What Was the Update?
Facebooks is constantly updating their News Feed algorithm and the latest updates include ranking and scoring of posts. This update will influence the likeliness of your brand’s post showing up in your followers News Feed organically (with out Paid Advertisement). The following are the factors that effect the ranking and scoring:
Who posted it – The frequency of when the user engages with content from that user or a brand page
When it was posted – Recency is an important ranking factor, as people want to be kept up to date with the latest news (if their is a new addition to the family, you want to know about it when it occurs right?!)
Type of content – How often the user engages with this type of content (pics, videos, links, etc.)
Interactions with the post – The amount of interactions a post has had infers a relative level of importance or relevance of the post
There is a lot more that goes in to the ranking but I wanted to keep this high level and brief.
Along with these ranking factors, the News Feed algorithm also factors in time spent reading content, along with Likes, Shares, Comments, etc. along with time spent reading content after clicking a link.
All those factors affect a publishers post getting viewed in the News Feed.
For more insight on ranking and scoring, I suggest reading these posts from Social Media Today:
Why did Facebook do this?
Facebooks believes that these changes essentially will boost the reach of ‘quality’ content. So it really is quality over quantity.
Now given the new process of ranking and scoring, it makes sense that stories from friends and family are going to have their posts show up more often over brand content simply because users are more likely to be engaging with those more personally-relevant posts (such as wedding engagement, graduation, baby announcement).
Clearly, this will make it much more challenging for brands to get significant organic reach. However, the silver lining as I see it is that publishers will have to focus on interacting with their followers, as opposed to out right selling which will push brands to be creative and engaging.
How can you [publishers] maximize your reach?
Publishers will need to engage with their followers and build relationships rather than have a one way conversation. This advice should be nothing new to you. The more publishers connect with their audience and generate interaction, the more likely they will show in Newsfeed.
I have listed a few recommended tips that publishers should consider as Best Practices:
Write compelling headlines –publishers should seek to write compelling headlines that give people a real sense of the content that’s behind that click.” Include links in posts – more time spent reading a post or the link in the post benefits the publishers score.
A trend that I am seeing among publishers is that they will use specific words (usually related to life events like baby, congratulations and engaged) to influence a posts relevancy enabling it to show higher in followers Newsfeeds.
Avoid overly promotional content – No one likes being sold too. Stop hitting up followers with salesy promos. Definitely use the platform as a sales tool but be cognizant that too much promotional content can turn audiences off over time which will lead to less engagement resulting in a reduced chances of reaching your audience in their Newsfeed.
Get Creative – Regardless of the success of tricks and trends, what works for one publisher won’t necessarily work for another. So that means you will have to get creative and try and test different media and content to see what resonates with your specific audience.
Publisher tools –How do you keep track of what is working and whats not? Check out the insights on the performance of your posts. How do you do that?
Facebook has their own insight and audience optimizing tools but there are numerous publishing tools that can monitor and analyze your efforts and tell you what is working. The type of tool you use will depend on the size and objectives of your business. Which ever tool you choose to use, it is crucial that you spend time analyzing the data in order to understand what you should be posting, what your audience wants to see, what they respond to and when and where to post it.
Facebook says the updated algorithm will be rolling out over the next few weeks and that they don’t expect that most Pages will see any significant change.