The Facebook Algorithm is constantly changing, that it’s hard for users and brands to keep up. The reason for these constant changes are to provide a better user experience, Mark Zuckerberg assures. 😏
Facebook wants to make sure, that we have meaningful interactions and is, therefore, prioritizing posts from family and friends in the Newsfeed.
In their public announcement they pointed out, that Business Pages will see a decrease in engagement and even more so if Pages make posts that are not engaging.
“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
This change in the Facebook Algorithm sparked a lot of fury amongst businesses. All the hard work people were putting in and then having to fight your way to the top. That is, of course, quite frustrating.
So let’s take a look at how the new Facebook Algorithm works.
Facebook believes that a person-to-person connection is more important than a person-to-page connection.
Think about it. How many times do you see a funny video or meme and send it to your friends via Messenger? Or even tag them in the comments?
This is a reason why such pieces of content get ranked higher in your Newsfeed. Because people interact with it.
You need to produce content that adds value and is meaningful to your audience. And meaningful can also mean funny, because it gets you to react.
Ranking Factors in the new Facebook Algorithm
Facebook will favor engaging content which drives to interaction, as I just mentioned.
So here are some factors which contribute to ranking in the Newsfeed:
- Engagement (how many likes, how many comments)
- Time spent on content
- People interacting with the content (through tagging their friends or sharing over Messenger)
- Sharing (if the post gets shared and how many times)
- Who shares it (content is more likely to appear if friends share something)
Now some may think that a clever way to reach engagement is tag/comment baiting. Let me tell you, that this is not the way to go. It has been mentioned before, that Facebook highly frowns upon this and it may be a reason for you to get dismissed from the Newsfeed.
Here is an example of an engaging piece of content from Deliveroo, who is doing a really good job on Facebook.
The post is simple, yet funny and engaging and relevant to Deliveroo’s audience. That’s why it has been shared 87 times and liked by more than 5.1K users!
However, there are also alternatives you can focus on, if your Facebook Business Page and the new algorithm is giving you nightmares.
Here are some alternative channels you can focus on instead of the Facebook Business Pages:
- Facebook Groups
- Messenger Marketing
- Facebook Ads
- Private Facebook
- Stories: Instagram + Facebook
Facebook Groups are the new favorite for Marketers when it comes to Facebook Marketing. The reason for this is quite simple. Organic reach is still working in Facebook Groups and you have more control over it.
Since Groups function like your own community, engagement works well here and again, the control is in your hands. The great advantage of Groups are the discussions they fuel and hence make members participate in the conversation.
The conversation on Facebook Business Pages is rather more one-sided, with the opportunity for your fans to comment, however not to actively start a discussion, though.
Facebook Groups are usually around a purpose which drives the community together, so it is not limited to personal brands. “Branded Communities” is the right term for this and many brands choose to have their own group as well.
Groups are probably the best way to leverage engagement at the moment, after the updated Facebook Algorithm. However, don’t lay all your eggs in one basket.
Another way to gain back your reach in the new Algorithm on Facebook is through the Facebook Messenger. You may have noticed an increase in Facebook Pages using this tool to reach directly out to their customers / followers.
It is like e-mail marketing, just easier to reach out. Facebook Messenger connects you directly to your customer and it is also seen in the lock-screen (unless this has been turned off). Therefore you get almost 100% visibility through this marketing channel.
You can use this in a variety of ways. Like E-Mail marketing, you can capture leads through the Facebook Messenger and deliver, for example, your lead magnet to them through this channel.
Or, you can also set up a bot, that answers to comments or questions via the messenger app and sends information to your fans.
This is still a very new tool for marketing, but some brands are already using it very effectively.
Take a look at this article by CMO of how 5 brands are using Facebook Messenger for Engagement.
Also belongs to Facebook, in theory, but the channel still functions differently and can be greatly used to your advantage. In many ways, it functions completely differently from Facebook, since it is a very purely visual platform.
However, once you have gotten acquainted with Instagram, you will notice that the opportunities on Instagram are also quite big.
Having reach and growing works differently on Instagram and, in my opinion, it is a lot more about community, still. You can be “seen” through hashtags and interacting with other accounts from your account and have a conversation going, which you can’t really do with Facebook.
Facebook is a business, after all, and wants to make money out of its business. The best way to make that? Through Business accounts!
Now you may think it’s a bit paradox to gain more reach on Facebook by spending money on Facebook Ads, but it makes sense.
Some may even argue that the reason why the organic reach is so low, is because Facebook is trying to make money through Business accounts.
If you compare the price you pay for Facebook Ads, to other mediums, and how targeted and effective they can be, then this is definitely more bang for your buck.
Maybe you have already noticed: even the Business Pages you have already ‘liked’ and are maybe your friend’s business, don’t really appear in your feed.
For example, I have a friend who is a travel blogger (Megan Starr) and she has a Facebook Business Page. Although I interact with her posts – granted I see them – they mostly do not appear on my Newsfeed.
However, since she is a marketer herself, she shares her updates also on her private Facebook. Since I am friends with her and regularly interact with her in this way, I am much more likely to see her posts once she shares them also on her private timeline.
This is a smart way to gain reach and to be shared through your connections on your private Facebook.
Stories: Instagram + Facebook
Although Stories is a feature that Instagram snatched out of the hands of Snapchat, it has meanwhile outgrown Snapchat and become one of Instagram’s greatest tools that they are investing more and more into. A short while ago, the option of adding Stories to Facebook was launched as well.
Now you can share short clips, that are 15 seconds long and stay in your Stories Feed for 24 hours, before vanishing.
Stories are not only useful for posting personal content but to also tell a story – your business’ story. It can be in video, image or written form – the creativity is all yours!
Now you can add hashtags and use geotagging to gain even more reach in your Instagram Stories AND (like that wasn’t enough) you can share your Story to your Facebook Stories as well. This has a big multiplier effect.
Through announcing the changes in the Facebook Algorithm, it seemed like Marc Zuckerberg dropped a bomb on many people. If you ask me, it was only a matter of time that this would happen.
Facebook is a business. Just like you, who wants to grow their business, Facebook wants to grow their business too.
The changes are really not that dramatic and with a few clever tweaks and leveraging all features of the platform, your business will be fine!
However, as all marketers would tell you, don’t lay all your eggs in one basket. At the end of the day, you don’t own Facebook and have no control over other changes that may happen in the algorithm. Always prefer owned channels first, but acknowledge that we also need to use third-party tools in our marketing. Such as Facebook.
Do you have any other clever tips and tricks to benefit your Facebook Business Page after the new Algorithm change? Let me know in the comments!