Don’t Freak Out About Facebook: New Algorithm Favors the Thoughtful

  • January 18, 2018
  • Hannah Cole

ICYMI: Facebook is updating its algorithm (again) and people are freaking out (again). The Facebook algorithm scans all of your connections’ posts and decides what content to prioritize in your feed. The now infamous algorithm went through an update in 2016 that shook the social landscape, and Facebook is at it again.

The social giant released the news last week that it wants to get back to the basics of connecting people with meaningful content. That means posts that come from users’ friends and families will skyrocket to the top of their news feeds, leaving brands and publishers to figure out what this means for them and where they fit into the mix.

Facebook has stated that branded posts that receive relevant engagements, such as thoughtful comments and unique shares, will be more likely to appear in users’ feeds. As your engagement increases, so will your reach, and your potential for organic reach. So really, it all comes down to creating quality content.

But wasn’t that already part of your social strategy? To create meaningful content that engages users?

If it wasn’t, then you’re probably scrambling to adjust to the changes. And if it was, then it’s safe to say this algorithm update shouldn’t affect you too much.

Brands and businesses often think big numbers mean big success, so reach is a common KPI. However, with this new algorithm, the “set it and forget it” mindset will no longer work in your favor. In order to organically expand your reach and obtain those big numbers, you’ll have to create content that encourages REAL engagements.

Additionally, paid media is no longer a negotiable, but a necessary tool for the social marketer on Facebook. Boosting organic posts, in addition to running dark campaigns, and optimizing for engagement can lift your branded content in the news feed so you can continue reaching the audiences you care about most. If you’re already running paid campaigns (and you should be), fantastic! Keep in mind that these changes also mean that relying on budget alone won’t be enough to gather engagements; creating thoughtful, data-driven content across both organic and paid is key.

Here at INK, we’ve always been believers in the phrase “content is king.” When we create social recommendations for our clients, we make sure we get into the nitty-gritty before laying out a strategy. We ask ourselves: “Who is our target audience? What do they engage with? How do we want to speak to them? What aesthetic will resonate?” Only after we complete the homework are we ready to craft a plan of action.

We know a universal recipe for social media success doesn’t exist. Every client is different, and so is every audience. Once we do our research, it becomes a scientific experiment of sorts. We test types of content and re-evaluate our strategy until we find the best possible equation that equals quality engagements and meaningful exposure for our clients.

Social media strategy isn’t about tricking algorithms; it’s about creating a community and genuinely connecting with people – and quality programs already know this.

Gone are the days where click bait flooded our feeds, and mindless scrolling was the norm. As consumers, we couldn’t be more thrilled. And as an agency, we’re excited for the opportunity to continue growing our clients’ social presence and create custom content that makes their followers feel invested and involved.

All in all, we say this is a positive move on Facebook’s part. The social media landscape is continuously evolving, and Facebook has decided to change with it rather than become a thing of the past.