The Changing Facebook Algorithm
Why Facebook's changing algorithm is a great opportunity for social impact brands.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past six months, you probably have heard about the upcoming changes to Facebook’s algorithm.
The new update spells a radical change for the kind of content users will see in their newsfeeds. While users typically see a mix of personal posts from family and friends along with posts published by brands they follow, they will now begin seeing less public posts from businesses and pages.
The goal of these algorithm changes is to encourage more conversations between people and to return to the roots of what made Facebook so popular in the first place – a time where people’s pets and lunches reigned supreme in the newsfeed.
These changes have led many marketers to speculate how this will impact their ability to reach their target audience and some to swear off Facebook altogether. But things may not be as grim as they appear.
Brands that post high-quality, content that encourages conversation will still feature across people’s newsfeeds. According to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg “public content that encourages meaningful interactions between people” will be favoured. And this can actually be a pretty good opportunity for social impact brands.
Let me explain. Unlike corporates, social good brands have to try a lot less hard to be engaging. For example, simply sharing a heartfelt story about the impact of your work can be enough to make people want to comment on and share your posts. In turn, this kind of engagement will improve the visibility of your post, driving even more engagement and more views.
Overall, the changing Facebook algorithm can be a blessing in-disguise. Look at it as an opportunity to fine-tune your Facebook marketing efforts and really delight your supporters and customers.
Below are a few extra tips that will help put your brand ahead of others once the roll out is complete.
Post Content That Encourages Conversation
Users will still be able to see when their friends and family members engage with posts from brands, so make sure you're posting content that gets people talking. You could do this by encouraging people to tag their friends in posts, running giveaways, asking thought-provoking questions and sharing the kind of stories people simply need to comment on.
Ask Users to Add You to Their “See First” List
There's a unique setting that allows Facebook users to select which brand pages they want to appear at the top of their feeds. You may feel a bit awkward asking supporters to add you to their "see first" list, but if the kind of content you are posting is something people genuinely enjoy, they won’t mind one bit.
Invest More Time Into Facebook Ads
Your content may not be as visible with the upcoming algorithm, but you can still use Facebook advertising to deliver targeted messages to your desired audiences. As is with normal posts, Facebook ads that are genuinely interesting and provide value for their target audience will perform well under any budget. Try to always think from the point of view of your target audience – what kind of ad would they actually click on?
Above all, Facebook algorithm prioritises the kind of content people genuinely enjoy consuming. Remember, people scroll through Facebook to relax and unwind, not to read copious advertisements, so be mindful of that. Don’t constantly ask your supporters to do something, e.g. sign a petition, buy a product, go to an event, etc. Always aim to create interesting, entertaining, inspiring content that people genuinely enjoy reading.