How to successfully grow your reach after the Facebook Algorithm changes
Facebook, Yep that old chestnut again. Mark Zuckerberg recently talked about how the Facebook newsfeed would change and we highlighted in a recent post some thoughts as to how a small business would deal with that.
Its something I was asked in a Facebook group discussion the other day and the request was for a ‘Facebook changes for dipsticks’ guide. Sadly, producing a simple guide isn’t that easy. But I will do my best, so here goes!
Now I should make everyone clear that I don’t have an inside track to Facebook and their algorithm changes but taking a view on the comments made by Mark and many other ‘experts’ I would offer the following advice to help overcome the changes made.
1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Facebook is an extremely attractive network to use as a small business. It has more engaged users than any other network and I am sure you would say that everyone you know uses Facebook, right?
Well yes, but look the key thing is that this is about your business. You might be a new start-up or a small business operation, but you need to get your business known, so spread your risk.
Look at other networks, Instagram is making some exciting moves and business reach doesn’t appear to have the restrictions that Facebook is putting in place. Twitter as well makes it easy for a business to grow its reach with engagement and unlike Facebook, your posts aren’t limited if you direct traffic away from the platform.
The rules of posting have changed significantly and as a business, you need to understand the implications of this, as without making changes to your content your organic reach will just die. Facebook’s algorithm looks for a multitude of signals from each post before deciding the how the post should be weighted within the newsfeed. The signals have recently been realigned to focus on active interactions over passive interactions. For clarity these are as follows:
Let’s look at these active interactions in a bit more detail to understand the implications behind each signal.
- Commenting — Comments is the first signal that the algorithm looks for now, and this means that posts that spark discussion between people and gather comments will factor more positively within the newsfeed. As a footnote, tag baiting and comment baiting will be marked negatively by the algorithm.
- Sharing — The second signal within the algorithm is sharing. But you should be aware that just two specific types of sharing are weighted.
- People sharing links or content within messenger
- Publisher posts that have engagement shared by a friend
The important fact to be aware of is that sharing is only weighted if it has engagement. If you share a post from your business page and it gathers active interactions, then it will continue to be seen by others & grow its organic reach. If you share a post and there are no active interactions, then the post will not grow its reach at all.
- Reacting — whilst not as strong ranked as comments and sharing reactions is the third signal and are still treated as ‘active engagement’. Reactions will help posts factor positively within the newsfeed.
Right still with me?
As a business, how do you handle these changes?
“If you’re not putting out relevant content, in relevant places — you don’t exist.”
— Gary Vaynerchuk
As a business when you publish a post on your business page it needs to have something about it that will appeal to like-minded people and it should drive natural conversation and engagement.
Content that is a ‘self-promotional’ pitch is no longer going to drive any form of engagement. End of.
Therefore, you must put your audience first and your posts need to focus on the following areas.
· What are your customer’s problems?
· What is your customer’s motivation?
· What sparks interaction?
· What do your customers care about?
So, the dynamic of posting has changed from what’s important to you to what’s important to your customers.
3. Share your posts in relevant groups where you can
Groups have now become even more powerful for several reasons. Firstly, if the group you belong to is relevant to you and your post, then sharing the post in the group is more likely to capture comments, shares and reactions. Secondly, groups build communities and interactions are much more likely to occur within communities of like-minded people. As we previously mentioned this will really add weight to your post and extend the reach of it.
4.Build your own group/community and link it to your business.
Interactions are much more likely to occur in relevant groups and a group linked to business would be very relevant and much more likely to gather meaningful engagement.
If you aren’t using video as a business, you should be (Note to self)! But it goes much deeper than that. Video prompts more commenting, sharing and reacting than any other form of post on Facebook. Live video is even more powerful with engagement in the form of comments, sharing and reacting six times higher than normal video!
There you have it. 5 factors to help you align your posting strategy to the algorithm within Facebook. I readily accept that they are not simple factors at all, posting as a business just became a lot more time intensive and requires a lot more thought before you commence posting. I would argue that if you can get this right as a business, then your organic reach could and should grow, but you are reliant on individuals working within groups and their own networks. A static business page without an active community is dead.
As I mentioned in the first step, maybe now is the time to spread your risk and look at other networks. Will Instagram or Twitter need this amount of effort to ‘spread the word’ about your business?
Oh, and one last thing…
What do you think? Have you implemented any of the points I made? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments.
Originally published at www.influence-media.co.uk.