Facebook’s changed their algorithm (again). Here’s what it means for your business page…

Alright, what’s happened here then?

It would seem that Google and Facebook are locked in a fierce battle to decide who can change their algorithm most often. Stand down SEO’s, it’s time for the social team to despair as Mark Zuckerberg recently announced they would be once again changing its news feed algorithm (a.k.a. Edgerank) to prioritise content from “friends, family and groups”.

So more pictures of my Aunty’s dog yeah? What’s that got to do with us?

This, of course, means that content from brands, businesses and media will be reduced so prepare for your organic reach to fall off a cliff… again. The last time the news feed algorithm was changed, back in 2013, brands and business pages noticed a steep decline in social reach and engagement. The purpose of the move is to “encourage meaningful interactions between people” according to Zuckerberg who also admitted the change would mean business pages would have to work harder than ever for their slice of the engagement pie.

Typical Zuckerberg, what can we do about it?

One thing is clear… quality, meaningful content will continue to see success on the Facebook platform. Comments are king, so it’s more important than ever to limit your content to the high-quality stuff that gets digital chins wagging. The best way to do this is to post unique, relevant, timely content and ask questions within posts to spark debate and discussion. People are much more likely to see your content if their friends and family are commenting on it.  

That sounds like hard work… can we not just run a like and share contest instead?

Unfortunately, the glory days of posting a picture of a cute dog with the caption “Like if you would stroke” are also long gone. It’s even got a shiny new name, ‘engagement bait’ and the Facebook overlords have waged war on it. You might see a temporary rise as a result of employing these types of tactics but Facebook has stated it will continue to demote these types of posts.

What about the people that really really want to see our content?

Say hello to your new best friend, the ‘Follow’ button, right next to the now powerless ‘Like’ button. Encourage your followers to, well, actually follow you. This will all but guarantee they see your content by selecting ‘See First’ as their default setting. It may seem a bit like you’re rebuilding an audience you already built, but it’s about as good as we’ve got right now!

We’ve got some serious money to blitz on Facebook Ads, will we be okay?

Of course, brands who are willing to increase their ad budget will be able to make up for the lost organic reach by throwing fistfuls of £20 notes at the problem. In fact, many of the more cynical objectors (myself included) have theorised that this is the whole reason for the algorithm change, to squeeze the last few pound coins out of businesses’ dwindling marketing budgets.

What are the best types of content to share now then?

Video is still a clear winner in content top trumps, more specifically, Facebook Live videos. Zuckerberg has noted that Live videos on Facebook typically generate the most discussion and as such it’s safe to assume they will get preferential treatment. So, if you haven’t already it’s time to start investing time into your business pages video strategy as it’s one of the only concrete ways brands will continue to succeed. That being said, don’t start uploading dodgy live videos of Boris from Human Resources eating his chicken sandwich at lunch…

Anything else?

Just one more thing you can try. Facebook Groups are potentially one way that brands can continue to engage their customer base and they won’t be affected by the algorithm change. In fact, they may even be more prominent than before as Groups already rely on audience engagement to be successful. Don’t switch attention to groups completely and ignore your page, but it’s definitely worth investing some time into!  

Worried about your Facebook reach? Scared your engagement might be about to drop? Workhouse can help you to implement a new strategy and make the necessary changes to ensure the effect you feel of the algorithm change is minimal.

Give us a call on 01254 878956 or email hello@workhousemarketing.com.