Saving Face: How to Survive Facebook’s Algorithm Changes

BY: ON MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

Does anything stay the same anymore in this world? It doesn’t seem like it! Between the never-ending updates to Google’s algorithm, big changes for Twitter, and now, yes—even bigger changes for Facebook, social media marketers are in for quite the ride in 2014. But, if any marketer expects to be successful, they already know they’ve got to keep their finger on the pulse of ever-evolving technology and remain vigilant in the face of seemingly constant social media updates. That’s just the way marketing works these days.

Try thinking of the new Facebook update like a Google update: when Google changes their algorithm, it alters the way you view content on the web within a search. The new Facebook update does the exact same thing—it alters the way we, the users, view content on their site.Before we get into WHAT Facebook has changed, first let’s tackle the WHY. Why, Facebook, WHY!? Well, the answer is actually rather simple.

News Feeding

Just like Google wants to make the internet a better place (the whole reason behind their updates is to improve the user’s access to top-notch websites with great content), Facebook also wants to make their site a better place. A place where news thrives, and not where it goes to die. A place where you can’t simply go viral because you posted the latest cute kitty meme or Epic Meal Time video (for the record, I’m still a fan of both).

And so, they did. Facebook altered their Newsfeed algorithm so that it doesn’t simply reward and show posts that are popular or trending, but rather, it rewards and shows posts that have value.

What kind of value, you ask? Good question.

After all, it might be valuable for me to find out what my favorite restaurant is serving on special tonight, but what about for the rest of the world? Does it matter to them?

Probably not. However, a high-quality breaking news story, blog post or some other news-heavy article WOULD matter. And that’s where you’re going to get the most traction now with Facebook.

Meaning: you’re going to have to start posting ACTUAL news on your Facebook page if you want to be successful, which gives the art of crafting a status update an entirely new kick.

Spitting Image

Imagine a world without images. OK, we might be getting a little drastic with that one, but you get the point. Whereas images were at one time the key to many things social media, NOW images matter less every day. Don’t mistake our words though: images are still HELPFUL and good to include in Facebook posts. It’s just that you can’t get away with relying on an image to carry your posts anymore.

It’s said that Facebook wants to reward brands that publish great content. So, there you have it. If you want to continue to be successful as a brand on Facebook, you need to focus on making your content the best it can possibly be.

That means if you don’t have a blog or a website, and you’re not producing original, top-notch content, you might get left in the dust. Our advice? Start blogging—NOW!

Really, Facebook is just connecting the dots to make the whole marketing world more cohesive, if anything.

The point of a blog is to offer advice about your industry to your target market, and now, there will be a big push for content creation in that realm. But it won’t stop there—that’s what you’ll be seeing on Facebook pages from now on, instead of over-shared kitty memes.

And hopefully, the end result will be that Facebook evolves into a place where we can LEARN about the things that interest us, and not just shut our brains down while laughing at Grumpy Cat.

Break from Organic Reach

The biggest impact that businesses and brands will see on Facebook (and many already are) is a drop in organic reach. In some aspects that is unfortunate, because it means that fewer people will see your status updates, but in other ways it seems to be a blessing. How? Check out these stats from a study done by social media marketing company Komfo:

Out of 5,000 Facebook pages…

  • There was a 42% decrease in organic reach
  • There was a 31% INCREASE in viral amplification
  • There was a 28% INCREASE in click through rate

So, you may not be reaching as wide a range of people as before the Facebook algorithm change, BUT—the people you will reach will likely be more engaged with your content, which is really what you WANT from your target audience in the first place.

It’s infinitely better to reach a smaller group of people who are actively engaged in your content than to reach a large group of people who don’t find your content worthwhile or valuable.

Once you learn that key lesson in marketing, you’ll feel less frustrated about the amount of people you reach, and instead, begin focusing your energy on keeping your most highly valued fan-base as close as you can through the delivery of GREAT content.

And there you have it. Chin up and go with the marketing flow. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert in crafting Facebook updates just like you were before.

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice.

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