Here we go again…Mr Zuckerberg is fiddling with his bits again!
Facebook have just released details of an update to their algorithm which to you and me means what?
The recent update now appears to place far more importance on not just people liking our posts but actually reading them first and THEN liking them. This has been put in place to determine exactly what content appears in your News Feed on Facebook.
Facebook have the ability to focus on the actual strength of these signals and can now determine which stories appear in your New Feed and where. Facebook themselves have tried to explain all to us to help us, as business page owners, how this all works…
“The actions people take on Facebook—liking, clicking, commenting or sharing a post—are historically some of the main factors considered to determine what to show at the top of your News Feed. But these factors don’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to you.”
As a result of this recent update (bought in on 1st February 2016) you may have seen your already declining organic reach decline even further.
Facebook`s Quality Control
How are Facebook are managing and controlling this?
They have introduced a human element whom they call their `Feed Quality Panel`. This is basically a large group of Facebook users (more than 1,000 I am led to believe) who provide regular feedback on the type of content they wish, or do not wish, to see every day in their News Feed. In addition to this, as a user you may have had a prompt to answer a short survey recently asking for your feedback too.
One of the user feedback surveys asks the following questions:
How much do you agree with this statement
I want to see more posts like this on Facebook
- Strongly disagree
- Neither agree or disagree
- Strongly agree
Apparently these two elements combined are producing and receiving literally thousands, we are talking 10,000+, of survey results from users every single day and as you can see not all `Likes` are scored as equal. This for us as business owners and Page Admins may seem a pain in the butt…but, what Facebook are attempting to do here is create a valuable user experience.
This large amount of data is enabling Facebook to accurately predict what type of content appears in your News Feed, content they think you will find interesting, relevant and useful.
The Big One!
The most important factor, in my opinion, is the ability to determine the time actually spent reading your posts, this is an update they bought in back in June 2015 and is now enhanced with this recent update at the beginning of February 2016.
Facebook studies the behaviour of each user and determines which content was `Liked` before before and after reading the content. It is basically saying that a `Like` after reading the content is actually more valuable because as a user you have taken the time to actually read it rather than just hitting the `Like` button. As a result if you publish a post that your followers read first and then `Like` this will score better in their algorithm t and rank higher in the users News Feed.
For me useful, relevant and interesting content has always been the key to getting engagement and getting your posts seen, with this recent update I believe it is even more important.
So, Martin what does it all mean?
What all of this actually means is that it even more important now to create and publish meaningful content that our followers want to see. Facebook want every one of us as a user on their platform to have a positive experience otherwise we would all be gone and moved on to another platform.
As business owners and marketers we need to be producing content that users will actually read and THEN `Like`, `Comment` or `Share`.
So as well as producing this excellent content what else can we do to halt the slide in reach of our posts?
Facebook themselves have given us a clear indication of how to avoid being penalised by this recent update:
- Avoid asking users to take an action to encourage more clicks
- Terms such as “you won`t believe what happens next..” (yes, we`ve all seen them!) may see your posts hitting `Strongly disagree` option in a user survey!
So what can we do to make our posts engaging and score highly with Facebook?
I recommend sticking to the basics if you want your content to be seen. Focus on producing quality content, sharing useful content that you know your followers will find interesting, as well as:
- Make sure your posts are relevant and timely (Check your Insights!)
- Concentrate on building trust and credibility with your followers
- Think to yourself…“would my followers want to see this content and would they share with their friends?”
Although this might seem like a complete pain in the *$%* to us as page owners or admins, I do believe this a powerful tweak that will work for us. If you are delivering value and great content then you have no problem, if you are farming for Likes, constantly ramming sales pitches down your followers throats then you may want to re-think your strategy.
All the best