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Big Changes to Facebook News Feed & What They Mean for Brands

We have seen recently that Mr. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO Facebook) has announced that there would be a radical change to the way information is shown in it’s news feed. The significant change to the news feed algorithm means that Facebook will be prioritizing content from group, friends and family. The ramifications are that It is very likely that this will have a big impact for brands as there will be less “real estate” space made available for brand messages.

The roll out of the algorithm is already underway and will take a few months to conclude. After this time it is believed that businesses will see a significant reduction in their organic reaches. Let’s take a closer look at what it all means and also explore some ideas on how you can combat the lower potential reach of your posts.

What is Organic Reach

Just to give a bit of background to the key areas, it's sensible to take a closer look at some of the terminology. The main area revolves around a phrase that is called “organic reach”.

This is all to do with the number of likes that your page has, or followers for that matter. A certain percentage of these people will automatically see the organic content that you post.

Put simply, when you post a new update to your Facebook Business Page, a number of your followers will see this content. This is the purest form of organic reach.

Typically around 15-16% of your page followers will see your organic content. However, with the changes that Facebook are rolling out, this figure is going to drop quite dramatically. Putting those numbers into real world. If you had a page that had 8,700 followers then only about 1,300 people would actually see what you post. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be able work out that something like 7,500 of your follower won’t see your post activity.

Fighting the Algorithm

Given that the above scenario relates to organic reach prior to the algorithm update, things are only going to get worse. So rather than just give up using Facebook for business and accepting that your potential clients news feed will be full up with fluffy bunnies and other novelty stuff that gets shared, you can actually do something about it! This is the biggest thing that you can help to ensure that a greater percentage of your organic posts get seen by your own page followers:

Create content that creates interaction

Pages that produce posts that garnish little or no interaction (likes, comments, shares) are going to be hardest hit. Without question it is these pages and posts that will suffer the worst of the distribution reduction.The buzzword here is that you must create INTERACTION on your posts, or they will just fall by the wayside.

Creating Engagement

If you fall into the trap of just doing the same as others in your industry then you will fail.

Now is the time to think about content that produces some form of interaction, examples of which could be:

  • Asking a question

  • Running a poll

  • Running a competition

  • Covering RELEVANT & TIMELY topics

Of course, one thing that you should also try to avoid doing is falling into what’s known as the “engagement bait”. Don’t try to “hack” the algorytm and ask your audience to comment on your post if they like cute puppy dogs, or something similar (you can do this if you are a pet shop though!) We can all probably agree that this type of Facebook “marketing” is spammy, to say the least….

Facebook Live Videos

Aside from “standard” content types of images and text, you should also be getting into “Facebook Live Videos”.At present videos are still favored under the new algorithm and live videos are even more relevant. In fact, live videos are one of the very few concrete examples of content that does better under the new algo. Statistics suggest that this type of material gets and average of 6 times more interaction as regular videos.

Boost Relevant Content

Don’t be afraid to “boost” relevant content that you post on your page.There are many ways that you can choose to target potential customers with this option, as well as selecting the people that already like or follow your own page.

You might argue that these people already like your page; however, as we already know, less and less of these people will automatically see your content. The good news with boosting posts to your own followers is that (providing they are genuine likes) there is a good chance that they will interact with the content you boost.

Encourage Customers to “See First”

Aside from boosting posts you can also encourage your followers to change a setting in their news feed preferences. This option allows Facebook users to always see posts from their favorite Pages and is very easy to set-up.Don’t be shy about asking your follower to do this, it’s in their interests too as they will be much more likely to see the content that they really want to.

Invest Time with Facebook Groups

Another really cool way of reaching larger organic audiences on Facebook is to utilize the power or Facebook Groups.Sharing your content and engaging with relevant groups is a proven technique for garnering high quality engagement. Very often these groups have significant volumes of followers and your material will benefit from hugely increased exposure.

The Wrap-Up

The algorithm is here and we can’t change it. What we can do is change the way that we operate our Facebook strategies to ensure our businesses aren’t the ones that miss out.

What are you going to do differently with your Facebook Page this year?

You can reach the author of this post at glenncowan@voovagroup.com, feel free to share your comments, or alternatively suggest a topic that we can cover in a future article.