By Marie Lopez
If you have a Facebook page promoting your business, listen up: Facebook has made some major algorithm changes this year that could affect who sees what on your page. Here’s a rundown of the changes and what you can do to ensure your messages are still being seen by your followers.
More updates from friends, less from news and brands
Facebook’s main goal is for users to hear more from friends and family and less from businesses and news sources. If your page has a great following, or if you’re trying to build one, this could be potentially detrimental to getting your business news out to Facebook followers. However, Facebook’s algorithm will account for organic conversations within a social media post from a business or news media source, thereby allowing it to show further up in a News Feed. As social media marketers, it’s essential to create posts that are designed to encourage conversation among your followers.
How to do it: Ask questions, include links and even video if possible. However, while this is all encouraged, it must not be considered bait. This means that the information you’re posting must have value to the readers in order for it to be promoted. If you bait your audience often enough, Facebook will actually demote your pages as a whole, not just the post — and that’s the truly scary part.
Trusted news sources will be front and center
This algorithm change is in response to Facebook’s battle with ‘fake news’. Facebook intends to survey users to determine which news sources they consider trustworthy. This change actually also translates to business pages when it comes to trust. As long as your business page never relies on exaggerated claims or click bait headlines and your followers feel they can trust the content you’re posting, then this change may not affect you as much.
Local news sources gain prominence
Facebook believes that communities can be positively impacted by promoting local news — which is great. However, local businesses may find that they’re being pushed down in the News Feed based on how Facebook identifies a ‘local news publisher’. In order to be considered a ‘local news publisher’, a company must pass Facebook’s test of being 1) local, and 2) a news source. Unfortunately, it’s unclear at this time whether a local business pushing out interesting and impactful blog posts will be demoted based on Facebook’s criteria mentioned above. The best course of action is to continue posting relevant, interesting content that gives value to your local audience.
While these algorithm changes seem daunting, they really can be for the good of everyone on Facebook — and for your business. Gone are the days where you can post anything and everything, however. Instead, focus on creating insightful and appealing content that is engaging and informative.