By Anna Nørager, social media specialist
How does the changes in the Facebook algorithm effect your business?
Facebook was created with the purpose of connecting friends and family – and Mark Zuckerberg wants to return to the beginning. In January 2018 Facebook announced that going forward they will prioritize content from friends and family in the users’ News Feed rather than company content, so what does that mean for your business?
The battle of attention
Since the launch in 2004, Facebook has had its ups and downs but are to this day still the social media platform with most Danish users – and thus, Facebook are still an important marketing tool for companies. Especially the opportunity to appear in the your target groups News Feed next to posts from their friends and family are desirable since it allows the companies to create a touchpoint in which the users are actively seeking entertainment, information, and interaction.
Facebook introduced their famous News Feed in 2006, where an algorithm picks out which content that are shown to the different users based on their interaction, behavior, and interests. Therefore, the battle of the users’ attention is not new – but earlier the algorithm didn’t distinguish between content coming from companies or a users’ friend or family. This changed drastically with the latest changes to Facebooks algorithm.
Friends and family above companies
Perhaps most significant change in the algorithm, is that Facebook will prioritize authentic and meaningful interaction from friends, family, and groups over content from companies, brands, and media. This means, among other things, that it will be harder for your business to obtain wide organic reach with your content, which many companies have, already experiences with a huge decrease in their usual organic reach.
This reprioritization leads to advertising becoming a still more important part of companies’ digital strategy since advertising ensures that the content is actually reaching users and it increases the number of reached users. Also, it creates the possibility of targeting a selected audience group of potential customers instead of only reaching users within the company’s base of followers.
More authenticity, less engagement bait
Furthermore, Facebook wants to ensure that the demand about meaningful interaction also applies to companies, which means that Facebook will begin to clamp down on what they call engagement bait.
Engagement bait are characterized by content with the sole purpose of creating interaction and thereby cheating the algorithm and increasing the organic reach – instead of encouraging authentic interaction, where the users get value from either communicating with their friends or the company. Facebook mentions five types of engagement bait which are show below.
Active interaction before passive interaction
But what are authentic interactions? Facebook doesn’t provide a clear definition but emphasizes that the algorithm will from now on prioritize active interaction such as comments and shares over passive interaction such as likes and click-through. Active interaction demands a greater effort from the users than passive which makes Facebook recognize the former as more meaningful and of higher quality than the latter – and therefore, also more authentic.
This means that your business should focus on creating quality content that makes the users want to engage, interact, and spend time with your content. However, there are no right answers when it comes to quality and it differs from one target group to another. Therefore, you should always experiment, evaluate, and learn as you go.
What can your business do?
To summarize on the changes in the Facebook algorithm, we will highlight some points below that your business must be aware of moving forward when creating content for Facebook:
- Create content of quality – instead of quantity
- Give the users reason and opportunity to interact – preferably through active interaction
- Focus on investment of time – e.g. through videos that the users want to watch to the end
- Create content that encourages sharing – e.g. entertaining or visual content
- Use advertising to reach both more users and relevant users
- Avoid engagement bait
- Experiment, evaluate, and learn from your insights
Are you looking for feedback or help with your business’ social strategy? Read more about how we work with social media and online campaigns.