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Tips and Strategies To Survive Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes

January 25, 2018 - 11:05am
Facebook announced its biggest overhaul of its News Feed algorithm in years. Do you know how to adapt?
In the days since Facebook announced its biggest overhaul of its News Feed algorithm in years, prioritizing content shared by family and friends and downplaying content from publishers or other public pages, ReThink Media has been inundated with questions from our members.
 
How should they alter their content strategy to align with the algorithm changes? Do they need to start launching more Facebook ads to get their content seen? Should they give up on Facebook as a strategy altogether?
 
With full disclosure that not all of these tips have been data-tested, we’ve pulled together our favorite strategies and recommendations we’ve seen to survive these new algorithm changes:

 

1. Review what has been successful on your Facebook page in the past. 

“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,” says the Global Strategy Group. “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.”
 

2. Think quality over quantity.

“When it comes to content, it’s more important to have one post that really resonates vs. five posts that say nothing,” says the Global Strategy Group. “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.”
 
In Mark Zuckerburg’s announcement about News Feed changes, he wrote that “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.” 
 
To capitalize on these changes, “try including questions in your posts, or write about timely, relevant topics that users are sure to have an opinion on,” HootSuite recommends. “But don’t fall into the ‘engagement-bait’ trap. It might be tempting to try and hack the new algorithm by asking your audience to ‘COMMENT on this post if you like ice cream!!’ or something similar. But don’t be that brand. It’s spammy and users don’t like it. Plus, Facebook says, ‘Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.’”
 
Wondering if your content is considered “engagement baiting”? Here’s a handy round-up of some Facebook no-noes. 
 
Speaking of quality over quantity, another update we’ve heard recently from Facebook is that the number of times a day a page posts on Facebook will start to appear in the Search Engine Results Page. So, it will be easier than ever for potential fans to see if you’re posting an absurd number of times per day—and decide not to follow you as a result.

3. Post more Facebook Live videos.

Facebook says live videos average 6x as many interactions as regular, pre-recorded videos. Make sure you check out our step-by-step guide to running a good Facebook Live session.

4. Consider increasing your Facebook ad budget

Not surprisingly, many consider these new algorithm changes another push towards Facebook’s pay-to-play strategy. 
 
“Campaigns and organizations should get creative in their ad strategies, trying new practices (like using automated adplacement to run many different variants of a given posts), new targeting models and new(er) Facebook ad products,” writes epolitics.com’s Colin Delany. “One option likely to be popular? Facebook ‘lead generation’ ads, which let organizations build their email lists directly from Facebook ad units.”
 
We really love that last tip from Colin.
 
Check out our blog posts on Facebook ad strategy and ideas for who to target.

5. Diversify your digital platforms.

If this latest change has taught you anything, it’s that Facebook can dramatically alter how your content appears in the blink of an eye, regardless of your content’s performance over time. Learn from this. Don’t put all of your eggs in the Facebook basket. Diversify which platforms you engage on and really think about the audience using those tools. Who are you trying to reach? Where do they spend their time? What content are they looking for?
 
Also, Mark Zuckerberg (and other Big Tech titans) can never take your email list away from you.
 
What other tips have you seen out there for surviving the new News Feed? Tweet to us @rethink_media and let us know!

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