Devote Digital

Major Facebook Algorithm Updates

Earlier this year, Facebook announced major Facebook ad algorithm updates which will affect every single business advertising on Facebook. Some were touting it “The Facebook Ad Apocalypse”!

Don’t be fooled - this isn’t just a small version 2.0 to version 2.1 Facebook algorithm update, it’s more like a version 2.0 to version 3.0 level of change - meaning, it’s completely changed the game, and it’s important that you understand how.

The core of the change is this - businesses who aren’t already performing well organically, will find it more expensive to advertise on Facebook.

That’s right - Facebook is now rewarding businesses who receive great organic engagement, by giving them cheaper advertising rates.

This means those who are reaching more people, providing quality content and engaging, will see real dollar savings. .

If you’re wondering how to reach more people on Facebook organically, so that you can enjoy cheaper advertising rates, we’ve covered that previously so check it out !


Better engagement = better results!

If you’re getting great engagement from your content, you will see the benefits in your paid advertising. To talk specifically, those who see good engagement will potentially see their CPM’s (cost per thousand impressions) drop. Putting it simply, the people who are already doing social well, are likely to see more bang for their buck.

If we’re putting some numbers against this, the average CPM is sitting at $12, which has already doubled in the past 12 months. Some of the better performing brands we partner with are  seeing CPM’s as low as $2 or $3. Comparatively, some brands who have had consistently low engagement levels may blow out to $20.

This means that to reach the same audience, one brand could be paying $3 and the other could be paying $20. You can see how it pays to be good on social!

Ok, I understand I want my CPM’s to be low, but why would I be charged more for the same ad space?

These changes have come about because the Facebook news feed is more or less sold out!

The platform has grown astronomically and the news feed is now prime advertising space.

Brands are competing for this advertising real estate, and Facebook has every right to be compensated for the brands to market to their audience in those spaces.

Think of it like a magazine and you’re a surfing brand. Let’s say there is one advertising spot in a surfing magazine and there are 20 brands willing to advertise there. The magazine could pick and choose which one is most relevant, then charge accordingly.

The magazine would want to look after its readers best interests and advertise a high quality brand, using great creative. Facebook is no different - they want to prioritise content and Facebook ads from high quality brands so that Facebook users keep using the platform.


Alright! So I need to be relevant. How do I get great engagement on my Facebook posts?

Algorithms will constantly change the game - that we know. , But there are some basic engagement best practices that give you a better chance of increased engagement.

One of the key’s is to carry your offline customer service skills into the online. Would you ignore someone who took the time to visit your store and look around? Of course not. So if someone comments on your posts on Facebook, or sends you a message, it only makes sense to acknowledge them!

We call this being a good social business. Facebook will reward you for doing so and enticing your community to like, comment, share and overall, have quality and meaningful interactions with your pages’ content. You can read more about recent Facebook algorithm updates where Zucks publicly states that Facebook is prioritising meaningful interactions.

Part of the status update Mark Zuckerberg shared earlier this year outlining sweeping Facbeook changes, including prioritizing meaningful interactions and community. Photo Credit: Sweaty Wisdom.

How quickly can this affect my ad spend?

Depending on your campaigns, you can see some of these efforts come into effect in a short period of time.

Recently we ran a page post engagement campaign for one of our clients that already had a few hundred comments on the post. We then jumped in and engaged with those people and the CPM for that campaign almost halved overnight.

For instance if you were putting $10 per day into your ads and your CPM was $10, your ads would be seen 1,000 times per day. If your CPM halved overnight, you’d be receiving 2,000 views for your $10. That’s pretty good odds!

How did we receive hundreds of comments on the original post? Check out this blog on how to “social proof” a Facebook ad to increase engagement.

there are no shortcuts to community engagement!

McDonalds might be able to set up self-service counters and automate their customer service, but when it comes to community engagement, you have to do the heavy lifting!

To reply to everyone who comments on your posts definitely takes time, but those who put in that time, reap the rewards. Setting and forgetting simply doesn’t work.

Facebook can tell when you’ve scheduled a heap of content and then not engaged with your community. They can also tell when you haven’t replied to your private messages. If you’re taking 2 days to reply to a private message, not only is it a terrible customer experience, but it punishes you when it comes time to place ads as well.

The best brands have great lifestyle content, quality followings of engaged people, great branding and add value to their audience or community. They consistently focusing on giving a great experience, rather than just taking from their customers.

So that’s it! Simply be a good social business and you’ll be rewarded!

At the end of the day, it’s fairly simple. Create great content and be a great business on social. Provide value and engage with your community. Facebook will reward those who are doing the right thing. If not, you’re going to be paying much more to get premium ad space.