How Facebook’s New Algorithm Affects Your Small Biz

Now that we’ve all got the 2018 ball rolling, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with waves of change (both the good and the bad). But for small businesses like ourselves, and a lot of our readers, it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing trends. That’s why we’re here to help you stay up to date on all things social!


Don’t forget, if you have any questions, pop over to our closed Facebook group to ask - we’re letting everyone in free of charge until the end of the month!

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So you may have heard that Facebook recently made yet another update to their News Feed algorithm, prioritizing the more “memorable content” for its users - family, friends and other groups that are seen as more meaningful. This adjustment makes it especially difficult for brands and agencies like us. Our “public content” is being placed on the back burner even more now.

Read on to find out how your posts are affected, plus get some tips on how to work with Facebook’s newest algorithm.

Here’s our tips in a nutshell, scroll to read more about each one!

  1. Go LIVE! (we just did today on 2018 social media trends!)

  2. Timing is Everything

  3. Be Human & Know Your Audience

  4. Start a Facebook Group

  5. The Ad Algorithm didn’t Change - Advertise!

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ONE :: Go LIVE!

Facebook loves when you use their newest features! They also love when you create content that keeps people on their platform longer.

Live video checks both these boxes. It’s a new-ish feature and it’s shown to keep people watching. So naturally, when you go Live, Facebook organically shows you lots of love and it looks like this hasn’t changed in the new algorithm. It’s also nice that Facebook alerts all your followers when you go Live!

In fact, Mark Zuckerberg wants us to know that videos overall will still be prioritized over photos, links and other comments. Even further, Live videos have proven to be much more effective in stimulating discussion and engagement amongst users.

When promoting your Facebook Live session, remember to share what, where and when you’ll be discussing, but most importantly - how your audience will benefit from tuning in. We like to do a post 1-3 days in advance of the Live and a follow up post on Instagram for the Facebook replay (since it lives forever there).

Finally, one sidebar on new-ish features - Facebook want’s success for their Stories feature, so think about how you can use that while not having an overload of the same content on Facebook and Instagram.

TWO :: Timing is Everything

An article on Post Planner talks about how Facebook’s new algorithm will start paying more attention to the frequency of Likes and Comments on each post as opposed to boosting them up on an individual’s feed according to Like count alone.

So post when your fans are most active and you’re more likely to get those likes and comments. This one’s a no brainer.

To figure out when your followers are most active, click “Insights” at the top of your profile’s page and head to “Posts” to view the graph of days and times they’re most active.

 

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Now, remember that your best days/times are likely the best for your competitors too - so having strategic marketing copy and great photos is key to standing out!

Also, if you don’t want to be posting at 9pm on Tuesdays (if that’s your best time for example) then schedule your post for that time. Just create the post, click the arrow next to “Publish” and then “Schedule”.

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THREE :: Be Human & Know Your Audience

“Memorable content” is what Zuckerberg is prioritizing in the algorithm and he’s also trying to get Facebook back to family and friend photos. Something that we all as personal users appreciate.

That means you’ve got to get more human with your posts. Share stories, show the faces of the people behind your brand, be your own cheerleader and share your excitement over triumphs and on the other hand share lessons learned as a business owner. Essentially share “one to many” content that will get people engaged.

I even go as far as creating a persona for my client’s. That person has a name and I make up what care they drive, their family members, what brands they wear, what they eat, where they travel and more. Then I imagine I’m having a conversation with that person to get my message across. How would I tell them all about my topic?

May sound crazy - but it helps you put a filter on your humanity level in posts.  

Oh and PLEASE, please, please don’t forget to respond to your followers if they engage. Especially in Messenger, which Facebook is making a huge play on right now too.

So don’t forget you guys - QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

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FOUR :: Start a Facebook group and engage with users there!

It’s almost like groups are their own separate News Feed now. If you have an engaging group, notifications are continuously sent to members. This doesn’t happen with the normal content on your page - not everyone gets a notice when you post.

Now - sidebar here - you should ask your followers to prioritize your page. Click here for directions on how they do that.

Make sure you’re keeping your group alive and healthy by posting each week and responding continuously to members when they post or comment.

Promote your group on all your other channels and even offer group-only giveaways and Live’s chock full of information.

FIVE :: The Ad Algorithm didn’t Change - Advertise!

At this point we all know “pay to play” and that Facebook isn’t free y’all. And Facebook is still a huge fan of brands who consistently advertise and boost posts. And the ad algorithm didn’t change, so out of all these tips, this is the one that gets you prioritized in the News Feed.

There are two notes on this though. If you boost a post, you may not see great success if it hasn’t gotten good enough engagement prior to boosting. So give your posts a little breathing room (12-24 hours) and check in to see if it went well and can be boosted.

Secondly, the price of ads is rising because Facebook is leaving less room for ads in the Feed. So your $5 per a post isn’t going to get you far now. (Remember that when we say “ads” we mean the “dark” ads that are done through Ads Manager and don’t show up on your Feed.)

I could do a whole post on advertising alone, but if you want to know more or want an ad strategy for your business - email me here.

 

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What NOT to do!

A note on things NOT to do! Because that’s almost as important as what you should be doing on Facebook…

  • Stop linking. It sucks, but unless you’re paying for an ad, stop linking your posts. Facebook wants people to stay on their platform, not leave.

  • Don’t “engagement bait”. So for example, don’t do these things:

    • LIKE this if you’re an Aries!

    • SHARE with 10 friends for a chance to be entered....

    • TAG a friend…

    • COMMENT "Yes" if you agree...

What will you do to keep your small business on the right track, and out of the way of Facebook’s algorithm change? Food for thought during this upcoming week.


As always, we’re here for consultations or to help you create and run strategic content on Facebook, Instagram and more! You can email Erin here or message us on Instagram.

Erin Phillips