Brands should rethink relationship with Facebook, says Forrester

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Facebook updated algorithm for News Feed.
Facebook updated algorithm for News Feed.

Research firm responds to Facebook algorithm update and suggests alternatives

Marketers should no longer turn to Facebook to help them build relationships between their brands and consumers, according to market research firm Forrester.

Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester — and a known critic of the social network — responded to news last week that Facebook would be tweaking its algorithm in a blog post

On Friday, Facebook said that in response to user feedback it would reduce the number of overly promotional Pages posts seen in users’ News Feeds, to enable them to see more stories from friends and pages they care about, starting from January.

The social-media giant claims this move is to make the user experience better, applying the same sort of controls it exerts over advertising to overly promotional posts.

Elliott wrote that this maneuver has effectively ended organic social marketing on its site, a decline he has been outspoken about.

For many years, Facebook encouraged brands to enlist likes and followers on the social network, but two years ago it announced that just 16 percent of posts organically reach their fans. Since then, Facebook has shifted its communications with marketers to make clear the value it delivers around targeted reach.

Another round of changes in December last year saw marketers and agencies complain of this number slipping much lower.

Forrester suggests in a new report that email actually offers a better alternative for connecting with consumers than Facebook because emails get delivered 90 percent of the time, while Facebook posts get delivered 2 percent of the time.

According to a Forrester survey U.S. online adults who want to stay in touch with a brand are almost twice as likely to sign up for brand emails than to interact with it on Facebook.

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