Facebook has made some recent changes to its algorithm. These changes favor the prominence of content provided by friends in News Feeds over organic content from business pages. Facebook believes that users prefer this type of information. The result is that many business posts are only showing on less than 5% of their audience’s News Feeds. The days of building large amounts of followers for the sake of promotion is over.
Facebook has stated that the following updates are being introduced. The first is that you may see consecutive posts from a single source – especially if there is a lack of content available for your News Feed. Secondly, important content from friends will be positioned higher so that there is less likelihood of you missing it. The third update concerns certain content such as brand posts that have been liked or commented on by friends. These types of posts may be much less prominent in the Feeds.
An example given by Facebook is as follows:
1.Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
2.Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
3.Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
These updates will likely influence the success of your Facebook campaigns. One consequence is that content reach and subsequent referral traffic will probably shrink – especially if there is a lack of interactions. Facebook has tried to put a good light on things by stating that total referral traffic to those that produce popular media has doubled over the past 18 months.
Referrals from Facebook play a role in the success of many social campaigns. The updates that Facebook has implemented has resulted in a drastic reduction in referrals for unpaid content provided by businesses. Facebook makes a large part of its revenue from advertising, i.e., sponsored posts. It’s in their best interest to continue this financial strategy. It is clear that they want you to advertise rather than use more organic approaches.
Facebook Page owners can continue to provide useful information that is of interest to their audience. However, it’s the users who increasingly control what appears on their News Feed by interacting with friend’s posts as well as content from other sources. Now that Facebook has devalued organic content, things have changed completely for those that have used this as a promotional channel.
What can you do? Avoid promotional posts – rather make them interesting, engaging, and offering value to the reader. You can also look for opportunities to utilize the Facebook ad channel. This can be highly effective. The goal is to drive traffic to your website and have content on your site that interests them and encourages them to return. Most social traffic, especially related to brands, is quickly lost unless you can immediately engage them.
To do this you should excite your visitors with relevant, high quality video and images, stories, reviews, and also enable access to your own engaging community. These can help keep their attention as it’s all about engagement once they reach your site. The additional benefit is that this will grow return visitors as they come back to your site for more compelling information. It’s also a good idea to develop an email list so that you can continue to develop your relationship through e-mail updates.
As Facebook changes, it’s a good idea to explore the other social platforms which may offer different engagement opportunities, e.g., YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, etc. One thing is a certainty in the field of social media marketing – nothing stays the same for long. You should be quick to react to change and also quick to adapt to new opportunities.