Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is always in a state of flux and shrouded in mystery, but when Mark Zuckerberg announced the latest updates in January, the changes felt seismic. The major shift? The algorithm will now prioritize posts from friends, family and groups and encourage “meaningful interactions between people.” As the changes roll out over the next few months, here are changes brands, publishers and media pages can expect and ways they can adapt:
Organic reach will continue to decline
On average, organic reach has been declining for years and Facebook’s insistence on showing you friend and family content will mean even less organic reach for brands and publishers.
Comments and shares will be the main indicators of “meaningful interactions”
The new algorithm will heavily favor “active” interactions such as comments and shares. Reactions are considered active, but Facebook gives them a lower ranking because they’re less likely to spark person-to-person connections.
Don’t use engagement bait
When encouraging more engagement and sharing, DO NOT use click-baity copy. That means no more post copy with “COMMENT ‘yes’ if you love dogs too” or “VOTE for your favorite season with the reactions.” Facebook will not only demote those posts, but your entire page as well. Again, the key is to spark real, meaningful interactions.
Empower your community managers
With Facebook’s emphasis on creating conversations, community managers are more important than ever. Don’t share a post and leave it at that. Create a strategy for community managers to ignite conversations and respond to people in the comments.
Share content that naturally generates engagement
We know that videos typically drive more interactions than links and images. But did you know that on average, Live videos get 6 times as much engagement than regular videos? Live videos may outperform all other content types with the new algorithm.
Quality over quantity
Consider reducing the number of posts to really focus on creating posts and content that will lead to quality interactions. Move towards content that feels personally relevant for your audience and conversation worthy. Try including questions in your posts, or tie in timely relevant topics that your audience will likely have an opinion on.
There hasn’t been a change this big to the algorithm since Facebook took away our chronological feeds in 2016. As social media strategists and marketers, we’ll need to adjust quickly to Facebook’s new landscape and continue testing new ways to get our content into people’s feeds. And who knows what other changes Facebook will push out to ensure that people’s time on their platform is “time well spent,” but isn’t that half the fun?