hen Facebook announced in January it was making changes to its newsfeed feature, many businesspeople worried it would make promoting their products and services on the platform harder. When Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm to decrease the number of posts from businesses, brands, charities and media giving priority to posts that offer interactions and discussions among friends and family. According to Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, the more comments and discussions a post has, the higher it will rank in News Feeds.
And that is where savvy businesses can succeed.
Business owners who want to continue to be seen in News Feeds need to create posts that encourage response and not just a like or share, from readers.
It’s the posts that spur discussions between businesses and customers – as well as customers and the other customers – that will be featured predominately in News Feeds.
“You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” writes Zuckerberg. “And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Over time, businesses that don’t create engagement won’t see their posts in News Feeds.
But all is not lost.
Business owners can make the new Facebook algorithm work for them by following these tips:
- Write Great Content. Great content provides information people want to know or will have strong reactions to. Great content means friends are more likely to share posts, not just by hitting the share button (which Facebook doesn’t rank as high in its new algorithm) but actually re-posting the blog to their Facebook page and starting a conversation around it. Even better than re-posting, says Reshift Media, is to encourage clients to share a business’ stories, in their own words, on their Facebook page.
- Create Engagement. Business owners need to craft posts that create discussions. Once a discussion has started, generate and maintain conversations by asking more questions or adding comments.
- Use Facebook Live. Videos will be treated like any other content on Facebook, meaning that without discussion or interaction, they will not show up. However, Facebook says its Live video feature offers six times more interaction, increasing chances the content will appear.
- Create Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups encourage discussions and engagement. And groups appear on News Feeds.
- Boost your Post. Businesses can still have their content seen by buying ads. Already, most users have noticed an increase in the amount of sponsored content in their News Feeds.
Facebook suggests that its algorithm changes will lead people to spend less time on the social media site, but the time they spend will increase in quality and users’ feelings of happiness and well-being.
But what happens to the Facebook user who likes to passively scroll through their News Feed and “creep” on their friends or enjoy content from their favourite charity or brand? They may be out of luck, as Facebook’s algorithm decides the content it thinks users want to see.
But all is not lost. Facebook users can still see posts from their favourite business or friends by going on their homepage and choosing News Feed Preferences and then Prioritize Who You See First (people and pages). People can also visit their favourite page, hit the triangle beside “Followers” and then click “See First In Your News Feed.”
Whether you’re a businessperson or a regular user, Facebook believes it knows the content you want and will ensure that it appears in your News Feed first.
Lisa Day | Contributing Writer