A New Wave of Facebook Algorithm Updates: What You Need to Know

Grace Stasky
January 4, 2018

Another year, another wave of algorithm updates on everyone’s favorite social media site.

Some of these updates are good for users and some will have potentially negative effects on us as digital marketers. It’s known that Facebook wants to be our one-stop-shop for basically everything – entertainment, news, games, weather, etc.

Facebook never wants us to leave them. How do they do this? They fill your newsfeed with anything that is relevant and entertaining to YOU.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here a quick lesson:

Facebook and other social platforms collect all of your data. From what status updates you write, watching certain videos longer than others to simply putting your gender and age on your profile.

Sounding familiar?

With this behavior, interest and demographic based data, Facebook is able to formulate a newsfeed just for you. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to see puppies and delicious food recipes over anything else, but when you think about it, it’s a little creepy.

So what’s the latest and greatest? How important are these Facebook algorithm updates? How will businesses and digital marketers continue fighting this uphill battle? Let’s get it going.

Copy: Engagement Bait

If you’re like us at ChatterBlast, you want to have fun with your social community. Personally, our office loves a good Slack poll. Chocolate vs. vanilla ice cream?  Vote for your favorite tv show. (Game of Thrones usually wins).

Voting and polls historically gain high engagement. Everyone wants to give their two cents.

But, Facebook is swooping in and devaluing this type of copy. They are declaring an engagement bait war by calling it spammy and annoying to user experience. Which is odd since they recently added polling capabilities.

What does devalue mean in this situation?

Yes – you can still post this type of content, but Facebook is going to make sure that fewer people see it. Spammy content such as, “Like this post if you love your dog!” will now be picked up with a machine learning model.

Again, creepy.

Here are examples provided by Facebook:

Advice to businesses and digital marketers:

It’s all about remaining relevant and meaningful to your audience. Facebook eats up that type of content. Users want also read and watch reliable and credible information. Sometimes we’re all a little guilty of click baiting or spamming, but now it’s more important than ever to steer clear of these tactics. You can still post once in a while about voting, but it may not be shown as much. Try to keep the post relevant to your audience.

Video: Viewership Matters.

Facebook now says that videos with higher repeat viewership will be ranked higher in the News Feed.

As an explanation as to why, Facebook wrote, “With this update, we will show more videos in News Feed that people seek out or return to watch from the same publisher or creator week after week — for example, shows or videos that are part of a series, or from partners who are creating active communities. Engaging one-off videos that bring friends and communities together have always done well in News Feed and will continue to do so.”

Advice to businesses and digital marketers:

Continue to use video in your social media strategy. Be sure to create relevant and engaging video content to keep users sharing, commenting and coming back to watch. This sends Facebook signals that your video is being watched multiple times and should be ranked higher. Facebook wants users to engage in conversation and share with our friends. They see this as continually building their community.

Always optimize your videos with high volume search keywords. Update the titles and descriptions in your videos. We’re sure you spent a pretty penny making the video. Get it out there! You can practically search for anything on Facebook now. Don’t let your video get lost. Be creative and add in keywords.

Low-Quality Links: More informative and higher website experience will rise in rankings.

By now, you should understand Facebook wants their business pages to post relevant and reliable content. Sadly, there are pages that post fake news and false advertisements. To rid your feed of this content, Facebook is continuously deprioritizing these posts. Links that provide low quality content and webpage experience are either removed or shown to less users.

Advice to businesses and digital marketers:

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Here’s a quick rundown.

Don’t post fake news or advertisements. Double check your headlines. Disruptive content will be immediately flagged. No cursing or violence.

How fast is your page loading speed? Lagging? Fix it. Users have very low attention spans and Facebook ultimately see that as hurting their user experience too.

When you direct Facebook users to a certain landing page, does it connect with the social copy? No? Wrong answer. Your intent should always match.

How about your bounce rates? Users who travel from your landing page to other pages will show strong interest and quality to Facebook.

While these Facebook Newsfeed algorithms seem a little harsh, in the end they are to make user experience seamless. Time to take out the spam trash and add high quality social copy, videos and links to your strategy. Don’t get caught up in the popularity. Facebook wants you to post relevant and reliable information to your audience. Utilizing this strategy will help you rank higher.

Need help with your social media strategy? Or need more interactive content?  Give us a call.