Like search giant Google, social giant Facebook is frequently changing its algorithm in order to deliver a valuable user experience. The latest and rather noticeable news feed algorithm update happened at the beginning of December and chances are you immediately noticed it. Here’s a breakdown of the update.
- Relevant News: One major goal of this latest update is to show users more news articles, not just funny memes. Facebook is recognizing that 1 in 3 Americans use Facebook as a news source and is trying to make an effort to compete with the likes of Twitter (hello, hashtag?).
- Related Articles: After a user clicks on an article, they may be served with up to three suggested articles related to the one that they showed interest in.
- Stories with Recent Comments: Posts with recent comments are being pushed to the top with the new “Story Bumping” feature. This is definitely something I have noticed in my own news feed. I’m getting a chance to see more things I missed that were posted a few days (or months!) ago, but received recent engagement in the form of comments or likes.
What Does this Mean for Brand Pages? Real, Original Content Matters.
This is true for SEO and it’s true for social media. Good content is your best friend. It takes time, but it drives results and is worth it in the long run. Relevant and useful content will win. If you have built a social following on funny images and memes, you may have a rude awakening.
Engagement is Your Friend
We’ve always known that fan engagement is important, but it may have become even more important with this update. Focus on building loyal relationships with your fans and producing content that they care about and you should be ok.
What About Decreased Reach? Hard to Say.
I can’t say for sure if this update has negatively affected reach for all brand pages, but word on the street is that many brands are seeing a 44% decrease in reach. I can say that I have noticed comparable decreases first hand over last few weeks. It will be important to keep an eye on this and see what happens.
Delivering an ideal newsfeed experience to the range of people that log in to Facebook every day is no easy task. We’re sure to continue to see changes like this one, but they usually turn out to be for the best. This one is still fresh and may need some time to settle in before we know for sure how we need to adjust our marketing efforts and strategy. One thing is for sure: if you have a strategy with measurable goals, it will be easy to see what needs to be changed and adjust accordingly.