They’re at it again. Just when you think you’ve started to understand how the Facebook algorithm works, they go and change it. This Wednesday Facebook announced that they were shaking up the News Feed once again – and this time, business pages are taking a hit.
The new algorithm will be prioritizing users friends’ content above any business, news or brand pages they follow. What does this mean for business owners? There are three main takeaways from this announcement:
1. Your page may lose traffic
Let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, this change is going to make your page’s content even less likely to show up in your fans’ News Feeds. In their official press release, Facebook re-iterated that “your feed should inform” and “your feed should entertain.” Meaning, content Facebook thinks you want to see – content from friends you frequently engage with – is going to show up more frequently and in a higher position than other content. That includes content from pages.
2. Shares and comments carry more weight than reactions and clicks
Facebook has always prioritized shares and comments, but the new algorithm also puts more stock in shares and comments that come from referral traffic (i.e., people engaging with your posts on their News Feed) than shares and comments directly on your page. Lars Backstrom, Engineering Director for Facebook explained the update in a press release:
The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts. We encourage Pages to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends.
What does that mean? Your content needs to be highly shareable in order to appear in News Feeds.
3. Your News Feed will look a little different
As a user, you may notice your own News Feed changing. The more you engage with another user, the more you’ll start to see their posts. The entire algorithm update is centered around the core idea that Facebook is built for friends and family. In the coming days you may notice less news articles and more baby pictures on your News Feed.
Facebook’s latest algorithm change comes as a blow to any business on Facebook. Only time will tell how deep the impact of this change is felt. But one things for sure: you’re going to have to take a second look at your Facebook strategy to stay afloat.
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