What the 2018 Facebook Algorithm Changes Mean for Your Content Efforts
Are you finally in a Facebook posting groove? Well, don’t get too comfortable. If you haven’t checked your fan engagement lately, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
It’s not enough to post arbitrary content anymore – now you’re expected to elicit measurable emotion from your fans. This latest shake-up’s got business pages performing a Facebook audition of sorts to prove their entertainment value. During the months of January and February, the social media goliath ran tests to determine whose content engaged fans and whose flatlined. If your content spawned thumbs up, smiley face emoticons, friend tagging and feedback, you won a leading role. Algorithmic winners are now headlining their fans’ timeline feeds while the losers got sent to the back of the line. In short, the latest algorithmic update essentially suppresses the noise and elevates stimulating content.
On the other hand, if your content was regrettably lackluster, perhaps you’re standing on your tippy toes trying to get a glance of the action at the head of the line. In that case, it’s time to strategize a big leap forward.
The key to landing that big stride is creating content that provokes engagement – primarily in the form of comments. It’s time to think of innovative ways to provide value to your fan base.
Milk Toast Posts Aren’t Fit to Boast!
All niches are not created equal; different types of content appeal to different audiences. However, engaging content most likely to encourage response may come in the following forms:
- Ask a question – people enjoy sharing their experiences or helping other people.
- Ask about a preference – show two images side by side and ask your audience which one they prefer.
- Ask fans to tag friends – perhaps your image features an experience a fan would like to share with another fan.
- Host a video on Facebook – videos posted directly to Facebook get more views and engagement than links to videos outside Facebook.
- Host a live video – live videos get 6 times more views than previously recorded videos.
- Ask your fans to change their settings – when users like your page, the settings are automatically set to “default” aka bottom of the barrel. You can boost a post – even make a video – demonstrating how to change the settings to show your posts at the top of their news feeds.
- Set target audiences for your posts – by now, you’ve probably realized no post shows to all your page’s fans. But, did you know that by setting the target audience for individual posts you can get better engagement and positively impact your page’s ability to rise to the top of timeline feeds?
- Observe the competition – look at the timeline feeds of your competitors to see what types of posts are working for them. Then you can apply those same tactics to your own page.
- Boost important posts – putting dollars behind posts that matter most ensures your sales targeted content will be seen. (Any time you send users off Facebook, you may want to consider adding media spend to ensure visibility).
Avoiding the Gong
Take note of what doesn’t work any more to ensure you’re exerting your efforts where it counts. Telling people to click like if they like chocolate just isn’t going to cut it any more. Facebook has caught on to “like bait” tricks and now rightly recognizes this tactic for the gong worthy attempt at engagement it really is.
No matter the algorithmic update of the moment, staying in tune with what matters to your audience to find ways to absorb them in conversation will always be a vital skill for social media success.