It's that time of year again. The time every business with a page on Facebook scrambles to the nearest blog, website, hilltop and screams 'WHYYYYYY?!?!'. Just as you thought you'd mastered the art of posting from your page; found the time of day that gets the best engagement, the type of post that your followers love the most, Facebook goes and changes it's algorithms and lo and behold we're all back to square one.
This time, however, it seems that the change is slightly different. Towards the end of last year Facebook carried out a survey of hundreds of thousands of users to find out the type of content they wanted to see in their news feeds. The results found that people wanted to see more posts from friends and pages they cared about and less promotional material.
This might seem like an obvious thing but since the last update to the Facebook algorithms more and more promotional content started appearing on users newsfeeds. Businesses found it increasingly easy to gain reach (even if engagement wasn't particularly high) by sponsoring posts. This was off putting for a lot of users of the world's largest social network.
Well we've got exciting news for you. The new algorithms introduced by Zuckerbergs minions have rectified this. It's not been completely overhauled; the algorithms used by Facebook will still have some effect on what information is seen by users, however a recent study published in Science Express analysing the kind of content shared by users to their friends showed that the choices of users actually had more of an impact on what they saw in their feeds.
Analysing data from over 10 million US Facebook users, the study found that the more a user shares content from a particular website or page the more content from the websites Facebook page appeared on their news feed. Oncemore, this actually impacted more than Facebooks algorithms alone.
How can this benefit my business?
This is a slightly more tricky proposition. If the study is right it makes it even harder to predict the type of content that will achieve the highest possible amount of organic reach because you, the admin of your page, can't actually see what the users of your page have been sharing on their profiles, unless they are direct contacts and friends of yours of course. This makes the need for sharing interesting, unique, informative and engaging content even more of a necessity than it was previously.
We outlined some of the ways to keep your content fresh and inciting to Facebook users in our 3 Key Ingredients to the Social Media Recipe back in March. These steps are now even more relevant and important in Facebook's new environment and show the need to engage the followers of your page in an even more personal manner. You could hold a survey; ask your Facebook followers what type of content from your page they enjoy the most, what are their favourites posts from your page or what they'd like to see you publish more of.
More than anything it's about testing the water again and seeing what works best for your page. Every business, just like every Facebook page is different with varying audience demographics and interests and therefore there is no magic wand solution. Get it right, however, and you could bare the fruits of, still, the most engaged social media platform in the western world.
If you'd like more help on your social media or marketing campaign you can get in touch with us here