Under increasing pressure to show relevant content to users, Facebook has changed how the platform chooses what you see and when, which has important ramifications for brand marketers.
Facebook is always changing. Keeping up to date is important is now more important than ever when it comes to content marketing and converting sales with content. Not only does this enable you to better track the success of your campaigns but it also helps to plan future ones because what is true today, might not be true in 12 months’ time.
At the tail end of 2019, Facebook made a few changes to their algorithm. According to Hootsuite, average reach per post dropped to 2.2 per cent and brands could only expect a little over 5 per cent of their followers to see anything they posted organically.
Businesses have built entire sales and marketing strategies for Facebook and developed an over reliance on it to bring in sales. This means when the platform makes a drastic change (as it is prone to do) it makes it difficult for brands to react efficiently and quickly and it can cost brands millions as a result.
In order to understand how your content can best be seen, content marketers need to understand how the platform works. After all, Facebook decides who sees what and when. In recent years, they have it has been heavily investing in their famed algorithm;, the mathematical equation that keeps users on the platform and engaging with content into the wee hours of the morning.
In 2020 Facebook released the reigns and gave users more control over what they see. There are now a variety of notifications and functions empowering users to flag content they deem to be irrelevant to them. Reactions are now weighted more than likes, meaning posts which generate comments are more likely to show up in the feed than posts that generate likes alone. They also introduced a ‘Why am I seeing this tool post?’ tool which enables users to see the content context behind the content they are being served. Not only does this effect organic posts but also social marketers who rely on lazily targeted content too to generate an increased number of vanity views; marketers who adopt a wide net approach to paid posts.
Facebook has opened up their playbook in the last year or so and offered more transparency around how they track and rank the value of the content posted to the platform. These factors are called ‘ranking signals’ and are a series of data points that are used to judge the value of a user’s behaviour. These points help the platform determine the types of posts that are more likely to illicit an engagement from a user. The data points can be used to tell if you’re more likely to share or comment on a post from a friend or family member, from an influencer or a brand page. These ranking signals include:
Who the user interacts with on a regular basis.
The type of content they consume and engage with (photo, video)
The popularity of the post
Why am I seeing this tool
In 2019 a little notification box started popping up on Facebook. This box was developed to help users understand why they are being served certain pieces of content and helped develop targeting further. These questions asked user to highlight key members of their social circle and users they would like to see more content from. They used this combination of data to update their algorithm.
With this in mind, there are a series of tips and tricks that brands and content marketers can now employ to ensure you’re doing as much as possible to increase the reach of organic content without resorting to throwing ad spend at it through boosting.
According to Facebook one of the most valuable things you can have is engagement with your posts and brand pages. This means you need to be able to generate conversations around topics than mean something to your followers, viewers and customers.
Don’t fall foul of common pitfalls like click-bait posts which may at first generate a few additional clicks but will eventually work against you. Facebook has done much on the back end to tackle this kind of content and has a pretty sophisticated algorithm in place to penalise content that deploys dubious click-bait headlines. Genuine and authentic engagement is the only way to build and maintain an active user base in the social space.
Time Your Posts
Facebook touts regency as important to the overall use and importance of content. This means content that is relevant in the moment is more likely to show up in the feed and is more likely to be viewed when your audience is online. Delve into your analytics, where is your audience? What time zone are they and when are they online? Try to time your posts with these data points to increase the chance of them seeing your brand content.
Beware of Down-Ranking
Play fair and play straight when it comes to creating and posting content on Facebook. It may seem like an easy win to skim or plagiarise content form other sites in the hope of a quick click but these dubious acts will hurt your brand in the long run. Facebook down ranks pages that play in the grey areas of content production. Stay clear of offensive and prohibited content. Stay away from the fake news churn factory. Ensure your content is relevant and well-sourced. Publishing misleading health information is a sure-fire way to have your brand page down ranked. Stay clear of ‘deep-fake’ videos.
Facebook loves video. In fact, it favours it over any other type of content and actively nurtures users to upload original quality video in longer lengths. This means brands are rewarded for creating content that is unique and valuable to their audiences. Stay clear of re-edited or re-uploaded video from other sources and invest in generating a unique broadcast presence through the creation of your own storytelling.
Be part of the conversation every day. Users like to stay up to date with brands and people so ensure you are posting regularly to stay at the forefront of feeds and minds. Create a social content calendar that takes things like frequency and time into account. Ensure quality is maintained and resources are allocated to ensure your brand has the best chance to stay atop the news feed every single day.
Leverage micro communities
Users like to be part of something but they also like to know their voice is heard. This has led to the rise of the micro community, smaller sub groups often found on Facebook Groups which have far larger engagement than often larger brand accounts. Use communities and groups to build and nurture niche communities. Think about the different types of user and audiences you have and ensure you are doing everything you can to develop them individually.
Boost some content
Organic content is great but it’s a hard fact that paid boosting affords brands the most options for content to be seen. Support your organic content strategy with a paid one. Target your own audience to ensure your content is being seen and increase the chance of chain engagement; comments that promote other comments.
Acknowledge the tools
Keep up to date with Facebook’s latest tools to ensure you understand how to best leverage your content on the platform but you should also ensure your audience knows how to always ensure they see the content your posts. As Hootsuite suggests, let people know that when people they follow your brand page they can check the ‘See First’ preference to ensure you’re highlighted as important.
Want to create content that engages and entertains on Facebook and increase your overall engagement? Speak to a Snackable team member today to discover how we can work with your brand to build authentic and authoritative content that converts across social channels.