Facebook is constantly changing their algorithm – the set of rules that determine which posts you see in your news feed. Facebook’s goal is to give users content that matters most to them. The algorithm (also known as EdgeRank) uses three main components that determine who sees what content – and for how long.
In the last couple of years, this has resulted in users seeing more updates from their personal connections, making it harder for your organization’s posts to appear in user feeds. Reports show a drop in organic (unpaid) reach from 16 percent to less than six percent for pages.
If you want to use the enormous potential of Facebook to engage your audiences, your organization or brand must continually adapt your social media strategy.
Here are six tips to help brands keep up despite the algorithmic changes:
- Create shareable content – Shares are the most coveted form of Facebook engagement. When your content is shared from a user’s personal profile, it ranks higher in the algorithm. In addition, the reach increases because now you are reaching that user’s network of friends. When you present fans with compelling content that they want to share, that’s when Facebook is valuable.
What is shareable content?
Use Images/Video – Visual content is interacted with far more than any other kind on social media, with video now outperforming photos. A study by Socialbakers found that when you post a video instead of a photo, you’ll see an average boost in reach of 135 percent. When possible, upload directly to Facebook instead of sharing a video link, it will rank higher in the algorithm. >> How to add videos to Facebook
Evoke Emotion – People are inclined to share things that evoke emotion or that they feel represent themselves and their values. Create content that has a message beyond your brand or organization, but make sure it aligns with your mission. >> The Science of Emotion in Marketing
Be Relevant – As with any news story, timely, relevant content is most likely to be shared. Facebook’s Trending feature can help you generate ideas around what people are talking about. Using hashtags (#) can help connect your post to the larger conversation. >> A Beginner’s Guide to Hashtag Use on Facebook
- Tag other pages/people in the post – Professional pages, including businesses, nonprofits and public figures, are more likely to share a post if they are tagged in it. After events you can also go through your individual profile to tag your own network and connections. This helps share content on a more personal level.
- Cross–promote – Make sure your website has a Facebook button to make it easy for people to like your page. Encourage people who attend your events to like your page. Include the Facebook icon in your e-newsletters, printed materials and all promotional items. This can help you get likes and page views from people who are already interested in you.
- Share others’ content – It’s tempting to share only your brand’s original content on Facebook, but providing helpful, valuable information related to your industry’s latest trends – regardless of who created it – can be highly beneficial. Not only will your followers appreciate the breadth of information, but sharing also catches the eye of thought leaders in your field, which can lead to further connections and opportunities for engagement.
- Listen to your audience – Pay attention to the posts that perform well and the ones that don’t. Use Page Insights and look for trends in order to create content that better engages the audience, but stays true to communicating the brand voice and mission. >> Facebook Insights: A Detailed Guide to Facebook Analytics
- Pay to play – Advertising is a must on Facebook. A little bit of money can go a long way in ensuring that posts are seen. If there’s a particular post that you want followers (and non-followers) to view, consider putting a small ad budget to boost the post – even $10. You can target ads to specific demographics and psychographics as well, based on interests and behaviors. >>How to Create Facebook Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Facebook
Need help getting or keeping your social media on track? SurfMedia Communications creates social media strategy, schedules and response protocols that won’t overwhelm you. Find out more today.