In late January this year, Facebook implemented critical changes to its ;News Feed' algorithm, thus the long and complicated bit of code that determines how many people see your updates. The changes have caused uproar especially among brands, marketers and bloggers, as Facebook aimed at reducing the reach of organic posts to between 1% and 2% (eMarketer).
HOW EDGERANK CHANGED
The changes in EdgeRank had far reaching implications for the content strategies of branded pages. Some of the most significant changes included:
- Devaluation of text updates from brand pages: The reach and rank of text updates from brand pages was limited profoundly.
- Devaluation of memes: Memes are now ranked as ‘poor quality posts’, and therefore their reach is reduced substantially
- Devalued ‘Like this!’ posts: Posts that ask people to like something (e.g. ‘Like this post if…’) are now being classified as poor quality ‘posts.’
- Reasserted the value of new content: When your content receives any social endorsements (shares, likes or comments), newer content is featured above old.
DECLINE IN ORGANIC REACH
But how did these changes impacted the organic reach of brand pages on Facebook? The website EdgerankChecker (http://edgerankchecker.com) measures continuously the average impact of EdgeRank, including the organic reach of brand posts. A recent study looking at the organic reach surprisingly reveals that, although the median organic reach of Facebook posts among Facebook pages worldwide fell from 16.0% in February 2012 to 6.5% in March 2014; the largest decrease was noted between November and December 2013. In addition, the smallest decline was noted between January and March 2014, thus after the changes had been implemented.
Despite the ongoing declines in organic reach of Facebook posts, organic growth will remain an important tactic for (tourism) marketers. Organic growth can be reached especially through regularly posting entertaining and informative content, to keep followers interested and engaged. However, given the EdgeRank changes, there might be a growing need to support this by boosting the reach of posts through paid advertisement.
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