Facebook Algorithm change

What is Facebook Algorithm Change?

In an effort to bring people closer together, to promote meaningful interaction and reduce news feed noise; Facebook announced on January 11th that they will be changing the Facebook Algorithm.  This will reduce Facebook Page reach for businesses and non-profits that are simply posting about events or otherwise non engaging posts.  Reach will be diminished for Page posts that are not full of discussion.  Ultimately this will affect the number of times people usually see Facebook Pages in their news feed. This has been trending as or is known as the Facebook Armageddon or Facebook 0(zero).

Mark Zuckerberg said, “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

The new Facebook Algorithm will be prioritizing posts that spark conversations.  The posts that are meaningful and have more interactions will be put in viewers news feed higher than other posts.  Posts that inspire back and forth discussion in the comments and have higher reactions will rank higher than those posts that are just liked.

What does this mean for businesses with Facebook Pages?

The decrease in Facebook pages’ traffic and their posts’ reach has been happening for almost a year now. Even live videos don’t reach as far as they used to. Pages that post continually about events and don’t have meaningful interaction will continue to see a decrease in their reach, video watch time and overall traffic.

On average live videos get 6 times as much interactions as other posts on Facebook. Interactions include discussion below the video. These videos get shared, and many people interact with them. Facebook mentions this in their news release about the Facebook Page update. Therefore,  posting Facebook Live videos are going to be beneficial to your page especially if your video sparks discussion. However, if the video doesn’t spark interaction it will not do as well as it used to.

It’s important to note that using “engagement bait” techniques that don’t promote authentic interaction will be penalized.  An example of this would be “Likes this if you’re a Gemini!” These posts are considered spammy by Facebook. If you’re using these types of tactics, you can expect to see a decrease in traffic.

What about Facebook Groups?

A lot of businesses will most likely be switching over to groups if they haven’t yet.   This is a great opportunity to tune in a little farther with a specific audience. This is a great opportunity to ask them questions and find out what problems you can solve. This also encourages discussion and interaction among the people in your group. Groups, as Zuckerburg suggested will most likely be getting better-targeted traffic sources.

Technical Reminder

It is still possible to see posts from the pages that you have liked. All you have to do is go to the page that you like and then click on “following”.  A  screen will pop up that will allow you to select “see first”.  This means that when a page post, you will see this first on your news feed.  This is not affected by the new Facebook Algorithm.

Facebook Change Summary

It’s important to remember that Facebook is a platform that we rent we do not own. Facebook Pages is different from a platform such as a website we own.  We have control over what happens with our website’s platform. Facebook is a business and they’re allowed to change their business and their policies in a way that works for them. 

As I always have,  I encourage you to continue to gather emails by providing a place of conversion on your website where people are able to sign up.  For example, they can sign up for newsletters or download something free.  You then can nurture them through email campaigns to a point of conversion for your products or services. Your website will continue to be a stable place to do business.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by constant technology updates including changes in Facebook algorithms and other “in the now” changes that affect your business?  We’re here to help!