Along with surviving Google updates and algorithm changes, we also have to contend with changes happening within our social platforms. Facebook previously made use of Edgerank as a means to calculating what you were shown in your news feed. This was ousted a few years ago and replaced with a News Feed ranking algorithm, that - incidentally - was updated on the 2nd of December 2013. The update or change seemed to have affected the reach and engagement of many Facebook pages being used to represent brands and businesses. With many people using Facebook as the personal means to reach their consumers, this could obviously prove detrimental.
Your Facebook reach is a figure that represents how many people actually saw your post; whether that be from organic means or through a paid advertisement. The engagement is a figure that represents how many people actually interacted with your post by clicking, liking, reading, sharing or commenting. Both of these figures are considered when it comes to Facebook's algorithm and their results could mean the difference between your content being more visible and readily available on people's news feeds, or being kept in a dark corner for no-one to see.
The algorithm change has been in line with offering users the best content for their preferences; much like how search engines are trying to feed the public the most optimal results and user experience related to their queries. Facebook is quite pleased, saying that;
"Our latest update to the News Feed ranking algorithm helps ensure that the organic content people see from Pages they are connected to is the most interesting to them."
While this sounds ideal, it might not be for your business or Facebook page, which is why we're here to help you find out how to make the best of this scenario.
Which Pages Were Slammed The Most?
A lot of people experienced differing results post-algorithm change; some noticing severe drops in engagement and organic reach, and others noticing a welcome increase. So what exactly were these pages doing to receive their respective results? Generally speaking:
- Those who were slammed: were asking directly for engagement, weren't posting an assortment of media, but mainly status updates
- Those who saw an increase: weren't asking for engagement (or rarely were) and were posting mainly imagery
In Facebook's bid to provide users with a quality experience, posts with heavy calls to action have been negatively affected as Facebook wants users to make up their own minds when it comes to perusing content in their news feeds.
Making The Most With What You've Got
In light of the above, you don't need to go out and completely re-create your social strategy, you simply need to tweak it in a few areas to make it more versatile for the current Facebook landscape. Look at your current content and determine how you can align it to the following points:
- Avoid the use of memes as these were seriously discounted in the algorithm update, rather opt for creating your own unique and clever content
- Avoid the use of strong calls to action, rather imply that the user would love what your content represents or that it's something he or she should check out when they have some time. Any reference to "like this" or "share this" or "click here" should definitely be ruled out
- Do what you can to stir up engagement. If people respond, respond back! Make sure they know that you're there and you're listening
- Keep your eye on your insights and see what content people are most prone to engaging with. Why is that? Is it more interesting? Is it the theme... try and feed them more of what they want
- Keep your levels of post frequency high so that you're constantly showing up in someone's news feed
- Try and find the time of day that suits your users best. Is it early morning? Lunch time? Look at your insights and interaction based on the time of day and test a few more examples to confirm your stats
- Keep monitoring what works and what doesn't and don't hesitate to throw the latter from your strategy
Advice From Facebook
Facebook noted a few things that page admins should keep in mind when creating and posting content to their feeds. Check in with yourself on the following points before you click "Post":
- Are your posts timely and relevant?
- How can you build credibility and with your audience? How can you make them trust you?
- Do you think people will share your content? Is it something that your demographic is even interested in?
- Would your audience appreciate your post? Is it something they would want to see?
The bottom line: create great content for your audience, keep pushing and monitoring your results to see what best suits them.