If you work in digital marketing, you will most likely have heard people ranting and raving about Facebook and its constant algorithm updates. Well, I’m one of those people, so my colleagues are probably pleased I’ve decided to write about the latest Facebook algorithm update, instead of talking about it.
So without further ado, let’s get into it…
What Has Happened?
When Facebook was first released to the world, the social network became a haven for businesses, where if you had a business page, you could dominate your local area online and increase your page likes organically on a daily basis. If you had page likes, you had the ability to reach those users organically in their news feeds with your content, too.
However, over the last couple of years, the changes that have been made to the algorithm mean that this is no longer the case. Facebook has slowly released several updates to its algorithms with the aim of improving the user’s experience, to ultimately keep them on the network for as long as possible. To do this, they have had to favour posts from people and punish posts from pages.
This week, Facebook released two new algorithm updates, both to enforce this ongoing effort. One update focuses on increasing the prevalence of posts from your close friends, and the other focuses on reducing the amount of click-bait style content you see in your feed.
What Does This Mean?
Let’s say your company’s Facebook page has a following of 1000 people, if you post an organic post on it you are likely to reach 10% of these people. On the other hand, if you have 1000 friends on your personal profile, and post something on there, you’re likely to reach 90% of them, if not more.
Facebook explains it here:
“We’ve begun surveying people on Facebook to ask them to list the friends they are closest to. We look at the patterns that emerge from these results, some of which include being tagged in the same photos, continuously reacting and commenting on the same posts and checking-in at the same places. We then use these patterns to inform our algorithm.”
In layman’s terms, Facebook is now using more calculations in its algorithm to decide which friends you don’t like and which friends you do.
Facebook’s ultimate goal here, to tick all their boxes, is to show users more content from the people they care about.
As with all of Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm changes, there will be a significant impact on the way that Facebook pages reach their audience. So, it is important that if you run a Facebook page for your business, you keep a note of these changes and an eye on your analytics.
The pages that are most likely to be impacted by this recent update are the ones posting shallow content which is not valuable to the user, which hopefully you weren’t doing anyway. If your content provides genuine value to your audience, you’ll still reach them, just in Facebook’s traditional limited fashion that we have all become begrudgingly used to!