8 Tips to Keep Facebook’s New Algorithm from Making You Feel Like a Muggle

Hannah Force

by Hannah Force

Social Media/PR Manager

The world of social media is ever changing. It seems there’s a new update to a major social media platform almost every other week, but this time, Facebook really has social media managers scrambling. Facebook’s team announced a major algorithm update that would prioritize posts that spark meaningful conversations in the comments.

In moments of uncertainty like this, I look to the wise Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Let’s help you flip that light switch, because with a positive, proactive attitude, you can make the most of this algorithm change.

With the specific changes to the News Feed, posts from friends and family will be favored more than posts from publishers and brands, whether they’re shared images, videos or links, etc. This means you will see fewer memes, viral videos and click-bait headlines on your personal profile.

For any publishers or brands, this news leaves almost as bad of a taste as finding out your best friend is a Death Eater. For those not wizardly inclined, your organic traffic will likely suffer.

Now, what Facebook holds most dear are meaningful comments. So what are those? Ongoing conversations and back-and-forth discourse via post comments. No more will tagging a friend or commenting “this is cool!” help a post garner further reach or engagements.

Additionally, it’s likely that video will no longer be the number-one media type, as video views are not deemed meaningful. Shares are no longer as relevant, unless someone adds a meaningful comment or starts a discussion in the shared post’s comments.

As much as I wish I’d gone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I don’t know any magic. At Marriner, we do have a couple of tricks to help you make the most of this change.

1. Invest more in social media advertising.
Yes, Facebook advertising will likely be pricier now, but it’s your best bet to ensuring that website traffic from social doesn’t take a hit. With Facebook ads, try targeting your existing followers to make sure they don’t miss important content or using Messenger to alert them to new posts.

2. Rethink your content.
Social media managers will need to start being even more strategic with which content they use. It will be difficult to find or develop quality content that can elicit the necessary conversations on Facebook. Work with your team to ideate some new tactics and content to engage viewers more.

We’re avid advocates for testing new ideas—just make sure you review your results and continue to refine your approach. If you’re having difficulty finding or developing the same amount of quality content, revisit your posting frequency. To ensure you’re being focused and thoughtful with content choices, less might be more for some.

3. Try out Facebook Live.
Many brands are wary of Facebook Live for all the operational and PR risks its poses. Well, Adam Mosseri, head of News Feed at Facebook, reported that Live videos could total six times as many engagements as non-Live videos. This is one of the only forms of videos that is still being favored as is in the News Feed. Now’s the time to drink the Felix Felicis (a liquid luck elixir) and bite the bullet.

4. Reconsider your KPIs.
For many brands, total engagements were a key metric for determining success. With the change, let’s use an analogy to compare the different engagement metrics. Comments are worth a $20 bill. Shares are a $5 bill, and reactions are a $1 bill. We suggest narrowing in on comments explicitly with your KPIs moving forward.

5. Step up your influencer marketing.
Influencers tend to get a lot of genuine engagement already and are ranked better than brands in the News Feed. That’s why this update will likely not affect them very much. Per Digiday, now that there will be even less brand content in the News Feed, influencer posts might garner even more attention. Try partnering with influencers to create quality content and then advertise that content on Facebook.

6. Don’t try to play the system.
Facebook states that posts with engagement bait are demoted, but there’s been some speculation about what exactly that entails, such as “like this post,” “comment with,” “tag a friend,” etc.

Additionally, some people might try to game the system by turning to fake engagements or spamming. You risk more than you could gain by going in and commenting from your personal profile or by using an automation tool, or bot, to automatically comment on your page’s posts. Facebook’s algorithm is smarter than you are.

7. Focus on building a social community.
Stop thinking of social media as just a means to distribute content and drive website traffic. That approach will no longer work. To survive on Facebook, you need to explore ways to get your followers to interact with each other in post comments, not just with your page. As a result, post copy should be more creative and engaging to help elicit conversation in the comments.

8. Convert followers into “see-firsters.”
My last tip is to remind page followers about the value-added content you offer on your page and suggest that they check “See First” in the options for their News Feed to make sure they don’t miss out on any valuable offers or insights. The more enticing of an incentive you have, the more likely your page followers are to act.


See First

The bottom line is that with a positive attitude and some out-of-the-box ideas, you can proactively make the most of this algorithm update. Time will tell exactly how this change will affect your Facebook page. As you try out new concepts, just remember to track results, optimize your approach and repeat! And, of course, continue to keep up to date on social media news to stay ahead of the curve.

Nox!

If you’re looking for more Harry Potter references and help getting the most out of your social media marketing, our Vice President of Strategic Partnerships is just an email or LinkedIn message away.

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