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08/03/2018

What the latest Facebook algorithm change means for your marketing

The Facebook algorithm has changed again; if you promote your business on the social media platform it will have affected your marketing.  Most significantly, the changes are deliberately designed to reduce the reach of commercial posts, making it a lot harder for your brand to get noticed by your target audience.  But that doesn’t mean you should give up on Facebook as a marketing channel – but you do need to tailor your activities so your effort isn’t in vain. 

Meaningful interaction 

A complaint Facebook has had over the last few years is that it feels more and more like a place for businesses to promote their products and services, and less a forum for people to catch up with family and friends. This is changing. Mark Zuckerberg has said that the update’s purpose is to go back to the heart of what Facebook used to be, with more focus on ‘meaningful interaction’. This is a term that Facebook is using to say that posts that get less engagement are going to be pushed to the bottom. What this means is that if a post isn’t being commented on enough, it isn’t deemed to be relevant.

How to combat these changes 

Though the update is going to affect your page, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your marketing efforts on Facebook. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have a higher chance of succeeding: 

  • Encourage comments: Facebook is placing greatest value on comments as an indication of quality content, rather than likes or shares. Therefore you need to spark a conversation, rather than simply posting announcements. This could be done by asking questions to your followers. However, it is recommended that you don’t post things like ‘comment on the post to get a chance of winning this product’ as Facebook has said that this is engagement bait and these kinds of posts will be demoted in a news feed.
  • Avoid URL links: Facebook considers that posts with website links are more likely to be commercial or promotional and is therefore demoting them. This obviously makes it harder to promote your blog directly through Facebook. One solution is to create a longer Facebook post about the content of the blog and invite people to read more by telling them the full article is on your website – with the link on your ‘About’ tab, but this is asking your followers to work hard to get to the blog.  We have increasingly seen people post the full content of their blog as a standalone Facebook post, which seems the only other obvious work around for this challenge.
  • Video: Facebook is pushing video a lot now, meaning if you stream live video and have longer watch times, you’re more likely to get to the top of your followers’ feeds. Facebook is placing highest priority on live video, but it also likes recorded videos – as long as you publish them directly on Facebook; it doesn’t value content that’s published on YouTube.
  • Think about ads: It’s going to be harder to gain organic reach, but ads will be prioritised more. If you know exactly how to target your audience and what their demographics are, you’ll have a higher chance of being seen. 

These changes might have you panicking about whether you should continue on Facebook, but don’t worry. If you follow the steps above, you’ll be alright. If you’re still struggling, we offer social media training where we cover all the platforms in detail and recommend where you should be posting your content and how to grow followers.

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency

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