The conclusion is that brands that change up the mix of their
posts to rely less on the ones that saw the biggest drops in
exposure can maintain their newsfeed reach at above 12% and thus
use "paid advertising as a supplement, rather than a full
replacement," according to the paper.
"If you reallocate, you can make some of [your reach] back so
it's not 40% that you'll have to go out and pay for," said Brandon
Fischer, Group M Next's Director of Predictive Insights. "You'll
still need to supplement with some kind of paid strategy."
Group M Next didn't provide a list of brands in the study but
says they represent a cross section of categories and have Facebook
fan bases in the multiple millions at the upper end. Group M
agencies MindShare, Maxus, Mediacom and MEC boast clients like
Unilever, IBM and Volkswagen.
The findings are at odds with Facebook's continued rebuttal of
the contention that organic posts are reaching a smaller portion of
fans. (The related inference it most objects to is that the change
was made to encourage use of its ad product "promoted posts" to
offset the lost reach.) Facebook contends that algorithmic changes
were made to weed out spammy, non-engaging content, but that median
reach of pages hasn't changed.
"A few times a year we perform quality checks on the news feed
algorithm to ensure high-quality and relevant posts," Facebook said
in a statement. "Based on a recent quality check, we made an
adjustment to the news feed algorithm to respond to the negative
feedback signals of spam and people hiding posts. Current signals
show the adjustment has been successful. Median reach of Facebook
pages has remained the same, while spam complaints and stories
hidden by users have fallen significantly."
But if the higher post engagement Group M Next observed is true
across a wide spectrum of pages, the case can also be made that
Facebook's news-feed algorithm changes are a net positive for