We look forward to meeting you.

4Ps Marketing
Studio 16
8 Hornsey Street
London, N7 8EG

Phone: 0207 607 5650
Fax: 0207 900 3834

Online form

Please fill in your details below and one of the 4Ps team will be in touch in the next 24 hours.

Is Facebook Biting the Hand that Feeds it?

November 8, 2012

Is Facebook Biting the Hand that Feeds it?

In September, Facebook quietly changed one of its key algorithms, the “EdgeRank” algorithm. This algorithm, in simple terms, controls which Facebook posts ends up in fans’ news feeds.

The change means that companies’ Facebook posts will reach a small proportion of their fans instead of their entire fan base. In some cases, pages with a large following will potentially reach just 16% of their total community.  Ultimately, the change puts a huge limitation on organic reach and companies are likely to see their reach figures fall and fall.

As a result of these changes, marketers who want to reach beyond this small fraction and ensure their fans see the majority of their content have little choice but to run promoted posts, i.e. spend money.

Unsurprisingly, this drastic change has not been met with wholesale enthusiasm. So, what has Facebook offered in way of a response (or excuse)?  Facebook claims change has come about in order to ensure that users see the most interesting stories; therefore the posts they are most likely to engage with. A little dubious I’d say, considering the economic rewards Facebook will be reaping from promoted posts. Is it possible that there is a connection between this unpopular change and Facebook’s dwindling share prices?

With little choice but to implement promoted posts, it should be assumed such a campaign would guarantee certified results.  But perhaps not, as the effectiveness of promoted posts has been questioned. Targeting is a key issue.  Despite claims to the contrary, Facebook is still littered with fake profiles, thus promoted posts can mistakenly be buoyed by fake users.  Whether or not all relevant users are targeted is also unknown. There are key issues surrounding the cast of connection; if I target you and your friends, am I getting your direct friends or am I getting six degrees of John Smith?

Most importantly, there are no long term advantages to be gained from promoted posts. Consider the effect of TV advertising, site traffic usually spikes during the ad, then falls dramatically afterwards, as expected. There is usually a lingering benefit, however, as site traffic often remains at a slightly higher level to what it was prior to the campaign. The same cannot be said of promoted posts.

In essence, Facebook has given advertisers, their sole source of revenue, a kick in the teeth.  With the inability to reach their whole fan base due to the “EdgeRank” algorithm, Facebook has set an ultimatum. In order to maintain and increase your brand awareness and reach, pay for promoted posts. Do this, or see a reduction in reach and engagement, leading to a decrease in traffic and conversions.

This will be an interesting one to watch, let us know what you think.

« « 3 Men, 1 Mountain Digital Conference | Organic Click-Through-Rate » »
Written by
Jack Coy
Jack Coy
Digital Executive
E: Jack.Coy@4PsMarketing.com
T: 0207 607 5657

Want to know more?

Digital Strategy

We will develop a bespoke digital strategy that is specifically tailored to your business objectives and what you want to achieve, according to your budget and timeframe.

Content Marketing

We can help you develop an integrated Content Marketing strategy that will achieve real business benefits. Our in-house content production team can help you produce targeted content designed around your customers in the form of editorial, video and infographics.


Our forward-thinking teams of experts will deliver bespoke SEO strategies to meet your specific business objectives. We will work with you to create an integrated digital strategy, using our knowledge and experience of specific industries to help you achieve success in the shortest possible time.


Combining both sector and PPC expertise, our teams blend strategy, technology, creativity and marketing to optimise your PPC campaigns in order to grow your business and achieve your goals. We take a structured approach to building your PPC campaigns, focusing on driving results while maintaining cost efficiency.

Social Media

Now a valued part of the marketing mix, Social Media Marketing enables direct engagement with your audiences and our teams can help you achieve measurable results by devising and implementing creative social campaigns aligned with your business goals.

Digital Advertising

We offer strategic advertising solutions to help you achieve brand awareness, consideration and conversions and loyalty and repurchase in order to meet your business objectives. Our digital advertising teams work closely with advertising networks and focus on device targeting strategies to reach your clients with effective advertising.

Digital PR

Our growing Digital PR team of experienced PR professionals use traditional online PR practices to seed high quality content on relevant sites, building bespoke mutually beneficial relationships with top tier, powerful and relevant sites.

Web Analytics

Through our deep understanding of web analytics and expertise with all the key market players, we offer auditing, setup, reporting and insight, optimisation/conversion rate optimisation and tailored analytics training to transform your digital marketing strategy.


We offer a range of consultancy services to help our clients facilitate results in a short space of time. Our skilled consulting team, made up of experienced digital specialists, will work closely with you during a period of engagement to devise bespoke strategies to meet your specific objectives.