Strap on your seat belts and get ready to be blown away. Facebook made yet another algorithm update to their News Feeds in attempt to better the user experience and add even more obstacles for businesses. The idea behind the update is to provide a better balance (and division) of content from friends to pages, giving users more updates from their family and friends and less updates from the pizza parlor down the street.Image Source: PerizHilton.com
What Exactly Did Facebook’s Update Change?
Facebook has always tried to come up with new ways to provide a quality News Feed, filled with updates from people we care about, or at the very least want to creep on. As business pages began evolving into our News Feeds, Facebook faced the battled between balancing business updates with baby pictures. Trying to find a happy middle and give users the experience they actually want, Facebook updated three sections of it’s News Feed algorithm to show more real content from real people.
For those who don’t have a lot of followers or follow those who don’t post often, Facebook’s first update is directed towards you. Instead of restraining from showing multiple posts from the same user, Facebook is “relaxing that old rule” so you have more content to see in your News Feeds, regardless of if it’s just 62 photos from your Aunt’s wedding.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say most of the important announcements about family and friends are shared on Facebook before through a call. The second algorithm update is to ensure you see each of those announcements and stay better in the loop of the exciting news. Posts from users you engage with the most on Facebook will appear higher at the top of your News Feeds. Updates from public figures and pages you follow will still have relativity on your News Feeds, but most likely won’t beat your sister’s engagement announcement on Facebook.
Image Source: Elite Daily
As a marketer, Update 3 hurt the most. Have you ever discovered a new page or business because a friend you follow on Facebook commented on the post? Facebook’s third and final algorithm update will lower the order of these stories on your News Feed, decreasing the chances of new businesses being found organically on Facebook. Apparently, users told Facebook they don’t care to see what pages their friends are liking or commenting on. Facebook listened and is lowering the possibility of you seeing this type of content in your News Feeds, pushing more baby photos to the top.
What Does This Mean For Business Pages?
In Facebook’s blog post announcing these updates, Facebook gently stated that, “In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline”. So what exactly are the cases that could make our post reach and referral traffic decline even more than it already has? According to FB, it all depends on your actual posting activity and who your audience is:
- How often you post updates
- What kind of updates do you share (videos, text, images, etc.)
- What time of day you’re posting, compared to what time of day your audience is online
- What type of content your audience interacts with regularly
- If your audience follows more pages than actual friends
Of course, advertising with Facebook is always a huge help and increases your chances tremendously of showing up in News Feeds.
What Do We Do Now?
Although update 1 and 2 don’t affect business pages directly, the overall updates decrease the chance of posts from our company pages showing up in News Feeds. Lucky for us, Facebook was kind enough to end the blog post with tips for driving referral traffic and posting. Here are a few of their suggestions and recommended best practices for posting:
- Post Frequently
Post frequently, without posting too frequently. Posting every hour, on the hour, is downright annoying. Limit your posts on Facebook to 1-2 a day at times your audience is online most, while quickly responding to any engagement.
- Share Links, Photos, and a Variety of Content
Text updates are boring and less likely to be shared on your audience’s News Feeds. Post inciting content that your audience actually wants to see and represents your brand positively.
- Upload Videos to Facebook with a Call to Action
This is probably the best tip they could have given. Videos have taken over social media and are currently the most engaged media. Refer to my Beginners Guide to Video Marketing for tips on shooting and posting your marketing videos.
- Create Content with Social Context in Mind
Stop writing bad posts. People didn’t share your pixelated images before, and they definitely won’t now. Take time to curate quality content that you would want to share on your own page.
- Target Your Posts
1. At the top of your Page click Settings, then click Post Targeting and Privacy and check the box
2. Create a new post on your Page
3. When done, select the target icon in the bottom left corner and click Add Targeting
4. Target based on gender, interests, age, location and more. As you refine your targeting, you’ll see how many people your post could potentially reach.
- Use Trending to Find Popular Topics on Facebook and Post about Them
The trending feature Facebook offers is similar to Twitter’s trending and highlights the top stories people are talking about. If you can relate your business to a topic, do so and include hashtags and @ mention relevant pages.
What do you think of Facebook’s new algorithm update? Comment below and tell us what steps you’ll take to protect your business page against the new update.