How the New Facebook Algorithm Impacts Businesses


As many of you are already aware, Facebook announced that it would change its algorithm on June 28. In their release, they stated the change would cause content from users’ friends and family to be more prominently featured in the news feed, although they didn’t go too far into the finer details of the change.

What does Facebook’s algorithm change mean for marketers?

The only thing we know for sure is that it will likely be harder to get branded content in front of your target audiences. However, the extent to which the new algorithm will affect branded content is a mystery. Although Facebook said the new algorithm would be rolled out over the course of several weeks, we dove into the TrackMaven platform to see how the changes have affected brands so far.

How has the new Facebook algorithm affected brands so far?

Using the Content Feed export in the TrackMaven platform, we examined Facebook reach and impressions between January 1 and July 11 in 2016 for a number of companies across a diverse set of industries. When possible, we parsed the data further by comparing organic and paid reach and impressions, though some companies had not promoted content since the algorithm change was announced. Here are some of our findings:

  • Across our data set, the average total reach (both paid and organic) has declined by 42 percent since the algorithm was announced. When isolating for only organic reach, the decline was only 37 percent.
  • Average total impressions have declined 52 percent since the announcement, with organic impressions dropped by 38 percent.
  • One company experienced a drastic decline in their total reach and impressions since the new algorithm launched, with decreases of 97 percent for both total impressions and organic impressions.
  • Not everyone experienced a negative change. One company that promotes most of their Facebook content actually saw a 2 percent increase in their total reach since the new algorithm was announced, although their total impressions dropped by 5 percent.

How do I find out if the new Facebook algorithm has impacted my brand’s content?

Here are a couple of tips for finding out how the new Facebook algorithm has impacted your content in the TrackMaven platform:

  • Look at what content is performing well post-algorithm update and see if there are differences in what works compared to content posted before June 28. Pay special attention to the post type (video, image, link, etc.).
  • If you have connected your brand’s Facebook account to TrackMaven, take an export of the content feed from before June 28 and the weeks after to compare differences in average reach and impressions. In this data, you can approximate the impact of the new Facebook algorithm on your brand’s Facebook content.

Because the change in Facebook’s algorithm is extremely enigmatic, we won’t have a full idea of how it will affect marketers or their brands for a while. Check back for more updates as the new algorithm continues to roll out!

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