Facebook: Then & Now
Most social media markers will know that in 2014, Facebook flipped on us. They rolled out a change in algorithm and the happy days of freely communicating with our audience came to an abrupt end.
The new algorithm has brought organic reach to its knees. One of my pages grew an average of 7000 – 10, 000 likes a week. From the beginning of 2014, it failed to grow by even 10, 000 likes in five months. The message was clear, if you want more likes, you’ll have to pay for it. Or do you?
Since likes shouldn’t be your key metric, you shouldn’t be overly concerned with lack of growth. The metric which should concern, is the engagement/interaction rate – i.e. reach, comments, likes and shares — and of course the referrals to your website.
Unfortunately this also took a hit in Facebook’s algorithm change. The new algorithm limits the amount of our content showing up in your current fans’ timelines.
The algorithm works as such: News feed visibility = Interest x Post x Creator x Type x Recency. The interest of the user in the creator, the post’s performance amongst other users, the performance of past content, the type of post i.e. status, photo or link that the user normally interacts with, and how recent the new post is.
It’s not all Facebook’s fault, tempting as it is to blame them for the changes. They were forced into authorising this algorithm. With Facebook users having liked so many pages and added so many new ‘friends’, Facebook had to find a way to balance the amount of content now competing for the user’s attention.
Having said that, all pages are not treated equally. Facebook aims to show users the most engaging content from all the pages they have liked. Pages are therefore ‘ranked’ according to how interactive their content is, past and present.
So if a user interacts on a piece of content, Facebook takes this interest to heart, and that page’s top performing content is likely to show up in that user’s news feed again. Ultimately, this means that the onus is on the brand to ensure that their followers actively engage in their content, in order for the algorithm to recognise them as ‘interested’ in its content.
It’s not all doom and gloom. News outlets – publications and broadcasters — have experienced relatively good interaction rates on their pages because of the depth and quality of their content. Understanding Edgerank, how it works and using this knowledge to create engaging content is a definite way of ‘beating’ the system. Work with Edgerank and your page could be growing organically once again, stronger than ever!
If that doesn’t help, there is another way to beat the system: pay for it. While some pages won’t grow organically and engagement is inconsistent, if we want both metrics to grow, Facebook has made it clear that you will have to pay for ads. You can pay to reach a completely new, targeted audience, or you can pay to reach your current audience, ensuring your content shows up on their timeline. Either way, don’t give up on Facebook just yet!
Follow me: @MissGailis