Facebook Apocalypse, Facebook Zero, Facebook’s “Closer Together” change.…. however you refer to it, Facebook’s recently-announced algorithm change is causing quite a stir. In an effort to give users a higher-quality experience, Facebook is downgrading the visibility and reach of content that they consider less meaningful and engaging – including content from business pages.
Here are some highlights of Facebook’s algorithm change and how you can evolve as a business.
Change #1: The Facebook Algorithm will favor posts that have long comments and conversations, especially if people are interacting with each other.
This means Facebook wants to see people actually having conversations on your post. The tricky thing here is that they need to be responding with each other, not just you, And Facebook wants to see longer comments, to show people are having in-depth dialogues. In other words, Facebook would rather someone say, “I think this is fascinating because sleeping kittens are naturally adorable,” rather than commenting “Cute cat.”
Not only that, but Facebook will demote your post if you outwardly ask for comments – known as Engagement Baiting. Gone are the easy fixes where you can say things like “Comment below” on your post. Facebook would like you to work a bit harder than that.
What to do? Figure out how to excite your audience and inspire them into a conversation.
Share information people care about and are passionate about. Show your voice. Pull people in. It was never effective to blare out sales-y posts to your followers, but now that is true more than ever.
Don’t know what your audience cares about passionately? Go back and look at your Facebook Insights. Review what posts have gotten comments and engagement. Go offline and brainstorm what content you can share that will inspire discussion.
Change #2: The Facebook algorithm won’t be fond of your third-party content and videos.
This stops many of us marketers in our tracks because Facebook has always been a great way to promote blogs and our website. Facebook finds that most third-party articles that are shared on Facebook don’t bring about a lot of conversation and dialogue, so the algorithm will naturally devalue those. The same holds true with videos. People tend to watch them without commenting, so videos will also receive less distribution.
What to do? Simply said, it’s time to put your money where your post is.
Facebook Advertising has been ramping up and is a powerful way for you to reach your audience. Promoting with ads is no longer optional – now they will be a must for your blog link distribution. If you aren’t up to speed on ads, now is the time to learn the basics and dive in. Even a small investment in advertising will make a difference in your reach. There are some excellent professionals who offer courses on Facebook advertising basics.
Change #3: The Facebook algorithm will amplify conversations wherever they are happening whether it’s on business pages, personal pages, groups, or Messenger.
The algorithm changes aren’t just for business pages, they apply to Facebook’s entire platform. I’ve heard social media marketers suggest we all just start using our personal profiles to discuss our businesses, but that won’t work. Personal posts will get the same treatment as your business page post. If the post brings about discussion, great. If not, it may not be seen.
What to do? Be open to using Live video, Facebook Groups, and Messenger Chatbots.
Why will those be key? Because those tools involve a natural back-and-forth conversation. If you are not yet familiar with how to use Facebook Live or Messenger, don’t worry. Most of us aren’t. In the next year, I predict there will social media pros coming out of the woodwork in droves with tips and tricks to teach us. Keep your eyes open for those changes and your mind open to learning something new.
Of course, the easiest way to make sure your Facebook post is seen by our audience is to ask your followers to set up the “See First” in their setting so that they will see you first. I’ve included a video from my friend Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner below.
Keep in mind, though that each person can only “see first” 30 of their favorite pages. Odds are some of your followers will do this, but not all of them, so you still need to change your Facebook ways to evolve with the changes.
As we know, the social media world is constantly evolving. This latest Facebook news is still quite new and it will be interesting to see how businesses find solutions. In the upcoming months, I’ll keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not, and I’ll share some of the winners. If you have some solutions you discover feel free to send me an email at Christina@marketingstaircase.com and let me know.