How Will Facebook’s Algorithm Update Impact Your Business?

On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg shook things up when he announced Facebook will change the newsfeed as we know it to prioritise and promote content from “friends, family and groups.”

As a Facebook user, my first thought was ‘Yes! That’s awesome; I’ll finally get to see more photos and videos from my friends and family’ but then I put on my content marketer hat and my heart sank. What would this mean for our Facebook Business Page?

Before we jump to any conclusions it’s important to understand how Facebook determines what we see. Currently, the algorithm optimises for time-spent-on-site and looks at other engagement metrics such as likes, clicks, comments and shares of a post. Accordingly, we see content with high engagement. But moving forward the weightings of these signals will change dramatically. Posts from family and friends will be much more prominent.

Here’s a video to explain this in more detail:

 

What Can We Expect?

As the changes roll out over the next few months, businesses will most likely see a decrease in organic reach (unsponsored content). Zuckerberg also expects users to probably spend less time on Facebook, but hopes the time they do spend on the platform will be “time well spent.”

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

While nobody knows exactly what the impact of the news feed changes will be, there are certainly ways for businesses on Facebook to work with the new algorithm and continue reaching their customers through “meaningful interactions.” Here are three strategies:

1.Engage Your Audience

Businesses should create quality content focused on sparking conversations between users. “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

Try including questions in your posts, or write about timely, relevant topics that spark engagement such as users commenting or tagging their friends.

For tips on increasing your Facebook Engagement, watch our 15-minute on-demand webinar.

 

2. Don’t Fall into the Engagement Bait Trap

Be wise about how you engage your audience and think hard about creating content that generates genuine conversation between people. Zuckerberg has stated that “using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”

Avoid prompting reactions just for the sake of it. Instead, think about how you can start meaningful discussions and conversations to really build a community.

3. Increase Your Ad Budget

From the looks of it, the advertising environment will not change much. The decline of organic reach across social media is not new. In fact, organic reach has declined significantly over the years, causing engagement to fall even when the content is of high-quality. Chances are, you’ve probably already given Facebook Ads a go.

With Facebook prioritising content from businesses and publishers, these ads will be more important than ever. It is a great time to take action and dig into the data on “who” your fans are and what captures them. Businesses must know how to target the right audiences to ensure their advertising dollars go further.

A Few Other Tips and Tricks:

  • Produce more Live Videos
  • Look at setting up Groups to build your community
  • Focus on creating meaningful content
  • Consider a multi-channel approach. Don’t limit yourself to only Facebook

Implement these strategies to stay ahead of the curve. If you need help with social media, especially the performance of your Facebook Ads get in touch with the experts at ReachLocal.

Nishtha Handa

Nishtha is the Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for small and medium businesses. She specialises in guiding businesses to improve their social media and digital marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing or researching the latest digital tips and trends, she's planning her next holiday destination, baking a cake or binge watching Netflix.

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