Earlier this year, Facebook announced a significant update to its algorithm, causing concern for brands and publishers all over. The update prioritizes content that starts conversations (via Facebook comments and reactions) on the News Feed of users. Marketers who have been paying attention will have seen this coming. Facebook announced in June that it was going to push content from friends and family higher in the News Feed.
As a quick lesson on Facebook’s News Feed algorithm: it started as a smaller equation (known as “EdgeRank”) considering the affinity users have for the post creator, the weight of the content (how much engagement it gets), and how long it’s been since the post was released. Now, Facebook uses “signals” to try and figure out what content should be in your News Feed. These signals include all of the above items and more sophisticated signals to get an accurate picture of what’s interesting to you. In this case, Facebook is placing greater emphasis on your affinity for friends and family over brands or public pages.
Many are reporting that Facebook is “demoting” content from brand pages but that is not quite accurate. As Facebook stated, as the News Feed of the user gets more content from friends and family, content they see from publishers will decrease. There is nothing about the algorithm change that is actively filtering out content from brands. That’s a good thing. Brands still have the ability to keep their content in the News Feed of their users.
In this blog, I’ll give you some ways to adapt to the Facebook algorithm so you can stay in front of your customers.
1. Make More Engaging Content
Seems simplistic but it’s more important than ever. If you aren’t already, you must find ways to encourage engagement on your content every time you post. Likes, comments, and shares are still key signals Facebook uses to determine that a post is popular and should be higher in News Feed. This should be your first priority.
2. Make Your Content Shareable
This is the evolution marketers must make to be, what I’d call, “algorithm-proof.” There will be no algorithm update that will remove posts that people share to their profiles. That is the social part of social media. Yes, paying for ads may give you back the reach you’re losing but that’s not always an option. Shares increase your reach for free and they give you the added endorsement (social proof) from your fans.
3. Turn Your Customers Into Advocates
A good moment for a brand is when they get likes and comments on their posts. A better moment is when users share the brand’s content with their friends and family, which gives it an added bump. The best case is when a user writes their own content promoting a product or service from your brand. This is the moment where friends and family members begin to consider whether they too should purchase from that brand. Find ways to make your customers advocate for your brand.
I understand why marketers think Facebook is no longer an organic platform (dubbed “Facebook Zero”) and that consequently, you should just accept it and cough up the money to be seen. But even buying ads doesn’t guarantee users will see your posts and buy, just that the post will show up. The challenge is now ensuring your content becomes content from family and friends. It’s harder, yes. But it’s possible.
As digital evolution occurs, algorithm changes are inevitable. Ultimately, it’s important to adapt and change with technology while maintaining a forward-looking approach to digital engagement. Remain agile and you’ll stay on top.
How has the latest update to Facebook’s algorithm affected your marketing strategy? Do you have any methods that are working for your brand? Tell me about them in the comments.
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