Ah, the Facebook algorithm. If there’s one thing we as advertisers know about it, it’s finicky at best and constantly evolving. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Facebook is altering it again. In a long personal post, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced earlier this month that Facebook's algorithm is getting a makeover and the social network is aiming to create more “meaningful” interactions between friends and family, the way the network was intended to be used. As publishers and brands have worked tirelessly for a spot in your News Feed, they are now up against an algorithm that’s working hard to keep them out. That is unless of course they are creating a discourse that Facebook deems meaningful.
What does that mean? Facebook wants to see comments, likes and shares on content between family and friends, moving away from “passive consumption” to a social experience that is, “time well spent.” Good for your News Feed, yes. But, bad for business. Business pages can expect to see a decline in their organic reach and engagement, as their followers will only see their content if they have a history of engaging with it.
Shift Your Strategy
Let’s say you own a small business and up until now, social media has been a significant part of your strategy. You use Facebook to drive traffic to your website, you optimize ads for conversions to get sales, and you also try to engage followers with your organic content. With the updated algorithm, you’ll have to revise your strategy, slightly, starting with the way you think about your organic content.
Develop Quality Content
Although Facebook claims the algorithm will impact each page differently, you can expect your organic content to be suppressed. Revisit content that has previously performed well with your followers, create accordingly, and avoid content that is overtly branded, product-focused, or sales-y. Quality content is paramount, always has been, but now more than ever, if you want to pop up in a follower’s News Feed, you’re going to have to work for it. Facebook wants to see content that sparks conversations, but remember, you should never ask for likes, shares or comments– Facebook has a special place for spammy, engagement-bait posts, and it’s absolutely nowhere.
Pay to Play
The good news? Facebook ads are largely unaffected by this algorithm update. You should continue optimizing ads to drive your business’s objectives the same as before. The bad news? The cost per action is likely to rise as the demand for ad space increases. With organic reach down, it’s crucial you pay to play to get the most eyeballs on your content and in front of people most likely to pay attention to it.
Video, Video, Video
Video content continues to top the list of most engaged content, with Live Videos highly preferred by Facebook and its users. If you’ve never taken advantage of this type of content before, now’s a great time to test the waters. Don’t know where to get started? Read Facebook’s Tips for Going Live.
With the new algorithm at play, you can’t resume business as usual and expect the same results. Your organic reach and engagement numbers are bound to dip, and your ad’s CPA is likely to rise. Remember, quality content that resonates with your audience is key, and engaging with your followers will boost your rank in their News Feeds.
Did this blog read like another language to you? You’re not alone. Navigating social media is tricky, but we can help. Give us a ring to learn more about how Popskull develops strategic social content and advertising tactics to help businesses grow.