“Not again,” would be an appropriate expression from social media marketer after hearing about the new Facebook algorithm changes. Over the past few years, the social media giant has made regular changes to its algorithm which usually ends up negatively impacting the marketers and business brands. In a recent announcement, Facebook stated that it would make changes to the ‘News Feed’ ranking so that the users see more posts from friends and family.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes via a post on Facebook. He emphasised on the need for his company to improve the people to people connection and bring them closer. It was astonishing that the official statement explicitly mentioned that the business pages would be affected by the changes. The reach, referral traffic, and video watch time would reduce significantly for the brands and media organisations.
While Facebook is still testing its changes, marketers need to be prepared with a strategy to counter the changes. Here are 5 tips to get the best out of the new Facebook NewsFeed Algorithm Updates.
#1 Content that leads to interactions
While Facebook has always ranked posts with likes, shares, and comments higher than the others, the new update will give even more importance to these factors. Post with more comments will get even broader reach. However, “engagement bait” posts that ask users to comment yes or no or tag a friend will be penalised in the ranking. So, a quality post that generates long comments and adds value for the readers will be ranked better and have more organic reach.
Create posts that your customers will like to share with the world. Making a customer-centric post will encourage your fans to interact with the story. Celebrating your customer’s stories will give your posts genuine interactions improving its reach. If, you are asking questions to get more comments, ensure that the questions are relevant and the answers actually help other readers. This will also prevent your post from appearing like a spammy post.
#2 Targeted Content
Well, not all your users want to see all the content that you produce. So in light of the new changes, it would be best for your brand to target niche audiences. General posts that are aimed at homogeneous audience do not generate a lot of interactions. This will lead to significantly reduced reach according to the new algorithm updates. You should always treat Facebook as one-to-few means of communication.
Marketers need to understand their Facebook audiences to achieve higher reach. This can be done by visiting the ‘Facebook Insights’ section of your page which will give the break-up of users who respond to your post, their location, time of the day, etc. While most marketers underestimate this feature, it can give your tremendous insights into your audience that you can leverage to improve your reach.
#3 Quality is Far important than Quantity
This is not something new as the quality of content has always been critical. However, due to the new algorithm changes, the overall reach will decrease if you focus more on quantity rather than concentrating on the quality. Until now, marketers used to post with high frequency to increase the overall reach over a period. That strategy will now not work and will rather backfire if more of the posts do not do well.
It would be imperative for the brands to improve the quality of the content. Apart from using the strategies discussed above, brands will also have to monitor the interactions of their posts regularly. 3-4 posts a week should be more than sufficient unless your posts are getting a lot of traction. In that case, you may want to increase the frequency to get higher reach.
#4 Use the Live Feature
It is no secret that videos tend to do better on Facebook since they are played automatically while browsing through the news feed. However, the live video tends to do even better as your fans get notified as soon as you go live. This gives you an opportunity to reach in front of a higher number of fans. Live videos also receive more engagement than the pre-recorded videos or posts.
The new Facebook algorithm update will give more priority to posts that have higher engagement. Live videos which usually get six times more engagement will help you cope with the new algorithm changes and improve your distribution. Additionally, the percentage of marketers using the live feature is far less as compared to the other elements. So, going live will help you reach a wider audience and ensure that you stand apart from the competition.
#5 Manual override
While the algorithms decide what content will appear on the ‘News Feed’, there is a manual override to see specific content first. Users can opt to see your content first by visiting your page and selecting the option from a drop-down menu under ‘following’ tab. These will ensure that your users see your content on the top of their feed and do not miss any of your updates. However, this feature is not known to all the users and would need substantial efforts on their part.
Brands will have to generate content that is so good that your users would not want to miss it. Only then they will take the efforts to go and override the algorithms manually for your page. Marketers will need to balance their content in between tactical and entertainment domain. News, events, offers, how-tos, and satire are a few content types that are well-received by Facebook users. You can also suggest your followers to make these changes, but overdoing it could have negative results.