Facebook Algorithm Update

Last week Facebook announced another news feed algorithm change for 2018. According to Zuck, these changes are designed to ensure visitors are seeing the content they want to interact with, specifically prioritizing:

  • News from publications that the community rates as trustworthy
  • News that people find informative
  • News that is relevant to people’s local community

Sure, that would provide a better experience for users, but let’s not be naive here. These changes are also designed to squeeze more money from brands, as Pages are going to see even less organic reach than before. Okay, so what?

For some reason brand marketers are seriously worried about this, and I can’t figure out why. Yes, this is likely to negatively impact publishers, but for brand and digital marketers, everything is going to be okay. Let me explain…

Facebook has been – and will continue to be – pay-to-play.

If you’ve been relying on organic Facebook reach to drive traffic to your website, distribute your content, or impact your business in a meaningful way, chances are you haven’t been seeing much success and this update won’t change that. Facebook has been a pay-to-play platform for years now, and that’s not going to change. Every social strategy involving Facebook needs to have budget behind it if you want to see results.

So what now? How should brands revise their approach to Facebook?

1. Increase Your Budget

Pull out that wallet, and get the credit card ready. Facebook has a massive – and still growing – audience that your brands and partners need to reach. It’s long been one of the most efficient marketing channels thanks to some incredible targeting tools, and they’re only getting better as Facebook collects more information from users.

Spending to promote content through this channel is a cheap and effective option, so take advantage of it.

2. Post Less Frequently

Seriously. You have a better chance of getting traction by sharing better content on a less frequent basis. Focus on your top-performing posts, and don’t be afraid to throw some budget behind it to amplify the reach.

3. Prioritize Video and Go Live

Facebook is clearly invested in video, and is still prioritizing it under the new algorithm. This is especially true of Live Video content, which typically generates strong engagement numbers and drives conversations. The new algorithm will see this as an indication that people are interested, and should drive exposure for your content.

4. Encourage Engagement

Even though Facebook announced that they’re going to punish pages and posts that use engagement baiting┬áto drive interactions, there are perfectly above-board ways to encourage followers to participate in conversations.

Avoid phrases like comment to, share to, vote to, and tag friends, because Facebook will pick up on these and demote your posts. Instead, experiment with asking questions. Prompting your followers with questions such as “What do you think about XYZ?” or “What is your favorite XYZ?” should bypass this potential demotion and achieve similar engagement rates.

5. Be A Little Controversial

Controversial topics have a funny way of pulling emotions out of people, and that’s a fantastic way to drive participation on your posts. Careul, though, because if you hit the wrong nerve you can end up destroying carefully curated relationships with your followers. Check out what Candice Galek did on LinkedIn recently. Is it risky to drum up controversy? Sure, but there’s a ton of value here if you can pull it off.

How are you addressing Facebook’s most recent algorithm changes? Hit me up on Twitter @MathewBernstein or @BernDigital and let’s discuss.