The Facebook Algorithm: An Update

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So, you think you know the Facebook algorithm do you? The reality of it is, does anyone actually know how the Facebook algorithm works, or do we just have a slight grasp on it thanks to blog posts and trial and error? Either way, we’re going to offer our 2 cents, and have a go at telling you what’s changed about it and how you can combat those changes.

 

How’s the Facebook algorithm working right now?

Over the past few months, pages have found it increasingly harder to reach a good amount of their audience. Why? Because Facebook have been slowly giving more and more news feed priority to posts from friends and family. We won’t go into the full debate of whether this is the right choice or not. Surely users want to see more from their friends and family, but also why would they like a page if they don’t want to see the posts? Anyway, moving on.

At the very end of June, things got even worse for page owners, and whether it’s right or wrong, they did it. It’s done. That’s how Facebook is working now and we all have to adapt to deal with the changes. That being said, a few days after everything took a major turn for the worst (with some pages experiencing as much as 8x less organic reach), it seemed to almost resolve itself. As though Facebook had realised they were making a mistake. Still, it hasn’t completely reverted to how it used to be and it more than likely never will.

Now, obviously, you’re more than welcome to send feedback to Facebook complaining about the fact that your posts are now seen by an even tinier percentage of your audience, but I’d only recommend doing this if you’re a fan of being repeatedly ignored. So what changes can be made to effectively hand yourself a ladder to climb out of the fiery pit of awfulness that Facebook have dumped you in?

 

What can we do?

There is no way to put it out without stating the obvious. Create better content. How can content be made better? By making it more engaging. It’s no longer enough to have content that is nice to read, it needs to be shareable and drive responses. “We also value comments very highly” –  a quote from Mr Mosseri, published in a BBC article. Your content is going to need to be able to start a discussion if you want it to perform well in the news feed. We can expect to see a lot more brands asking questions in their posts!

The whole principle of the news feed is to provide value to Facebook users, therefore if you want to be seen in it and prioritised, you need to provide value to the news feed that Facebook can then in turn provide to the user. It’s time to abandon posting for the sake of posting and work on creating what your audience want. Review what has performed well in the past and think about ways you could’ve encouraged more engagement, not only with the actual content but the accompanying text that it was shared with.

The Facebook news feed is also designed to entertain, therefore the algorithm will continue to favour video. If you’re not already creating video content, whether that’s little teasers or full blown campaigns, it’s time to not just consider it, but begin the journey into the visual world.

What can we expect from Facebook?

Truth be told, no matter who writes this section, whether they’re your average frequent Facebook user, a digital marketer (like me) or Mark Zuckerberg, it will only ever be based on assumption. Facebook will continue to tailor to the user rather than the companies and what the users want next is never a certainty. If the users for some reason show signs that they want more brand posts then we’ll all be in luck! We’re starting to see a slight rise in the cost of Facebook ads. This isn’t great given that organic reach is now marginally lower so adverts are becoming more necessary, but given that they are still incredibly cheap and cost effective, there’s not much room to complain.

As Facebook said themselves they view their work as “only 1 percent finished — and are dedicated to improving along the way”. You can read the entire statement they’ve given on the news feed changes by following the link below.

Facebook News Room – News Feed Update