Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Update: Will Your Page Suffer?
Just as business owners everywhere began to get the hang of navigating Facebook’s latest algorithm, Mark Zuckerberg – the social media giant’s founder – announced on January 11, 2018 that Facebook would be switching things up once again.
In his post, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook has gotten feedback from its users in recent months that “public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” As a result, the new algorithm aims to show Facebook users fewer posts from overzealous businesses, brands, and media outlets, instead focusing more on “[encouraging] meaningful interactions between people.” Specifically, it will be cracking down on what Facebook considers “engagement bait,” or posts that encourage users to like, share or comment on them for the sole purpose of soliciting engagement.
To avoid landing your page on Facebook’s virtual blacklist, you’ll need to avoid the following types of posts:
1. Reaction Baiting
Facebook’s reaction buttons (i.e. like, love, sad) are intended as a way for users to express how they feel about a particular post – not as a way for businesses and page managers to essentially force their followers into acknowledging their posts. So a post that says something like, “Like if you agree!” is now considered reaction baiting and will be pushed way down in newsfeeds.
2. Share Baiting
While it is okay to ask your followers to share content about your business that is relevant and intended to educate your audience, it is not okay to ask them to share a post with an attached incentive or reward. According to this rule, a post that says, “Share this post to enter to win a free gift card!” will be squashed, while a post that asks your followers to share your new office address, for example, will not be affected.
3. Comment Baiting
When you ask your followers to comment on your post with any sort of specific wording (or emojis) – including asking them to tag a friend or to vote for their favorite X, Y or Z – Facebook considers this comment baiting, and this type of post will no longer be deemed newsfeed-worthy.
Users have already started to avoid interacting with posts that they feel are “spammy” in this way. Facebook’s new algorithm will simply serve to help their cause by deprioritizing these types of posts from being seen in the first place.
How will this affect your organization or business?
As long as you’re not posting content that Facebook considers “spammy,” you shouldn’t be affected much. However, if you are currently sharing content that fits into any of the above examples, you’ll have to change the way you write your posts – and you’ll need to do it right away. Each time Facebook notices engagement bait from your page, your posts will continue to get sent further and further down the newsfeed prioritization index.
The best way to spur engagement without having to ask for it is by posting high-quality content that your audience considers relevant and shareable. One way to do this is by writing strategically planned blog posts on your website that you share to your Facebook page. And don’t be afraid to pose questions to your audience to stimulate meaningful conversation. Just make sure you avoid using words like “like,” “comment” or “share.”
You may also want to encourage your own employees to engage with your posts because engagement begets engagement. In other words, the more activity there is on your posts, the more views you will net, and the more overall engagements you will see. And as you will see as a trend in 2018, you should consider budgeting to boost your posts through Facebook Advertising to ensure your followers are seeing your content.
Algorithm changes aside, Facebook remains one of the grandest marketing platforms on the planet. Don’t get discouraged – there is still a huge opportunity on the social media site for fostering business growth.
If you need help processing these changes or identifying areas for improved engagement, contact us now to schedule a consultation.