If you are in Facebook marketing, then this is something you need to know about. The new Facebook algorithm change has everyone panicking. But there is no need to worry, we will go over what exactly whats going on.
Mark Zuckerberg announced on January 11th, that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritize content from “friends, family and groups.”
Here’s what he said, “As we roll this out you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
He cites “a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being” as justification for the change, admitting that businesses are going to have to work harder than ever to gain their customers’ attention on the platform.
This can all be overwhelming but we will go over how your Facebook posts will get viewed on Facebook from here on after this new algorithm change.
Understanding Facebook’s Values
Knowing the core values that Facebook uses to guide their thinking and work can give you a hint of what content will do well or not so well on Facebook.
Here’s Facebook’s News Feed values:
- Friends and Family Come First: Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of the News Feed today. Facebook’s top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.
- A Platform For All Ideas: Facebook’s not in the business of picking which issues the world should read about, but they are in the business of connecting people and ideas — and matching people with the stories they find most meaningful. Facebook’s integrity depends on being inclusive of all perspectives and view points, and using ranking to connect people with the stories and sources they find the most meaningful and engaging.
- Authentic Communications: Authentic stories are the ones that resonate most with people. Facebook worked hard to understand what type of stories and posts people consider genuine — so they will show more of them in the News Feed. They also worked to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading, sensational and spammy, to make sure people see those less.
- You Control Your Experience: Individuals know themselves best. So Facebook creates features (such as unfollow, hide, and see first ) to let people customize their Facebook experience. For example, if you hide a story from someone, that signals that you’re less interested in hearing from that person in the future.
Constant Iteration: Facebook continues to look for ways to get better and will continually solicit feedback. They’ll also provide explanations in the News Feed FYI wherever possible and looking for opportunities to share how they work.
Continue the Reach
No one knows exactly what the real impact will be for the news feed changes, but there are definite ways you can work with the new algorithm and continue reaching Facebook’s customers through “meaningful interactions.”
Engaging + Quality Content = Comments
When Mark Zuckerberg said, “meaningful interaction” as one of the reasons for the algorithm change, he means comments. He said:
“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
This means brands should create quality content focused on sparking conversations between users.
Get creative. Include questions in your posts, or write about relevant topics that users are sure to have an opinion on. Let your audience do the talking.
Tip: The more comments and reactions you get, the more likely Facebook users will see your posts. So be sure to post engaging, quality content.
1 Minute Videos
One minute videos let you get a thought out quickly. Logan Young of BlitzMetrics said that content in 2018 is all about “one minute videos of you telling stories and giving your expertise in your particular fields.” So that means video content will crucial this year.
Dennis Yu said of one minute videos that its “long enough to get a message across, but short enough that it’s not going to cause people to say, ‘I don’t really have the time’. And we know the average watch-time on Facebook is 6-seconds anyway.”
But with any video, these are four components you need to have:
As you begin making your one minute videos keep those four components in mind. You might ask, “How will this benefit me?” No one wants to follow a complete stranger, so when they see you in these videos they will become familiar with you, and trust your knowledge and opinions.
You might want to try and hack the new algorithm by asking your audience to comment on your post if they like a certain thing but it has nothing to do with your business. Facebook warned those that do this:
“Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”
Have the opposite mindset of Nike when it comes to this, “Just don’t do it.”
“See First” on Facebook Pages
Out of all the changes in the News Feed there’s one thing that wont change, the ability for users to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages by choosing “See First” in their news feed preferences.
You shouldn’t be shy about asking customers to follow your page and asking them to click the “See First” option under the “Following” tab. That way your followers are guaranteed to see your content.
Increase Ad Budget
When it comes to organic content, 2018 is going to challenge its ability to reach a wider audience. It’s no surprise though, for years we’ve seen a slow decrease in the reach of organic content. Hopefully, by this time, you’ve become familiar with Facebook ads. If you haven’t, you should get on that.
Now that Facebook is reprioritizing content from brands and publishers, your Facebook ad skills will be more important than ever before. Businesses must know how to target the right audiences to ensure their advertising dollars go further.
If you don’t know where to start, check out our 5 steps to start your Facebook advertising.
More Live Videos
In Zuckerberg’s announcement he wrote, “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook—in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” Though videos are still important, live videos will be of greater importance under the new algorithm.
If you haven’t already invested significant time and energy into posting live videos on Facebook, stop what you’re doing and post live videos on Facebook. We know of a certainty that they will perform well under the new algorithm. How do we know? The creator of Facebook himself said so.
Create a Facebook Group
Mark Zuckerberg made an interesting point when he mentioned that people will be seeing more posts from “friends, family, and groups” Notice how he added in groups. That means if you haven’t created a Facebook Group already, you will want to start investing in one today. Since Facebook Groups already operate on the basis of audience engagement, this marketing tactic will likely serve you well under the new algorithm.
No Need to Fear
Algorithm changes are normal especially when it comes to social media. But there’s no need to fear when it happens. You should always be looking for new ways to engage customers with your Facebook pages, ads and groups. If you are already determined in providing your community with valuable content then keep doing what you’re doing.