What does the updated Facebook news-feed algorithm mean for the music industry?

12 January 2017

Facebook has announced a major overhaul of its News Feed that it says will help in “bringing people closer together.” The changes, which potentially demote pages from musicians, labels and all businesses and brands, will roll out over the coming months.

The change means that users will be seeing more content from friends, family and groups and less from official pages.

“Space on the news Feed is limited,” writes Facebook, “showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

Does this mean you will have to start spending more money on promoted posts to reach your desired audience?

This update presents a new challenge for the music industry

Reaching your full fanbase on Facebook is a difficult task and many people will know. You may have 100k fans but realistically your post may only be seen by 10% or less. This new update means that your posts will potentially be seen by even fewer people.

One of the most immediate strategies is to try inspire your audience to change their notifications on Facebook as NTS have shown below.

Screenshot 2018-01-18 15.33.00

It’s time to build more intimate relationships with real fans

Artists and labels should start building deeper relationships with their fans. Developing influencer strategies should result in content being shared through individual profile pages instead of only focussing on releasing content on official pages exclusively.

Posts that spark discussion will also receive preferential placements. But be careful, Facebook states; “Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed. People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favourite Pages.”

It’s good timing for artists, labels and events to start developing their Bot strategy

Chat bots are computer programs that mimic conversation. On Facebook, your bot strategy could help you reach every one of your fans through the messenger app. If it’s going to be even harder to get featured in the news-feed, brands and artists will need to explore clever new ways to reach their fans. Bots present one of the most exciting opportunities with platforms like I.AM.POP and The Bot Platform leading the way in this space for the music industry.

We’ve managed to sell over £10,000 worth of merch directly via Facebook Messenger in just a couple of months,” said Sean Hill of Axwell /\ Ingrosso’s management company ATM Artists. “It’s going to be at the forefront of all our marketing for 2017.”

“We’ve been seeing a 99% read rate, and a click rate of anywhere between 20% and 40%. They launched a new, limited-edition cap, and sold out within minutes – and the only place they marketed that cap was on Messenger.”

Syd Lawrence (The Bot Platform) thinks that bots appeal to fans because they sit within a private communications channel: subscribing to an artist’s bot is less public than following them on Twitter or liking them on Facebook.

We will be covering this topic in more detail over the next few weeks with key insights from the music & marketing industry.

What are your thoughts on the latest news-feed update?

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