The Times (and Facebook’s Algorithm), They are a Changin’

It’s officially here. The new year brings new changes to the Facebook algorithm that, if you don’t already know (and you should), directly affects who does and who does not see your newsfeed ads.

A couple months ago, Facebook announced changes coming down the pipeline for 2015 that would crack down on overly promotional posts (we’re talking the organic ones here – still have fun with the ones you pay for). After an extensive survey of its users, Facebook found out (to the surprise of absolutely no one) that users were tired of seeing posts in their news feeds that came across as overly-advertising.

People hate being advertised to. Shocker. It’s why so many of us turn to social media for reaching customers, instead of traditional advertising.

But what does it mean to overly-advertise? You might be doing it and not even realize you are. You want your customers kept up-to-date and excited about your products or services. Which, yeah okay, but there’s a big difference between getting your followers excited for your business and shoving your business down their throats.

See this? This here? Don’t do this. Ever. Photo Credit: Hootsuite.com

Now don’t panic. Making the change isn’t nearly as hard as you think. It just means less pushing your products at clients and more being content driven. When a customer follows you, they aren’t doing it to constantly hear about your latest products. They’re doing it to find out what’s going on with you and your business. True, people are looking for exclusive deals and new releases, but not all day everyday.

Okay, but what does it even mean to be content driven? That doesn’t necessarily equate to just stories about your company and brand; you can still promote to your followers. But it does mean taking advantage of the tools that Facebook offers natively.

Time to drop the gunners and grab your sniper

(Or, your know, target at people. But what I said is a lot more fun.)

There are so many options to drive your posts directly to the consumers who would be most interested in that particular post. That can mean anything from geo-targeting, to interests, to demographic information. Will your post work best with post-graduate, middle-upper class citizens in Austin TX who also happen to love the music scene there? Fine. Send it to those people directly. When posting to Facebook, stop trying to air raid your consumers. Learn to point and shoot.

“Be seeing you.” “Yeah, I hope not sporadically!”

(Shut up and love my Clueless reference.)

Facebook Insights are there to make it easy for you to determine when and how often you should be posting to your consumers (along with about a billion other things Insights does). Take advantage of it. Find out which days get the most traffic on your page and what times during the day work best, and always post during those times. Not once in awhile, not when it’s convenient, not when you think you have something to say – always be posting.

One of the things about the Facebook algorithm is that it will take into account how often you post. If you only post a couple of times a week (or even less), that will lower your algorithmic score, thus lowering you organic reach.

You don’t need to post all day everyday, but at least once a day, with few breaks in between. Sometimes quantity really is better than quality. (Okay, not really, but you get what I mean. Hopefully.)

The very definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

(Translation: Don’t be boring.)

First off, don’t ever ever use a status update as a post on a business page. Not ever. Ever ever.

Do I need to repeat that? Fine.

Don’t ever ever use a status update as a post on a business page. Not ever. Ever ever.

Facebook’s algorithm has a deep-seated love for media-type posts. This means links, images, and videos (especially videos in the native Facebook player). A plain status update is an easy way to watch your post die a quick and quiet death, because no one will see it. I don’t care how high up the social ladder you’ve climbed.

It’s not limiting to rely on links, images, and videos, so use them. Liberally. But, also remember to change that up as well. When I create weekly posts for clients, I make sure to include at least one of each, if possible (not everyone has videos handy to upload). Not only will this add the sort of variety that can help reach a wide diversity of clients, it’ll also increase your algorithmic score to reach a wider number of people in general.

Best example? One of my clients gets about a ten percent return on organic reach on all posts, and this is because her videos do so well (they actually end up reaching more followers than she actually has), her return on her other posts has gone up as well.

This is a long post (because I ramble, we know this), but don’t let all the information overwhelm you. It’s really not that hard to conform to the guidelines I’ve laid out here. Chances are, unless you’re only posting on your page once every couple weeks (shame on you!), the things I’ve listed in this article shouldn’t take more than a few adjustments to what you’re currently doing now.  Good luck, and any questions, you know where to find me!

Look at me being all 2010. I am SO vintage.

Look at me being all 2010. I am SO vintage.

(Blog 3/104)

Posted by Stephanie Cole

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