Facebook is making a number of changes to its user interface in an effort to give members better experiences and help brands capitalize on commercial opportunities. However, those two aims do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. And if the survey Facebook used to develop its new News Feed algorithm is any indicator, paid or sponsored brand content may take a backseat to organic and user-generated updates moving forward.
The social network recently conducted a survey to determine what content members prefer. In an article for Marketing Land, Matt McGee shares a copy of the questions submitted to thousands of Facebook users, including queries like:
- “How satisfied are you with the ads you see in your News Feed?”
- “In general, how interesting are the stories in your News Feed?”
- “To what extent do you agree or disagree that each of the words below describes your News Feed?”
The word bank includes descriptors such as “entertaining,” “annoying,” “interesting,” “corporate,” “informative,” “addictive,” “personal” or “commercial.”
Only high-quality social content deemed relevant to users’ interests will continue to surface on Facebook News Feeds.
When Facebook revealed the new algorithm, it explained that only high-quality social content deemed relevant to users’ interests will continue to surface when they surf the site.
To hold onto their positions in prospects’ News Feeds, marketers might also need to take a fine-toothed comb to their social media marketing practices. Any campaigns that push heavily-commercial posts in front of target audiences should be replaced with efforts that truly engage fans and give them something worth sharing. Consumers come to social networks to participate in two-way conversations, and they expect brands to respect those guidelines.
Companies that ask questions, seed discussions with entertaining media and invite honest feedback will attract audiences to their company profiles, and ultimately those followers can become leads. Taking a more aggressive angle risks severing relationships with prospects and falling out of site on News Feeds.