Facebook has changed. Have you?

Anyone who has been using Facebook more than six months for business pages has had the rug pulled out from under their marketing efforts at least once. Sure, we recover and continue with Facebook, but we lose time at each instance of Facebook upgrading, or changing rules.

We (all?) can agree that Facebook must be currently profitable and promising for future returns or its stock will take a dive. Remember when Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan honeymooned just after his Facebook IPO launched in May 2012? In case you forgot, the stock fell precipitously while Mark and wife were traveling all over the world. After that fiasco, I didn’t expect anything other than squeezing every dime out of Facebook until it begins to hurt user retention. Yeah, we all heard that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want Facebook to be a “company.” After all, Zuckerberg’s 730 million dollar acquisition of Instagram may only be the beginning. So, let us not begrudge the Z’s Facebook profitability. He fought long and hard against the twins to retain control of his baby.

Falling off of the algorithm

The algorithm is what Facebook is using to personalize what a person sees on his or her timeline. I bet you thought that every fan saw each of your posts. Buy an ad or “promote a post” and algorithms are not used, every ad and promoted posts are seen by your fans, for the time being. Just watch, changes will be made.

After that honeymoon, rapid changes began with Facebook’s algorithm. The programming for ads and “promoted posts” were either changed or newly created. This was a result of Mr. Z requiring each of his product managers to recommend changes that would increase profitability. Previously, there were only three criteria that the algorithm used. Now, I have been reading that 100,000 weight factors are used for the new algorithm. I can not go through each and every weight factor because they are secret and I don’t know them, so feel free to use the comment section to enlighten us with what you know. (If you have a lot to say, please contact me, so you can guest-post here. It is worth a separate post.) With that said some weight factors are known because their creators have been interviewed and revelations of a few of the weight factors for the algorithm have occurred during those interviews. Facebook fans with slow Internet connections may mean no posts with photos, videos or graphics will appear on their timeline. Another weighs how many likes and shares your deal or coupons have garnered after you have posted them. That means your Facebook offer may not be seen by many of your fans until hours later.

Therefore, please do not think that by creating a Facebook page, you are reaching all of your fans with those great deals or coupons. I realize that they “liked” your Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean that the Facebook algorithm will let them see all of the posts from you.

Fortunately, there are some adjustments that can be made to your content that will make sure it is seen. The popularity of the content, along with 99,999 factors determine what is seen and what is not seen.

The heck with Facebook then

No. Saying “The heck with Facebook, then…,” is not the answer. Some brands have seen that fan engagement has increased since the algorithm change. So, they are reaping the results of placing content that their fans are interested in either because a post is entertaining, interesting, solves a problem, or is just fun. Remember Facebook and other social media still have great potential to increase leads, as you have been told. It is the usefulness of the content of your posts that matter to your fans.

Media investment management firm GroupM recently looked into advertisers’ concerns. “The firm analyzed 25 Facebook brand pages in a recent study into the new algorithm. They found 38 percent decline in consumer reach following Facebook’s recent changes. Not everything soured following Facebook’s algorithm shakeup. Engagement was reported to be up, according to GroupM. The study found that engagement for individual posts was up 96 percent following the new algorithm implementation.’What brands can do now in the new Facebook environment, and in light of deeper insights made possible as a result of the change, is better understand the impact post types have and marry that data with a publishing schedule and content creation plan,’ GroupM said in its study.”

Even though everything is changing rapidly, your company can still use Facebook effectively. It just may take a little more work.

What have you found to work well with Facebook’s new algorithm? What has not?

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About Paul Hem

Innovator, team-player, who leads by example and loves to win.
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One Response to Facebook has changed. Have you?

  1. I think more people should use Google+ in addition to Facebook and Twitter. Each has distinct differences that may complement (not compliment) the other in outreach efforts.

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