Three Major Facebook Algorithm Updates You Need to Know

“As we roll this out, Zuckerberg wrote, You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media." How Every Business On Facebook Reacted Never has the catch-phrase “pay-to-play” been truer than it is for Facebook today after multiple Facebook algorithm updates continue to keep Digital Marketers and businesses on their toes with how they utilise the platform to reach their communities. We’re here to talk you through the changes that will be rolling out over the next few months, which will result in businesses “seeing a significant decrease in organic reach”. But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom - we’ll also talk to the strategies you can begin focusing on to ensure you’re still reaching the community that matters to you. Here’s the three BIG Facebook algorithm and reporting updates that will start taking their toll on the organic reach of your Facebook Pages.

Facebook Emphasises Meaningful Interactions... AKA Demotes Facebook Pages

In Mark's Post, He Emphasises The Importance Of Meaningful Interactions  Perhaps the biggest Facebook algorithm update this past month has been Facebook’s promise to prioritise content that it believes is meaningful to users. This primarily includes content from friends, family, and groups – not from businesses, brands and media. In a nutshell - there is only one News Feed, and if Facebook prioritises content from friends, family and groups, it will be demoting content from Facebook Pages including businesses and brands... Unless you’re providing “meaningful interaction”, you’ll now need to pay to appear in the ever-crowded (and premium) News Feed space that demands so much of peoples’ attention. In his announcement, Zucks wrote that “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.” If you’ve been #DoingDigitalRight for a while now and building a community which you provide value to, who want to engage with you, and who want to engage with their friends on your posts... Then you could be fine! If not, it might be time to review your social media strategy asap. As marketers and businesses, this new update means our content must strive to generate meaningful back-and-forth discussion amongst Facebook users. Essentially, users will be more likely to see your content if their friends and family are commenting on it. But there’s a catch...

“Engagement Bait” Posts Demoted in News Feed

Going hand-in-hand with the “meaningful interactions” update, is the demotion of “engagement baiting” in the News Feed. Which could make sparking that conversation on your content somewhat tricky! What is engagement baiting? Engagement baiting is the act of asking or requiring your community to take an action that is considered engagement. Engagement includes likes, shares, comments, tags, clicks... and so much more! Ever asked people to “leave a comment”, “share this post”, “tag a friend”? Of course you have! And for a long while, that strategy paid dividends. But, let’s face it, it is somewhat spammy and people don’t necessarily like it. Example Of An "Engagement Bait" Post. Clients Now Have To Tailor CTAs To Be "Meaningful", But Not Spammy.  With this new update, engagement-baiting will be demoted in the New Feed as asking for a comment is not considered a promotion of “meaningful interaction” and as a result you’ll need to pay-to-play if you want your posts with an engagement call-to-action to perform well.

Facebook to begin counting viewable-only impressions for Pages’ organic reach

If the above two algorithm changes don’t effect your organic stats enough as it is, this change to how Facebook reports on organic reach most definitely will. The change is fairly simple to understand. While you scroll through Facebook, your News Feed pre-loads posts so that you can scroll without waiting for posts to load. Previously, if a page post loaded below the fold (i.e. below where you are immediately looking) Facebook would count this an impression. This means that previously impressions were being counted for your posts if they had simply loaded in the feed – meaning they were not necessarily viewed. Facebook is now shifting to a viewable-only organic reach count. This means your organic reach may see a further hit.

What does it all mean?

No one knows the full scale of the effect just yet – but we’ll keep you updated over the coming months. None of these updates are surprising for us here at Devote Digital though. Facebook’s motto of “move fast and break things” means we too need to be moving just as fast and capitalizing on new updates as they come. Rolling with the punches, and pre-empting the jabs, is what we do best! We’ve pre-empted these updates for a while now and have been ensuring our clients strategies are ahead of the curve to mitigate this kind of organic Armageddon. At the end of the day, Facebook is a social platform and will always prioritize ‘social’ interactions. One of our favourite phrases is “the platform protects the user experience”. So if you also protect the user experience of your community, you won’t have issues. Looking for ways to keep and improve your organic reach on Facebook? Want to beat the Facebook algorithm? We’ve put together 5 strategies that will ensure you continue reaching your community on Facebook.