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Have you been tracking your website’s traffic from Facebook?

If you haven’t, it’s time that you take a look. In early January of this year, Facebook announced a major change in their algorithm. This change is having a major change in what people see in their feeds, and it’s not a business-friendly change.

In an attempt to curtail the “fake news” issues that have been plaguing the platform, Facebook had an algorithm change on January 11th that has had and will continue to have a dramatic impact on a business’s ability to get their organic posts in front of the people that they want to get in front of.

Here’s an excerpt of what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about this algorithm update:

“But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”

Zuckerberg then went on to say:

“The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media…”

Social Shockwaves

Since this announcement, businesses of all sizes and in all industries are starting to re-think their Facebook strategy. If this new algorithm is going to squeeze out brand’s organic posts, then is there still an opportunity to use this platform to get in front of customers?

Here’s what Brian Grimes-Viorrt with Social Media Agency The Social Element had to say:

“The days of organic reach are definitely over. Businesses already have to invest in ads on Facebook to get their content in front of their audiences. But there will be fewer opportunities to buy ads so that the prices will be higher.”

And, just one more, Joe Lazauskas from Contently said:

…”Start adjusting your strategy accordingly: prioritize owned media and transfer as much of your audience as you can to your email lists. That way, you’ll have a direct line to them.”

It’s easy to see that this change is having a really big impact for everyone in the digital marketing space. Even though we’ve had about three months to feel the effects of this change, I’m not sure that most people have a grasp of this, yet.

Has Your Traffic Been Affected?

facebook traffic in google analyticsHave you seen a drop off in the traffic coming to your site from Facebook? Not sure how to tell? Login to your Google Analytics account and navigate to Acquisition > Referrals > Facebook. Make sure that the date range that you are looking at starts a couple of months before the algorithm change in January and continues to today’s date. Show the data by months to get the correct picture of what is happening to your traffic.

If you’re like most businesses that were getting traffic from Facebook, you’ll notice a downturn in that traffic.

What Are The Options

There are a couple of things that you can do moving forward. Before you decide on any options, you have to decide how important Facebook is to your overall marketing strategy.

Facebook is really really important to my marketing!

If this is you, then you can continue to use Facebook as a marketing channel, but be prepared that things are going to be different. Going forward you have two ways that you can get your marketing messages in front of people organically (you’ll need way better content than you’ve been using) and advertising.

Now, before you start to grumble about “paying” for advertising, recognize that creating content, really good content that will get shares and likes costs money too.

Facebook really isn’t that important to me!

If you fall into this category, then the answer for you is really simple. Stop! Stop putting in the time and effort that is and will continue to be required to get any visibility for your marketing messages and put that effort into a channel that will pay dividends for your business. There are a lot of things that you can do with your new-found time and money.

Conclusion

The most important takeaways from this algorithm change are:

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