Facebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again)

    By Mike Brooks | Small Business

    You can’t use images on your Facebook page. You should use images on your Facebook page. Embedding video is bad. Embedding video is good. Don’t do this, don’t do that.

    Over the many months you have probably heard experts saying you shouldn’t do something on your Facebook page because the algorithm changed. Then, next month you hear something different that may even contradict what you were told last month.

    Facebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again) image Facebook Algorithm Change For Business PagesFacebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again)

    Over the past month I’ve been asked by countless businesses what they should and should not do on their pages. Reach is way down and people are confused, disappointed and even angry at Facebook.

    Facebook’s change last month sent post reach for pages plummeting. Pages saw massive drops and Facebook warned it was coming. The best guess by many experts was that Facebook wants you to pay to play. They will choke your posts out until they reach no one, unless of course you pay to promote it. That’s part of it, yes. But there is more to it than that.

    Text Posts Are Bad

    Now it is text posts. Facebook announced yesterday that they again adjusted the algorithm. This change will drive down the reach of text only posts.

    Here’s what Facebook had to say:
    “Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”

    I see this as good news for many reasons. First, these changes will keep the trash away. Spammers who don’t play by the rules will get hurt. And that’s fine by me. Also, notice they say you can expect increase for other story types? What was bad is good again.

    Use Link-Share Posts

    Facebook suggests page owners will have more engagement with Link-Share posts. Here is what they said in their blog post:

    “We’ve found that, as compared to sharing links by embedding in status updates, these posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.”

    A Link-Share is simply a post where you remove the link. For example, below I copied my latest blog post and added a comment.

    Facebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again) image Facebook Link Share Business Page Post BeforeFacebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again)

    Facebook will pull the image into my post and will link it to my blog post. I can now remove the link that I pasted in.

    Notice in the below picture, the link is gone. However, if someone clicks on the picture or title they will go right to my blog post.

    Facebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again) image Like Share Post On Facebook PagesFacebook Changes Algorithm For Business Pages (Again)

    Will this increase reach? They didn’t specifically say that, but there is only one way to find out. Evaluate the metrics.

    Stay Calm Everyone

    My answer is always the same. Lets all take a breath and do what we need to do to reach our fans and followers.

    Here is some very simple advice for you:

    1: Create great content.

    If you build it, they will come. Ok, it’s not that simple, you still need to drive the eye balls to it. But the issue is, your content will keep people coming back for more or it will keep them away.

    Content doesn’t need to be bad to repel. Mundane content will keep them away. If it is the same old thing, it will keep them away. Strive to be great.

    2: Don’t stop using Facebook.

    I hear business owners saying they are going to stop Facebook. That is the wrong approach. First off, you need to increase social signals to help your search strategy. Abandoning Facebook is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    They will change their algorithm again. Methods will change then they will change again. What was right will be wrong and what was wrong will be right again. At the end of the day, if you’re saying something worth listening to, people will find you.

    3: You must have a blog.

    I have been begging businesses to blog for years. There are many reasons to have a blog. But one real important one is that Google has plainly said you need it to be findable. It must be part of your search strategy the same as Facebook is.

    This latest change by Facebook is just another piece of evidence for a blog. You need something to link-share after all. I cannot think of anything better to share than your own content.

    4: Build your other social channels.

    Facebook is one of many social media channels. New ones come up every day. If you want your business found on Google search, you HAVE to be on Google Plus (Google’s social network). Be everywhere!

    5: Promote your Facebook page.

    Help people find you. Have clear instructions in your store, on your website, your email signature and any place your customers can see you. Don’t just tell them to find you on Facebook. Tell them HOW to find your Facebook page. Like

    Give them a very clear reason why they should be going to your page. Telling them to go to your page is great but it is a first step. What will they get there that they won’t find elsewhere? Special coupons, a game, secret meetups, Facebook page only events?

    6: Test, measure and adjust.

    Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Yes, it is always good to employ a best practice. But not blindly. Test it out. See what happens and then make your own judgements based on your facts then adjust accordingly.

    Even Facebook hints that not every page will see the same results:

    “Many Page owners often ask what kind of content they should post. This is difficult to answer, as it depends on who your audience is and what they want to see.”

    If it works on your page, it doesn’t matter what I or any expert says. Become the expert by trying different things in a measurable way in order to evaluate it for yourself in real time. You may be surprised what you see.

    7: Pay for ads.

    Yup, I said it. Listen, Facebook is an extremely rich source of prospective business. It stinks that they made it harder for people to use it for free. But, you’re a business and you should have a budget to advertise.

    You can get business announcements put in the newspaper for free usually as a press release or PSA. But you still have to pay if you want an ad.

    You don’t need to spend a lot. You can spend as little as $5 a day for a few days. I cannot think of a more effective way to directly market to a hyper targeted audience for that little.

    Don’t know how to do paid ads on Facebook? Go see my friend Jon Loomer for a crash course. The guy knows Facebook advertising!

    It amazes me how many people ask me for recommendations on places to spend their ad dollars online but get mad when I recommend Facebook.

    8: Size really doesn’t matter.

    Bigger does NOT mean better. Focus on the important outcome which is reaching the RIGHT people.

    Most people have inflated fan numbers. They have thousands of fans because they bought them, they ran a contest and attracted the wrong people, they asked everyone to like their page to get the numbers up, etc.

    What matters is how many fans really are worth reaching. And honestly, for most pages that number will be smaller. So some of what is happening here is that Facebook is really just catching up with this fact. They are just cleaning up your page for you. Focus on what matters: reaching the people who really do like you and want to hear from you.

    What To Do, What To Do

    So should you no longer put text posts on your page? I will certainly continue to do so. But only when I have something worth saying that I think my real fans will enjoy. And then I will see what the reach is compared to other posts. I will use the above list and make decisions based on results. I suggest you do the same.

    What’s Your Opinion?

    Are you angry about this? Leave a comment below and let me know what your experience is with this.

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