On April 21, 2015, Facebook announced another update to their News Feed algorithm. For Facebook users and page admins, this change means two different things.
With the new algorithm, Facebook will try even harder to show users a good mix of relevant and trending content from friends/family and the brand pages they follow. They’ll show you more posts they assume you don’t want to miss and fewer updates about which stories your friends have liked and commented on.
Facebook Page admins might be frustrated by the move, but they also need to realize that Facebook’s trying to make news feed content more relevant to every user. This means everyone will see a different mix of content based on the pages and posts they’ve historically liked; the effects of this update will vary from page to page. If you manage a page or pages and craft posts that get lots of likes, shares and comments, you might not notice any difference at all.
On the other hand, if you’ve noticed another dip in engagement and are you’re looking for tips to help combat Facebook’s latest algorithm update, here are four you can start implementing today:
1. When you post videos, make sure they’re “native”
People who use Facebook as a marketing tool tend to notice when certain kinds of content get momentum. Take video. Earlier this year, it was hard not to notice the autoplay videos that were suddenly appearing in everyone’s news feeds. Almost overnight, Facebook seemed to give preference to native videos. Marketers who study their Facebook Insights and other data immediately took notice because natively uploaded videos get 52 times more views than links to videos on YouTube on Facebook, according to data from GetResponse.
So if you normally got 1,000 views on Facebook videos, you could make one small change in the way you upload the video and, voila! you could get 1500+ views. That’s a huge difference!
In case you’re wondering, here’s what the different types of video look like:
Native Facebook Video
Video with Link Posted from YouTube
2. Make sure all links are mobile ready
There are two reasons you should check links — on a mobile device — to anything you’re linking to from Facebook. This includes links to blog posts, ads’ landing pages, and downloadable resources like PDFs infographics, ebooks, etc.
First, Facebook users prefer mobile. Of Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly active users, 40 percent of them use Facebook on mobile devices only. That’s not quite a majority, but it might as well be. Each quarter, more and more people are accessing Facebook via mobile, so the sooner you think “mobile first,” the more likely Facebook will reward you. And if you’re not thinking about your users’ mobile experiences when you share content on Facebook, you’ll lose them.
A few other stats from Facebook’s 2015 Q1 report:
- Mobile DAUs were 798 million on average for March 2015, an increase of 31% year-over-year.
- Mobile MAUs were 1.25 billion as of March 31, 2015, an increase of 24% year-over-year
Second, Facebook’s algorithm detects the quality of the links you share. Since August of last year — when Facebook made an announcement about penalizing click-baiting — the platform’s news feed algorithm has been tracking “how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook.”
If a person clicks on a link you share and actually consumes the content they’ve linked to, Facebook considers the content valuable. On the other hand, if someone clicks a link and then quickly returns back to Facebook, the content gets a negative mark in Facebook’s eyes. Facebook only wants to show users the most relevant and otherwise “best” content in their news feeds, so it makes sense that links that lead people to linger get preferential consideration.
The final thing to remember is that the neither mobile nor desktop exists in a vacuum. You have to be conscious about both since what happens on mobile affects what appears on desktop, and vice versa.
3. Create unique Facebook content
Studying what other page admins are doing — whether they’re in your industry or not — will help you learn about the kinds of posts that get great reach and engagement. It’s been my observation that the Facebook posts that get the most attention have been made specifically for … Facebook.
One brand that tailors their posts especially well is Clinique. Not too long ago I listened to an episode of Jay Baer’s Social Pros podcast with special guest Shannon Otto, Clinique’s North American social media community manager (full disclosure, we sponsor Jay’s podcast so I was doing some research :)).
Clinique’s team typically doesn’t often create a post that they’d share on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr. Instead, they tend to create unique images to suit each platform.
Below are examples from Clinique — notice they are highlighting the same product, but each has a totally different feeling.
As you can see, Clinique’s Facebook image has some text overlay. The same image would never fly on Instagram because it is too sales-y. Clinique’s presumably has people looking for different things on different social networks.
Another company that does a great job of adjusting their content to suit specific networks and audiences is Tootsie Roll Industries, maker of the iconic Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pop, and a whole bunch of other sweet treats.
Here’s just a sampling of the posts they’ve recently put on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Notice the difference in the messaging, as well as the visual elements of each post.
4. Share your content as often as possible
Far too often, brands will share a blog post, video or image one time, and one time only on Facebook
When you do this, your content essentially lives one life, and then it dies — don’t let this happen to the content you’ve worked so hard to create!
Whether you use a scheduling tool like Post Planner or Buffer, or you rotate posts manually, posting content on Facebook multiple times gives your content a longer, more useful life.
Remember, only a very tiny percentage of your fans see the Facebook posts you share. Most brands have fans in different time zones, so posting the same thing more than once increases the chances that far-flung fans will see your posts. But that’s only one issue to consider.
Back in the good old days when brands could count on 16 percent of their fans seeing a post. Well, that stat is from 2012 and it is no longer the case. To give your content a better chance of being seen by a larger percentage of your fans, you have to post your content multiple times.
Facebook will continue to make changes to their news feed algorithm. The changes can be frustrating for marketers, but those of us who can adapt have a much better chance of success than those who throw their hands in the air.
Readers, I’d love to know what you’re doing to work with Facebook’s latest round of changes. Please share your tips and tricks with me below.