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With EdgeRank Changes, Will Users Outrank Brands?

Facebook recently announced a tweak to its News Feed algorithm, also known as EdgeRank, that now favors news articles over more creative content such as memes.

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Facebook’s argument is that the social network is more popular on mobile and users want that mobile experience to easily show articles their friends are reading. In other words, you’re going to see more of Thought Catalog, CNN and the Huffington Post in exchange for content from the brands you like on Facebook.

More users are sharing articles on Facebook while mobile use increases as well. However, as Business Insider points out, this change isn’t about the user experience; it’s about the money.

Prior to Facebook’s EdgeRank change, brands averaged 12-15 percent organic page reach among their fans. Multiple reports say that number has plummeted drastically.

Previous changes were always meant to push brands to publish better content. This one is Facebook telling brands the free ride is over. Pay up, or fans won’t see your posts.

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B2B brands will want to resist paying for Facebook ads, however this is the wrong approach. In the B2B space, deals are bigger and there’s a longer sales cycle.

Just one sale from a social lead can cover the cost of Facebook ads for a whole year, yet many companies won’t put forth the budget needed to cultivate those leads.

Not too long ago, B2B companies paid for ads in trade magazines or paying thousands of dollars for a presence at trade shows. Why then, are they so reluctant to move those dollars over to social media?

Social media is no longer exclusive to the B2C world. Brands from software to metalworking are embracing social media as a must-have rather than pushing it off as a “we’ll get to it later” task. The B2B world has budgets dedicated to social media strategy and hires strategists specializing in social media rather than delegating it to the college intern.

Needless to say, the B2B world has come a long way to adopting social media in its business plan.

It now needs to make those efforts fruitful by allocating money that once went to research analysts, trade shows and print ads into Facebook advertising. No other ad platform allows managers to dig into the granular detail and target an exact demographic or measure an ad’s performance the way Facebook does.

Rather than letting this latest change to EdgeRank discourage brands from having a Facebook presence, brands – especially in the B2B space need to accept a new reality and play Facebook’s game by putting forth a steady ad budget every month.