Pay to Play — The New Facebook Algorithm

Pay to Play

You have probably heard chatter about the new algorithm for Facebook “Pay to Play” that seeks to prioritize posts by friends and family. But what does that mean? Well, good news for your business. It probably won’t affect you too much.

Pay to Play Algorithm:

The algorithm tailors users’ feeds to show them content they are interested in based on their past actions. For most users, this means posts by friends, family, and groups they are part of.

Posts they read, comment on, and click-through with regularity are most visible—but this is nothing new. In the same vein, Facebook has been tweaking its algorithms for several years now.

It has meant that users see fewer posts from businesses and brands. Your organic reach has probably been declining for years due to these changes.

Business owners who were hip to Facebook Pages when they first launched in 2007 will remember a time when organic reach was near 100%.

That means back in the day, if you posted content to a business Page with 500 “Likes”, almost every one of your fans would see that content. That organic reach number has since declined to ~2% or less.

The “Pay to play” option refers to businesses relying more heavily on paying for Facebook Ads, Promoted Posts. Furthermore, other Facebook paid media to get their content in front of their audiences.

Although this isn’t ideal for businesses, it isn’t anything new. Odds are, you probably have a Facebook Ad campaign running right now.

When asked directly about how businesses can succeed on Facebook with decreased organic reach, Facebook has said “Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals.

” Translation: If you want to reach your customers via the Facebook platform, you’ve gotta pay up.

It has upset many business owners who remember a time when they could reach customers for free, or who don’t understand why “paid social media” is a thing, but once you get past the nostalgia and your preconceived notions of how social media should work, you’ll realize “pay to play” on Facebook is not such a bad thing.

  • Facebook Ads Are Powerful:

Facebook offers some of the most highly effective means of targeting online, without question. Businesses can target their perfect customer using the details we all provide Facebook with as users through our profile which includes demographics, locations, behaviors, interests, life events, and connections. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook’s Custom and Lookalike audience options get so stalker-level detailed you’ll be disappointed that you missed out on this consumer data landmine all this time.

  • Facebook Ads Are Cheap:

Facebook ads are very underpriced for what they’re worth, and not for long.

Not only do they have the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions in advertising history, but when used correctly with the right targeting and strategy you will be amazed at how cost-efficient they are, and you can start with as little as $1 per day (though we’d recommend $5) to start reaching hundreds of people and make a noticeable impact.

  • Facebook Ads Are Evolving:

The impact of Facebook advertising is monumental, and Mark Z is not stopping anytime soon. Facebook ads are becoming more sophisticated, robust, and creative every day, from video to messenger and potentially VR if their $3 Billion purchase of Oculus is any indication of its potential.

To remain competitive in the digital world, you have to keep pace, and the best way to do that is to get started, keep strategizing and stay informed.

Unfortunately, it still stands that if you want to widen the reach of your page and gain new followers, you will have to pay for ads. As you’re planning your future budgets, it would be wise to consider increasing your Facebook paid media allocations to ensure you’re still able to effectively impact your audience in this updated landscape.