01892 570863

Sharp News

See our latest news articles

24/05/2017

What you need to know about the latest Facebook algorithm change

Facebook is constantly changing its algorithm in order to create a better user experience.  The most recent change can have serious implications for the effectiveness of your social marketing.  Here’s what you need to know about it – and how to be a winner under the new rules. 

Why has Facebook made the changes?

It’s all to do with the fake news debate that dominated the US elections last year.  Many users expressed frustration at the way their newsfeeds were spammed with irrelevant or inaccurate information.  This has promoted the social media giant to update its algorithm, in an attempt to redress this.

What are the changes?

They’re designed to provide a more authentic newsfeed that’s tailored to your interests by prioritising:

  • People you interact with most (most comments and likes), as they are considered important to you and your newsfeed.
  • Posts that are getting the most engagement, as they are considered to be of general interest.
  • Topics in which you have shown an interest in the past. This may be a page about sports which features your favourite football team. 

Conversely, the new algorithm demotes:

  • Pages that are creating spam articles – you’ll be pleased to know these are now pushed to the bottom.
  • Pages that publish content irrelevant to its core purpose, for example a sports page talking about the latest fashion accessories. 

One of Facebook’s research scientists, Akos Lada, explained: ‘With this update, we’re adding new universal signals to determine whether a post might be authentic. To do this, we categorized Pages to identify whether or not they were posting spam. We then used posts from these Pages to train a model that continuously identifies whether posts from other Pages are likely to be authentic.’

How does it affect your marketing?

The changes are designed to make a more personalised experience for you when you visit the social network.  However, whereas before you would simply see the most recent posts, you will now see the ones the algorithm has decided are most important to you.  This is likely to mean that you miss content from people and pages whom you normally look out for.

Of course, this is also true of the content you are posting.  If you’re not getting a lot of engagement, your posts are unlikely to be pushed up your followers’ newsfeeds and so are less likely to be seen by them; your posts may be washed away due to Facebook’s ranking system.

This can be particularly destructive to pages, as there’s a vicious circle here: the less engagement you get, the less likely you’ll get engagement in the future. However, on the other hand, it could work quite well for you; like a snowball effect, if you get enough engagement you’ll be pushed to the top of people’s newsfeed, which in turn will get you more engagement, creating more brand awareness.

How to win under the new algorithm

First of all, avoid getting caught in the traps Facebook is setting.  One of the aims of the changes is to counteract spam, so make sure you don’t spam: don’t post the same articles over and over. Limiting your promotion of articles to, for example, two posts a day, is likely to show the Facebook algorithm you aren’t spamming your audience and your content is of value.

The biggest challenge of all in this new update is engagement. How are you supposed to reach the top if you’re not getting engagement in the first place? There are several ways to increase your audience and engagement such as using Facebook ads, asking other companies to help promote your page or creating a more personalised marketing strategy. Personalised marketing requires you to target your audience and take an interest in their activities on the social network; this will get their attention and increase the chances of them clicking onto your page. Click here for more information on personal marketing on social media. 

Understanding the new Facebook algorithm will give you the insight to make sure your social marketing budget isn’t wasted – playing the game right can even win you more engagement, brand awareness and conversions.

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

Back to news

Want to drive your business forward?

Contact us