Facebook Changes News Algorithm, Email Offers More Manageable Alternative

Facebook’s decision last week to alter its News Feed algorithm was gloomy news for online-based brands and publishers, but marketers can turn to email marketing as a more manageable way to interact with customers. 

Whereas advertisers are at the whim of any algorithmic changes that companies like Facebook or Google choose to implement, email marketing is a direct conduit from a publisher to consumer, managed by the publisher.   

Email marketing is also more effective at generating engagement when compared to social media. The average click-through rate for email messages generally hovers around 3.5%-4%, depending on the industry, but the average click-through rate on Facebook is under 0.1%, according to a MailMunch study.  

Facebook announced on Thursday that it plans to refocus its News Feed to prioritize posts made by friends over posts made by companies and organizations. This decision marks a drastic advertising shift for the social media company with more than 2 billion users, and Facebook’s stocks have tumbled more than 4% since the announcement was made. 

The change will have a direct impact on brands and publishers. 

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses,” writes Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed at Facebook. “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

Facebook’s decision to transform its News Feed will be detrimental for many brands, particularly the ones that have turned to video specifically because it has traditionally performed well on the social media platform. With video views expected to decrease, marketers will have to once again change tactics. 

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