Three Major Facebook Algorithm Changes – Podcast Episode 9

Three Major Facebook Algorithm Changes – Podcast Episode 9

In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its News Feed algorithm to prioritize content from “friends, family and groups” over public content from businesses and media.

In this article, we help you understand three major impacts of the Facebook algorithm changes that have been rolling out since April 2018!

Prioritising meaningful interactions

When posting on Facebook, make sure you’re putting out good and engaging content! 

Facebook has determined that people are happier when engaging with posts from family and friends rather than posts from businesses. People were coming away unhappy from scrolling through their newsfeed because they weren’t engaging with what they were seeing. 

This change will result in less visibility of content from businesses pages which can be scary. Facebook is wanting to push meaningful interactions lwith other people and groups. Rather than passively scrolling through the News Feed and occasionally pausing to “like” a photo or an article, Facebook wants users to engage in conversations with each other.

Pages making posts that people don’t react to and engage with could see the biggest decrease in distribution. Whereas pages that prompt more conversation between friends will see less of an effect. Consequently, if you were posting good content already and your community is engaged with your brand in a social way, this algorithm change would not affect you that much at all.

Engagement baiting posts will be demoted

What are engagement baiting posts? These are posts that use words like “comment below”, “like and share”, “Tag a friend”, “Enter now to win/save”. Basically any post that is prompting people to engage without being a paid post. This change will see any kind of organic post like this be actively suppressed in the newsfeed. 

Small businesses in particular that do not have an advertising budget using these type of engagement baiting posts to run competitions or giveaways to grow their page will start seeing these posts have a really limited reach and potentially no reach at all. Facebook only wants to show posts that are authentic and that encourage legitimate and genuine interaction between you and your friends and family. 

Not to fear, we are still seeing great results with running these type of competition posts that do involve some kind of engagement baiting but you will need to put a budget behind it to see it work. You can also get people to tell a story or do something a little more than just tag a mate or uploading a photo in the comments to get more valuable engagement which Facebook will recognise. 

Remember! Facebook is an advertising platform if you’re a business and this was their way of saying: If you want people to take an action, you’ve got to pay to play!

better reporting metrics

Facebook will now only be counting viewable impressions for a page’s organic reach. Previously, Facebook would pre-load 10-20 posts on your newsfeed so when you scroll past, you wouldn’t be waiting for things to load and clicking away. These 20 posts that were pre-loaded would count toward impressions even if people did not scroll past them. 

This change means that an impression is only counted if the user actually scrolled past your post which is a good thing! Your metrics and data will now be more accurate as its now only counting impressions for people who have actually seen your post. It will also be easier to compare platforms for a like for like basis. If you’re looking at Google Display Network or any type of display advertising, you can just look at viewable impressions. Because if you’re counting all impressions that are loaded with no guarantee the user has actually seen your ad, your numbers will be grossly inflated.

These changes Facebook are making are actually for the longevity of Facebook.  They’re doing it for the betterment of the platform. They don’t hate advertisers or are trying to punish them, they’re doing it because they still want to be around in 20 years. All that following you’ve put time and effort into growing will also still be around in 20 years as opposed to if they just left it and let people spam all over the platform.  Then, people would just use Facebook less and less and the result is that following you’ve built will actually be useless because no one will be using Facebook. The platform is protecting the user experience and if user experience is protected, that means more users will keep using the platform!

In a nutshell, if you have a solid niche following and you’ve built it organically, made up of real people who are genuinely interested in your business, you’re going to be ok. If you’re posting engaging content anyways, you’re certainly going to be fine.We hope this helps get you with your own strategies on how to deal with Facebook’s algorithm changes! 

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