Facebook’s changing News Feed algorithm means relevant content is more important than ever

Last week, Facebook announced that it will be, once again, making changes to what’s likely to appear in your News Feed. Moving forward, the platform algorithm will prioritize posts “that generate conversation between people.” For users, this means you should start to see more posts from your friends and family. For businesses and brands, this means adjusting to a new set of rules for reaching your audiences.

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In addition to emphasizing the types of person-to-person interaction that were the foundation of the platform, Facebook says it plans to deprioritize “passive content” or content people are less likely to engage with. This means that posts from brands and organizations, including video that has become the go-to format for social content, will only be seen organically if they get people talking, reacting, and sharing.

Facebook described the reason for the change as an effort to make people feel more connected on the platform, and to offer a more engaging experience for its billions of users. Facebook also claims that this change could in fact equal less time spent on its platform. So why make the changes and what does this mean for brands and organizations?

 

 

Here are three tips for adapting to the new News Feed.

  • Look backward to move forward. Your page is sitting on a treasure trove of data on the types of posts that will be a success in the new News Feed. Take a look at Facebook Insights in the coming weeks to assess which of your past content has had the best engagement rates, organic shares, and comments, and use that to get ahead of the curve.
  • Think quality vs. quantity. When it comes to content, it’s more important to have one post that really resonates vs. five posts that say nothing. Create posts that will engage your followers. Think about what makes something shareable. The more relevant your posts are, the more likely people will be willing to react, comment, and share.
  • A little ad spend goes a long way. If brands and companies are going to get pushed to the bottom of a News Feed, Facebook advertising is even more critical than ever. Allocating a budget (big or small) to Facebook ads can make sure your content is getting the attention it deserves across key audiences.

It’s too soon to tell whether the changes will refocus Facebook on human interactions, but one thing is certain: a system that prioritizes quality interactions is good news for brands and organizations that are investing time in engaging content rather than ticking boxes. There is a new imperative to think critically about what you post to Facebook and focus on making something that deserves to be seen.

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