Ongoing changes to Facebook’s algorithms have left many businesses struggling to market themselves effectively on the platform. The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg commented earlier in the year that these changes “will show you more content from friends and family and less from publishers”, in an announcement that made the platforms stance towards businesses clear. Facebook was originally intended as a social media network for people to connect with one another and it appears that this is how it will remain, with companies increasingly needing to use paid advertising to ensure that their content gets noticed by the intended target audience.
Many of our clients have experienced their reach declining and lower engagement levels on content, which can be very worrisome for those who rely on Facebook as their main marketing platform. This has led us to investigate how we can combat the effects of the latest algorithm changes to ensure that our content still gets noticed. Take a look at our findings below.
Leave out the links
Including links to your own website, other social media platforms or external sources was previously commonplace on company Facebook pages however, the algorithm changes mean that content containing such links will receive less reach and lower levels of engagement. This makes perfect sense really as it is unsurprising that Facebook would not want users to leave the platform. We instead recommend increasing your use of image and video content on Facebook and also utilising hashtags where appropriate as visual content consistently outperforms other types of content on Facebook.
Embrace video content
Following on from our last recommendation, we advise significantly increasing your use of video content for maximum engagement. Don’t worry if your budget does not allow for professional corporate videos or high-quality animations; you can instead utilise apps such as Boomerang or the Facebook Live feature to create engaging video content that your audience will love.
Quality over quantity
Facebook’s algorithm prioritises quality content from trusted sources so the higher the quality of your updates and the better the response from your audience, the more effective your social media marketing efforts on this platform will be. Focus on tailoring each piece of content to make it unique and avoid posting the same updates repetitively on your company page.
Ask the audience
Include questions to engage your audience and provide them with an opportunity to share their opinion. It is however, important to avoid the use of tag or comment baiting such as ‘Comment YES if you agree’ or ‘Tag 5 friends who would like this product’. Practices such as this can be detrimental to your company page and can result in your content being penalised by Facebook’s algorithms.
Your loyalty is rewarded
With the decline in engagement on content containing links to external websites, Facebook is also making its disdain for third-party links clear through the way in which users schedule content for company pages. Using external tools such as Hootsuite may result in lower reach and engagement levels on content and it is instead advised that posts are scheduled through Facebook itself.
The methods above are not a guaranteed way to combat the changes that the Facebook algorithm has undergone over the last year, but they should help to increase the reach on your content and drive engagement levels. In saying that, we do recommend that you consider the use of Facebook advertising in addition to the organic methods above. It is important to first determine whether your target audience is best reached through this platform and if an advertising campaign would generate a good return on your investment.