On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced a major change for Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm. In his statement, Zuckerberg mentioned users could expect to “see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.” Naturally, bloggers, brands, and businesses alike began to panic.
Bloggers use Facebook along with other social media outlets to drive interested readers and traffic to their website. With this algorithm change, a large chunk of their content distribution and website traffic efforts could be annihilated.
Do you use Facebook as a means of content distribution, community building, and to accomplish marketing objectives for your blog? If so, read on to discover what this algorithm change means for your blog.
What to Expect from Facebook’s New Algorithm
As a result of less branded content in personal Facebook feeds and fewer users on the platform, expect organic reach to plummet. With every new algorithm change, Facebook page managers see a decrease in organic reach. In fact, between January and July 2016, Marketing Land reports publishers saw a 52% decline in organic reach on Facebook.
If you’re one of the lucky bloggers who hasn’t seen a drastic decline in organic reach yet, get ready to brace for the hit!
As a result, more bloggers will be forced to utilize Facebook ads to get their content seen by the right audience. With the increase in ad usage from publishers, bloggers can also expect ad prices to rise. Although the increase in ad prices may not be astronomical, it is something to keep an eye on as you execute your social media strategy.
How Do I Combat the New Facebook Algorithm?
Even though bloggers may not enjoy the new algorithm change, this isn’t a reason to abandon your Facebook page. Instead, use these tips for working with—not fighting against—Facebook’s updated algorithm.
Create and Share Engaging, Relevant, and Timely Content
Now more than ever, publishers must create and share content their audience wants or needs. Say goodbye to haphazardly sharing content solely for the sake of posting. Since Facebook’s new algorithm seeks to further improve conversations between friends, create content that sparks a dialogue or reaction.
However, when developing content, do not use engagement bait. In December 2017, Facebook announced it would begin actively demoting pages which utilize this social media tactic.
Engagement bait refers to content which asks users to tag, share, comment, like, or react to a post. When users complete these actions and drive engagement to the post, Facebook’s algorithm would “bump” it higher in the news feed. Often, these posts offer no true value to users. Thus, Facebook’s decision to tackle this lackluster form of content.
To determine the type of content you should utilize, head to your Facebook Business Manager account to review your page’s analytics. Navigate to Insights > Posts > Post Types. This dashboard will show you the types of content your audience prefers to interact with.
Additionally, review your Facebook posts over the past 6 months. What content drew the most comments from your audience? What could you improve to drive more comments and overall engagement from your audience?
With this information in mind, work diligently with Facebook’s new algorithm to continue creating and posting valuable, engaging content for your audience.
Invest in Facebook Ads
With this change in Facebook’s algorithm, the time has come to invest in Facebook advertising (if you haven’t already). Facebook advertising offers a wealth of targeting options and ad formats, ensuring your content reaches and appeals to your target audience.
To maximize your Facebook advertising results, use these tips from Buffer:
- Be specific with your audience targeting.
- Use ads to tell a story, start a conversation, and/or solve a problem.
- Always monitor your ad performance and adjust as necessary.
- Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) and track accordingly.
- Have a long-term social advertising strategy.
Most of all, your ads should never be intrusive to a user’s Facebook experience. Instead, provide genuine and intriguing advertising content for your audience to interact with.
Experiment with New Content
Instead of fearing Facebook’s new algorithm, look at it as an opportunity to experiment with new types of content. When analyzing your previous posts’ performance, look for areas where you can improve. Should you diversify your blog topics? Perhaps you should consider altering the post copy when sharing your articles. Maybe consider sharing less viral videos and making your own instead. The possibilities are endless.
Naturally, with this new algorithm shift, content types that encourage active audience participation will perform better than other forms of content. For instance, Zuckerberg mentioned in his algorithm announcement that “live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” Instead of simply sharing your new blog post, try getting your audience involved in a live video announcing the new article.
Not sure what types of content to experiment with? Consider testing these examples:
- Videos with Text Overlays
- Community Groups
- Live Videos
Also, try curating content from other bloggers’ websites and Facebook pages. Curating content not only saves time, it establishes relationships with other pages, increases your online authority, and spreads awareness of other bloggers and brands.
Use Best Practices Across All Content
To ensure your content has a chance to be seen by the right audience, make sure you follow the best practices for each form of content. Your content should be optimized for social sharing, all types of devices, and to entice a conversation with your audience.
For instance, in a study of 68 million Facebook posts, Buzzsumo found that video has a higher engagement rate than images and links. With this in mind, you’ll want to optimize your videos for the best performance. This means having:
- Engaging post copy
- High-resolution videography
- Video captions
- Video titles
- A call-to-action
For more tips on posting to video, check out this helpful resource!
Other best practices include ensuring your blog post links appear properly on Facebook using the metadata from your website. As of December 18, 2017, only verified Facebook pages have the ability to alter link descriptions and information on Facebook. This change was done to combat the rise of fake news and content.
Another best practice to follow is the 80/20 rule. This rule states that 80% of the Facebook content you post should be informative, educational, entertaining, or valuable. The other 20% can be promotional, discounts, or other offers. As a blogger, you might follow the 80/20 rule by sharing engaging articles from your blog and other sources (along with other entertaining content) 80% of the time, with the remaining 20% being contests or promotional opportunities.
Ask Fans to Follow Your Facebook Page
Facebook users have the ability to like and follow a Facebook page. If they want to see more of a page’s content, following the page will add that content to their news feed.
Don’t be shy about asking your fans to follow your page. Plus, those who are loyal to your blog and content can also select the “See First” option. This allows your content to appear at the top of their feeds.
When asking fans to follow your page, do so in a positive and thankful manner. Never force users to follow you or like your blog’s Facebook page. A simple, “To receive updates on all my new blog posts, be sure to follow my page!” post will suffice.
Don’t let Facebook’s new algorithm stop you from blogging! Continue to write engaging and captivating content for your blog. If after all of these tips and trying new tactics, Facebook’s new algorithm doesn’t end up working for your blog, move on to a new content distribution strategy or social media platform. Facebook’s algorithm shift doesn’t mean the death of your blog. It’s simply a time to experiment with your marketing and adjust as needed.
How has your blog been affected by the new Facebook algorithm? What changes did you make? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.