Gone are the days when Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, showed you every post from every friend and page you followed. On Tuesday April 21, 2015, Facebook announced its plans to unveil three new updates to its News Feeds algorithms. The aim is to improve user experience by providing a better balance of updates from Facebook friends as opposed to businesses, politicians, local organizations, publishers and the like.
Update 1: If Facebook users run out of content but want to allocate more time to reading their news feeds, Facebook will provide more content; some of it duplicate.
Update 2: Updates from close friends will appear higher in the feeds.
Update 3: News feeds about friends liking or commenting on posts will now appear lower or not at all.
With these new changes to news feed algorithms, Facebook users will indubitably see a steady decrease in their organic distribution over time. This is because Facebook is resolute to shape the news their users see by eliminating or hiding content that may offend them.
Facebook attempted to soften the blow of the above reality by stating that referral traffic has more than doubled in the last 18 months for media publishers and that it is finding new and more innovative ways to help publishers find the right audience for content by “optimizing how its discovered and consumed”. Unfortunately for publishers, we aren’t too sure what “optimization” really means in the social media world. Does it mean choosing the most high-quality content or showing users what they desire to see?
In the meanwhile, Facebook wants us to consult their resource: Page publishing tips and best practices. And as for those who are still interested in targeting specific audiences with predictable reaches, Facebook recommends their paid advertising program.
4 Paths to Facebook Marketing Success
- Direct people to your Facebook page
It is no longer enough to tell your audience to like you on Facebook. Now you have to ensure they know that you are offering good content and the real deal. The only way to do that is to have them go directly to your Facebook page just like they would to your website.
When a user does find your content, accidentally or purposely, and uses the Facebook “Share” button, it places that content on their timeline as if posted themselves. They are recommending that content to their friends and social media who follow them. This circumvents Facebook’s brand classification as it sees the post as being from the individual.
- Pay to play
When you have content that will attract your specific target market, it is very effective to spend advertising dollars on the respective social media channel to get it in front of more of the kinds of people you want to collect. It’s a numbers game, if you think about it.
- Share video posts
The results of a recent study done by SocialBakers illustrates how photos have become the least likely post type to reach audiences, while videos are now the dominant one for organic reach. SocialBakers examined 670,000 posts on 4,445 brand pages and excluded celebrity, media ad entertainment pages.