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‘You should not focus on engagement baiting’: Here’s how Facebook is explaining its sweeping News Feed change to advertisers


Facebook Mark Zuckerberg employees
Glassdoor

  • Facebook is set to start 


    playing
    up status updates from friends and family in the News
    Feed



    , effectively deprioritizing
    content from media publishers and brands.
  • It explained the changes to its partners including ad
    agencies through emails sent on Friday morning, Business
    Insider has learned. 
  • Facebook told advertisers that it is not making
    any changes to ads ranking at this time, and that they should
    continue to focus on driving business results and not indulge
    in “engagement-baiting.”

In a massive shake-up announced Thursday, Facebook said it would
start playing
up status updates from friends and family
 in the News
Feed
, effectively deprioritizing content from media
publishers and brands.

On Friday morning, it followed suit by sending emails explaining
the changes to its partners including ad agencies, Business
Insider has learned. Digiday published the
email Facebook’s head of news partnerships Campbell Brown sent to
its media partners.

The tech giant said that it was going to increase the weight it
puts on friend interactions and prioritize posts that inspire
conversations and interactions, such as comments, shares, and
reactions, over posts that are consumed passively, people
familiar with the matter told Business Insider. 

It said that pages may see a decline in their organic reach,
referral traffic and total video watch time due to these changes,
but maintained that posts that lead to more meaningful
interactions will see less of an impact. 

Here is what Facebook is specifically telling advertisers:

  • Facebook is not making any changes to ads ranking at this
    time.
  • However, if a post by a brand page is getting less organic
    reach due to this ranking change, “it may see a slight impact
    within the ads auction, if boosted,” an email to an agency read.
    In other words, brands should not waste money on boosting subpar
    content hoping it will do better with some dollars behind
    it. 
  • Facebook is telling agencies that they shouldn’t fret about
    engagement, which is a very small part of ads ranking. The
    company relies on many other data points to determine what ads
    people see to ensure relevancy and value.
  • Brands should focus on using Facebook to drive business
    outcomes, like conversion, instead of engagement. “As our ads
    auction already optimizes for user value, we encourage
    advertisers to continue focusing on driving real business
    outcomes,” the email said.
  • The company assured ad agencies and brands that it would
    continue to work with them to figure out what types of posts
    promote meaningful interactions.
  • Facebook is telling advertisers that “you should not focus on
    ‘engagement baiting‘ by trying to
    get audiences to comment on your posts.”
  • Posts such as those asking
    people to ‘Comment yes if you like rock
    music’

     do not
    constitute a meaningful interaction, says Facebook. Rather,
    brands should create content that matters to their customers,
    while staying true to their brand.

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