitment to change and reinvent itself for the benefit of users.

Facebook aims at providing the best content and unrivalled overall user experience to keep users constantly engaged.

In the past few months, Facebook has implemented some changes and announced new updates that might greatly improve user experience but leave marketers and publishers even more intimidated in 2017.

Bluntly put, the changes are designed to send less traffic to content-based websites. This also means that business will have to spend more to achieve the same traffic and reach.

Facebook algorithm change: the basics

The scheduled 2017 Facebook algorithmic changes are designed to prioritise posts updated and shared by family and friends over those from brands, publishers and other pages.

Facebook’s concern has been that a lot of people have not been able to connect and interact with family due to too much irrelevant content and feeds appearing on their timelines from pages of little interest. This has led to users, particularly younger ones, leaving Facebook for newer alternatives.

Organic traffic and reach will drop further.

Organic reach and visibility of many businesses’ content on Facebook has been increasingly declining, and this will undoubtedly continue to drop in 2017 as marketers and publishers feel the heat.

Facebook states that this is meant to improve user experience; however, it’s obvious that they are trying to drive marketers to pay more for the traffic. Let’s think about it though, the original idea behind Facebook was never to promote content and be a sales platform – it was to connect Friends and family. So the changes are not entirely inconsistent with original aims.

Ad costs will go up

As Business Pages stare at the declining organic traffic and reach, more marketers will have to resort to paid ads to archive the same results. This will increase the demand, which will eventually increase the supply-side costs. Consequently, expect the cost of ads to significantly increase and businesses to have to spend more on ads to remain visible.

Native advertising may take a blow

Initially, publishers could share branded media content from their official pages and send more organic traffic to their content. However, with the upcoming 2017 Facebook changes, marketers and publishers will have to rely more on buying Facebook traffic to their native ads.

This may greatly affect publishers like BuzzFeed, which makes most of its money by using Facebook to achieve high view counts on videos of other brands.

Bottom line

Facebook is a powerful social media force whose efficiency and capabilities are not about to decline anytime soon. It’s important that you stay updated with all the Facebook changes to make sure that you are doing the right thing at the right time.

As much as paid ads will remain the only effective way to gunner more traffic on Facebook in 2017; businesses will need to understand how to tailor their ads, package their content and target their audience to get the best out of their ad campaigns.

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