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Facebook’s algorithms make a difference at a stupendous scale, and there’s no need to know ‘why’.
Marketers have their huge money rolling inside of Facebook (to attract an audience for their brands, of course), which is enough to understand why algorithms send ripples of anxiety and excitement across the biz world.
An Overhaul to News Feed That’s Has Shaken Up A Lot Of Fortunes
A month ago, Facebook changed how our news feed will look like, where it talked about prioritizing posts that drive meaningful conversations, particularly those coming from friends and family. This means, we’d see more content from the people we’re closely connected with, and less of brands, businesses and media posts. It was done to ensure better person-to-person interactions, relevance of content we scroll through on our news feeds, and, that ‘Facebook is time well spent’.
Here’s an excerpt of the post by Mark Zuckerberg, announcing the decision.
Read the full post HERE.
The announcement, as expected, brought the marketers to jitters, because they’re put at a risk of losing their visibility and organic reach, which they’ve built over years out of their toil and hard work.
Given the apprehension in the air, we’ve given ourselves a purpose to give you a low-down on the News Feed Algorithm by Facebook if you’re uninitiated. Also, we’ll help you find other ways to keep reaching out to your target audience even after this freakish update.
Ready to learn the ropes? Let’s hit it.
Facebook News Feed Algorithm
What The Fuss Is All About?
You see several thousand stories appearing on your news feed daily, though not every story might be relevant, or engages you.
The ‘News Feed’ algorithm hits the nail where it matters the most. Facebook, in keeping with its objective of relevancy of content and equally consequential, has decided to put stories in an order according to how likely a user might interact with them.
This is also seen as an attempt to prioritize genuine, informative, and valuable stories over the misleading, bogus and spammy content.
To put either way, it aims at sifting out the non-relevant stories, which aren’t meaningful and don’t encourage users to involve with the content. All this will be decided as per the users’ behavioral patterns and social media tendencies.
Since we love to share, comment and like what our friends and family post, and have proclivity for only a handful of brand-related and entertainment content, our news feed from now onwards will only show what we take interest in, so that there can be maximum engagement.
This is what Mr Zuckerberg had to say:
“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”
What Does This Update Meant For The Marketers?
Understandably, the update sent shock waves to a whole clutch of marketing community, because it aimed at:
- Limiting the public content coming from business and news channels;
- Cutting brand reach & taking the user accessibility curve down;
- And, making marketers reel under the loss of their hard-invested money.
We can safely deduce that our news feeds will not be as expansive as they’ve been before. You’ll shown only what piques your interest and drives interaction between two people, which has been the core motive of Facebook as a communicative platform.
Facebook promotes community engagement, period. It constantly improves its services to improve user experience and ensuring a deep and sustainable relationship with the world and reality.
Image Courtesy: TechCrunch
The above image represents the scheming of news feeds before this latest algorithm rolled out. Now, here’s how the Facebook will decide what stories to prioritize and what not on your news feed. Read carefully.
News feed prioritization will be done on the basis of:
1- What content you share on your timeline, and on the messenger (as links);
2- What kind of contents are sparking your interest to comment & type multiple replies;
3- What contents are benefitting you at large (meaningful interactions);
4- Overall trust score of the publishers;
Adam Mosseri, Head – Facebook News Feed, in an official press release, said:
So, if you succeed in creating content that performs well on any of these signals, you can continue building a sizeable and enviable reach for yourself, even better than your expectations.
Sure, it isn’t a walkover. So, it’s important to understand the ‘ACTIVE’ and ‘PASSIVE’ ranking factors to get better of this algorithm. Take a look.
NEWS FEED FACEBOOK ALGORITHM: THE TOP RANKING FACTORS
ACTIVE INDICATORS – THE POSITIVE SIGNALS
Adam Mosseri, in the same press release, further added that:
“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed.”
He warned that, “using engagement-bait to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”
For those at sea, engagement-bait posts are of two types:
Facebook posts, gaining maximum traction and compelling you to share them with your network, will automatically scale higher on the News Feed.
If you scroll above to find the ‘signals’, we’ve mentioned about the types of ‘sharing’ Facebook will consider to get you a customized feed. It includes:
The content you share within messenger.
Publisher posts (shared by your friend/family member) where you stayed for a while and interacted with.
Adam Mosseri also elaborated that:
“The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. 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.”
He clearly emphasized the significance of ‘reacting’ to comments as a part of active engagement, and specified that brands, which are unable to create interesting posts, will plummet.
PASSIVE INDICATORS – THE NEUTRAL SIGNALS
Clicking on any post
Watching a post.
Viewing/Hovering over a post.
Now that you’re clear about what hoopla the new Facebook Algorithm is, it’s time to bring in the solution. Below, we’ve curated a list of to-dos for the publishers to create content that leverage ‘meaningful conversations’, make it reach the maximum audience, and garner a good organic reach across the board. Check them out.
Take Notes, Because We Tell What Social Media Marketers Can Do About The New Facebook Algorithm.
Tip One – Channelize Emotions to Boost Relevancy Instead of creating brand-centric content, focus on content that triggers a flush of emotions and persuades audience to either comment on, or share it. This can be usual psychological influxes, like happiness, sadness, laughter and joy. Strike a chord, my fellow humans, strike a chord.
Tip Two – Hire Journalists and Media to Take Your Content Leaps Further Spike up the activities on your posts by having journalists on the board. Pull in some action by asking them to comment and comment more often, pick questions that extend to discussions, and do AMAs (Ask-Me-Anything). Hiring paid media to boost user engagement isn’t a bad idea either.
Tip Three – Create Live Videos to Ramp Up Engagement Adam Mosseri gave an insight into the importance of live videos and said: “Live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities.” As per statistics, over 500 million people are watching Facebook videos each day (via Forbes) and videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined. This makes a stronger case for the use of videos than anything else. Give it a shot.
Tip Four – Tagging People in Posts? No, Stop! Tagging people in the brand posts, frankly, seems nothing but an idea out of a dimwitted mind. Avoid that, because it’s hardly dubbed as ‘meaningful’ by Facebook. It’s an effort destined to go in vain.
Tip Five – Facebook Groups Pack Great Punch Facebook groups are a bunch of like-minded people, having similar tastes, opinions and interests. It’s always great to connect with such active and experienced communities, where people unite from different walks of life to discuss about stuff they care about. There’s a high probability of a post, jump-starting conversations in a group and connecting people across the world, if it’s relevant and carries value. Creating a Facebook group boosts your chances to get a word for your brand and dedicated a private incubating space to people, who like to talk and share their ideas/thoughts. You can post images, link your blogs, announce an event, push PRs and other necessary stuff to connect with your ally.
Facebook is already an addiction and has got up by our hooks. The beauty, that it’s improving itself to help up get the best of it and enrich our social experience, is a tall testimony of it being tactful and considerate towards people.
Brands, for a little while, might feel a bit of stagnancy in the wake of News Feed algorithm. But, a judicious approach and an unfailing willingness to re-evaluate the strategies to monetize Facebook might turn the tables around. And success? Well, it’s all a matter of time.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below. To read more such posts visit my personal blog Bloomtimes