January 11th, 2018, the day that will forever be remembered as the day that all Social Media Marketers collectively hung their head in collective discouragement.
Our Facebook business pages have been growing, and, we’re told, they’re an integral part of our marketing efforts. With that, we’ve been honing our posting formula to ensure that our audience not only sees our posts, but is compelled to click on them, like our page, engage, and continue to watch out for what we will post next. Just as we seem to be hitting our Facebook marketing stride, the social media platform announced that as of Jan. 11th, 2018 and going forward, our jobs are going to become exponentially harder. Meet the “Facebook algorithm changes 2018”.
It’s here to make our lives harder. Sorry. Seriously. For us as well as for you. We’re all in this boat together.
That being said, that’s where we come in. We’ve been studying, and experimenting. Below, we will take you step by step through the Facebook Algorithm Change, and show you just how to spin it to your business’s advantage. We have lovingly crafted this blog to ensure that your business can get found, get heard, and get crackin’!
What does the Facebook Algorithm Change 2018 mean for business pages?
Mark Zuckerberg has been throwing around terms like ‘quality content’, ‘authentic communication’, and ‘meaningful interactions’ quite a lot since the launch of Facebook’s new algorithm changes. While this sentiment may be good for the morale of Facebook users, the fear for small businesses is that Facebook business pages market in vain, posting to the wind, and our mothers… unless they put money behind the majority of posts. It works for….them. So what does it all mean….to us?
Basically, for the foreseeable future, Facebook will be assigning a value to each and every post that shows up in a user’s feed, and ranking the post according to that value. The highest ranking posts will be shown up at the top of their feeds, and the not so highly ranking posts will be dropped down to the bottom…or be not shown at all.
How does this ranking system work? Higher values will be given to posts that create a fulfilling experience for the user. This will involve posts from family members, close friends, and groups. Within those top tiers of posts, more value will be given to the friend, family member, or group that you most frequently comment on, like, share, and react to.
All fine and dandy for your personal profile page.
But we’re sure you’ve noticed an important point here: There is no mention of where and how business pages are ranked. That is for the simple fact that Facebook has decided that business page’s posts are socially empty, unfulfilling, and involve forced conversation. Soooo…..
“As we roll this out,” Zuckerberg wrote, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Features such as “unfollow,” “hide” and “see first” help your followers create their own experience as according to the value system we mentioned before. For this reason, it will be very important to encourage your followers to click on the “see first” option for your page in order for the Facebook algorithm to learn that your page is meaningful for them. Folks can now curate their feed to see more of what’s important to them first. It’s a start, and we talk more about that here.
With that said, you must tread carefully when it comes to encouraging your audience. There is a fine line between encouraging and promoting authentic communication, and Engagement Baiting.
Stick with me.
In the above image, you can see that there are many different types of engagement baiting, but in essence, if you blatantly tell your follower to “Like this post!’, “Comment below”, or “Share this post”, it’s now categorized by Facebook as a big no-no. Moreover, if you incentivize these actions by stating that if they, like, comment, or share they will have a chance to win something, you can pretty much guarantee that this post will never see the light of a phone screen.
Well hmmmm……this is a strategy that has helped many a post go viral, especially with the promise of a prize at the end of the tunnel. And hey! It’s creating engagement.
Again, THANKS MARK
What does “Meaningful Interactions” mean, and why? Tell us WHY?
Essentially, Facebook has made this bold change to emphasize quality over quantity. For the good of the overall user. The social media powerhouse’s goal ( they SAY) is not for you to spend as much time as possible on their platform. Rather, they want to see the time that you spend is quality time, resulting in ‘a sense of well-being’.
We’ve all experienced that feeling of ‘oh God, I’ve just spent hours scrolling through my feed, and now my day is gone’.
Facebook defends their algorithm change by saying they want to get rid of the (to put it in my own words) news feed time warp, and the feeling of emotionally, and mentally unfulfilling time spent.
So it’s time to up our game, creatives.
So how do I create ‘Meaningful Interactions’?
Below are the top 7 ways that you can create meaningful interactions that will help you to rank higher in your audience’s news feed.
1. Publishing High-Quality Content
How do you know if you are posting high quality content? Ask yourself, is this content original? Is this content relevant? Will my audience appreciate reading/viewing it? Am I ensuring that this post will fulfill a need for my followers…and one that they will be inclined to share, and for others to like and comment on?
If you’ve answered yes to all of these, you’re probably posting high-quality content.
2. Post Interaction-worthy Content
Are you organically encouraging interactions and engagement by the type of things that you post? If you’re not sure, here are some tips:
3. Ask questions
Questions lead to answers, which typically come in the form of a comment. Comments in the new algorithm equate to engagement. Easy as that! Be sure to ask open ended questions (not questions that can be answered by a ‘yes or ‘no’) as they will be most likely to spark conversation by not only the user answering the question, but by the next person to read the post.
4. Post about trending and relevant topics
Post about what’s happening right here and right now. Most likely, it will already be on everyone’s mind, and they will already have formed an opinion on the subject. Use the post to encourage them to voice their opinion!
5. Make it personal
Facebook is currently rewarding personal and fulfilling interactions…so why not make your posts a little more personal? We are by no means implying that you should be unprofessional, but it could benefit your page to remind people that behind your brand is a person, or many collective, individual people.
6. Make it a group activity
Is your business Non-profit? Or is it very involved in the community? Is it a local business? Does your business currently have a network of people that support it? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then your business will profit from working the Facebook system a bit. Facebook is currently ranking personal profiles and groups highest on user’s news feeds, which means that if you create a group for your business to emphasize the community and more personal aspects, you could be ranking very high indeed! Be sure to inform the followers of your page that you are creating this group, and encourage them to follow and engage in it.
7. Take advantage of Facebook Live videos
Yes, posting videos from your YouTube channel will probably spark interest, engagement, and conversation. But you can top that by using a Facebook Live video! Interact with your audience in real time (which will also help you rank higher), and then have that video remain on your feed as a reminder to your followers, and Facebook of all the great, and fulfilling conversation you’ve supplied them with.
8. Stop continuously taking them off of Facebook
We know this is a tough one, as we also have been creating CTA’s and linking out to our websites or blogs, the ultimate destination. Stop doing that all the time. Leave some quality content right there, on Facebook. Remember what they are looking for – a quality experience right on their platform, not off of it.
Did you promise yourself when you graduated from school that you would never deal with another algorithm again? Not to worry, we take care of that. Do your past self a favor, and give us a call today. We can help. We can even take it off of your plate.
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