What Facebook's New Algorithm Means For You

Unless you’ve avoided the internet for the past few months, you’re aware that Facebook has been undergoing changes to its algorithm. During the announcement, Facebook Creator Mark Zuckerberg said, “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.” Simply put, each user’s News Feed will display more content from friends and family—and less posts from business pages and advertisements.Good for users. Bad for businesses.Now, starting businesses, new publishers, and small entrepreneurs will find it harder than before to share information and increase their audience on Facebook—without paying Facebook to boost posts. Organic posts (non-paid) are quickly losing impact, since they are 1) Posted by a business and will therefore appear farther down a user’s News Feed and 2) Not boosted. This makes building an audience organically next to impossible. Before you start worrying about how this will hurt your business, be aware that there are a few changes you can make to your content stay afloat on Facebook’s Feed:

1. Rank and Improve your Content

Now is the time to dive into your Facebook ‘Insights’ tab. Since it is becoming harder to stay prominent on Facebook, you need to find out what content you publish has been performing best and replicate it. Look specifically at the engagement each post receives: number of comments, likes, reactions, and reach. In order to calculate the exact engagement rate of each post, add the ‘Total Engagement’ numbers together and divide by the ‘Total Reach’. Compare the Total Engagement of each post.As you perform this calculation for each post, search for patterns. What kind of content does your audience gravitate towards? Are there certain questions or materials that get the most comments or shares? Find out what works best with your audience and replicate it!

2. Keep It Natural

Posts that are dry, boring, void of emotion, and just a list of information won’t get your business anywhere. Refrain from recycling posts and playing an all-mighty authority figure. Nothing disinterests users more.Facebook’s algorithm takes into consideration what kind of content users react to, comment on, and share. Then, Facebook uses these numbers to determine what kind of content you produce and how high your posts will appear on your follower’s News Feeds. Besides keeping your audience entertained, communicating with a more natural tone will prompt users to interact more with your posts.Going a step further, ask open-ended questions. Make your content valuable to your followers. Figure out how to make your social content stand out, either with images or text. Reply to comments. Structure a conversation in your posts. You’re building a community around your business, so take pride and put in the effort!(After you’ve begun communicating more with users, start calculating the Total Engagement. As we’ve said before, find out what your audience reacts to more and replicate it in a natural manner.)

3. Don’t beg for Comments, Likes, or Shares

Your first thought may be to ‘hack’ the algorithm by asking your following to like, comment on, or share a post for random reasons. Example: “Comment your favorite clothing piece you like to shop for!” Even if you are a small clothing store trying to increase engagement on your posts, this content is still regarded as spam and will be pushed farther down a user’s News Feed by Facebook.Furthermore, Facebook has said that “…we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.” Engagement bait can be broken up into 5 categories: -Vote baiting: “Vote on your favorite image!” -React baiting: “Like this for good luck!” -Share baiting: “Share this with 10 friends for a chance to win!” -Tag baiting: “Tag all your friends who act like this!” -Comment baiting: “Comment ‘Yes’ if you love animals!"While these types of post will potentially give your posts a lot of engagement, and may even apply to your business, Facebook will demote these posts. Refrain from posting any type of baiting.

4. Consider working with Influencers

Influencers are some of the few people on social media that continue to have a wide, growing, and completely organic audience. These users have a good understanding of their audience, specifically how to create a relationship while sharing their message.Facebook has not begun regulating influencers yet, like it has for businesses, since influencers began their accounts as regular users. Since they’ve spent the time and effort connecting with hundreds to thousands of people and waiting until later to partner with brands, influencers may just be a good friend to have. Depending on your business, an influencer would be a great way to promote your business.

5. Boost Important Posts

As we’ve discussed, posting organically does not guarantee your content will be seen. Even if you’re following the right steps (posting in a natural manner, replicating the right content, etc.), the post itself may appear farther down a user’s News Feed because of Facebook’s algorithm. If you have an important information or an announcement that needs to be seen, consider biting the bullet and investing some money into boosting the post. Facebook provides businesses with the option of paying to have their post ‘boosted’, or advertised, to an audience of their choosing. In Facebook Business, companies can carefully narrow in on their target audience based on age, gender, location, interests, hobbies, etc. to guarantee the right people are looking at their post. Dates and times can be set to ensure the boosted post does not run for too long, while certain cities can be selected. This promises that a certain demographic in a certain area will see the post--which is good for small businesses who can’t afford to spend money advertising to customers too far away or who don’t fit the target demographic. If you’re a company that relies heavily on Facebook to build your business, time will be tough as you adjust to the new algorithm. But still have hope in Facebook! Now is the time to understand what your business offers to consumers, align it with the best target consumer, and find content and influencers to best spread your message.While you have been narrowing in on a target audience since the beginning, now is the time to focus on the details. Facebook will make it harder for users to see your posts unless you prepare for it and build a community around your business. If you struggle with creating content for your Facebook audience, talk to us at Content Supply. We can help structure content in a way to gain more visibility on Facebook.