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   News    Cracking the new Facebook Algorithm
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Cracking the new Facebook Algorithm

Facebook is updating their algorithm again. It’s time to freak out! After all, over the past few months, Facebook has slowly been killing off the free ride business pages have previously enjoyed. But let’s just take a moment to settle down and breathe. Here’s what’s happening with the latest update.

One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.We built…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 11 January 2018

Here’s what’s really going to happen.

Business pages, brands and publishers are going to find their content appearing less in the news feed. That’s a fact. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Natural engagement, or ‘meaningful interactions’ will be prioritised under this new algorithm. Basically, Facebook is attempting to hark back to its origins as a social network. You know, when people use to post daily updates of their lives, actually talk to their friends and family and not just randomly scroll through the platform attempting to gain as many likes as possible.

This means that posts, where discussion occurs, will see a higher boost from the algorithm.

Because Facebook is simultaneously prioritising in your feed the content your friends and family engage with, it also means that what you comment on will appear in your family and friends’ feeds. (So maybe think twice before commenting something nasty m’kay?)

A simple one-word comment won’t be enough to keep your pages in the feed though.

Under this natural engagement system, Facebook is weighing comments. Head of Newsfeed Adam Mosseri stated that, “some of the specific things would be like we’re going to be (weighing) long comments more than short comments, because we find regularly that if you take the time to actually write a more thoughtful perspective on something that correlates positively with a comment that someone actually would respond to or Like”. This is going to hit pages hard. And I’m probably not helping any of the pages I follow with this because of my fondness for responding in GIF form. It was also stated that sharing a post would not have the same weight to it that it currently has. It’s all about the length of these comments. Because Facebook currently considers size to equate to quality. Must be a male thing.

But what the heck is natural organic engagement and how is that different to what pages currently post?

Well, there’s a big difference between organic engagement and click-baiting. Posts that involve click baiting will be negatively impacted by this update. That includes those fun little reactions for votes, like this and share this and tag a friend type posts. That’s not to say that you can’t post the occasional as a means to run a competition, but continuous use of these posts will see a drop-in reach across the page in general. With this update, Facebook is forcing businesses to create quality content instead of utilising loopholes to boost reach.

Videos will also be impacted.

Whilst this form of content has previously enjoyed its little high, this wave is crashing down. Adam Mosseri clearly laid that out when he said, “There will be less video. Video is an important part of the ecosystem. It’s been consistently growing. But it’s more passive in nature. There’s less conversation on videos, particularly public videos”. That’s not to say that video is unimportant and should be stricken from your strategy, it just means that your videos need to ignite conversation in order to gain publicity. In saying that, because of the reactive and engaging manner of Live videos, Live videos will continue to reap the benefits of an active, natural boost.

Group feeds will also benefit from this update.

Zuckerberg said this himself, “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups”. Therefore, if you can create an engaging group for your business, it may just be more beneficial than a page. Here’s the trick though, a group cannot survive and thrive if you’re simply using it spam people with adverts and products. Groups need to be authentic community melting pots.

Facebook is also pushing back against content that leads away from the website.

Whilst they already do this to an extent, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. As a result, you won’t be able to post a link to a blog post and find the traffic to your website grow. Why? Because people aren’t interacting and engaging with each other on the Facebook platform. She is a jealous beast after all. To gain traffic to your website, you’ll either need to pay to promote or find other means to gain attention.

So that’s what’s changing, but what does that mean for marketers and businesses?

Not to get into an Economics 101 lecture, but supply and demand are going to be a factor. As pages see their reach further decrease, they’ll turn to paid adverts which will, in turn, force the price of running ads up. For small businesses, this could be a deal breaker. So how do you combat this?

  • Consider using live video. This form of post is still being boosted by Facebook, so, if it makes sense, work it into your strategy.
  • Create a Facebook group. Just remember that you can’t really use groups like your page. It’s not all about you. Groups are difficult to build and even harder to maintain. They take a lot of work, but they are hugely beneficial when done right.
  • Use your other assets. Never underestimate the value of a mailing list or your website. You own these. Work these and use social as a way to grow them.
  • Diversify. Don’t rely on the one platform. Instagram is rapidly growing. Set up shop over there, but don’t abandon Facebook just yet.

It’s not all doom and gloom. While these updates to the algorithm will certainly make it more difficult to be seen on Facebook, the quality of the content that will be filtered through to your feed is likely to be far greater. These updates are going to force businesses to up their digital marketing game and not rely on cheap tricks. Is your business ready for it?

  • adzoo Social Community Management Team
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