Has your business page been a victim of Facebook’s algorithm changes? (Updated 2019)
It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that Facebook have been making changes. But in order to be one of the business page ‘winners’ from Facebook, you need to understand what FB is trying to achieve.
Somewhere between 2015-2017 you probably noticed that the quality of content on Facebook really took a nose dive. The feed was filled with spammy posts such as “tag a friend who would date this!” (and a rather offensive photo of a woman who was overweight, or had not shaved – stuff that usually equated to body shaming and objectifying women) or Clickbait articles like “Look who fell flat on their face on the red carpet” (which when you clicked the link, turned out to be a low quality landing page full of adverts, and nobody had fallen flat on their face on the red carpet)
“Facebook fatigue” started to set in, people started spending less time on the platform. And that was bad news for Facebook.
Because Facebook makes money by selling ads. Fewer people = fewer views of the newsfeed = fewer opportunities for placements of ad impressions which = less $$$$
Facebook with all its Clickbait, Fake News, Spammy posts, poor quality landing pages, and international speculation over data misuse really needed to do something about how it was being perceived, before it lost its users for good.
You will have no doubt seen the massive campaign by Facebook in 2018 – on TV, radio, bus shelters, about going back to ‘why you came here in the first place’, about connecting people, about sharing what is important to you. And your business page, and your content needs to help Facebook to support those objectives.
It may surprise you that Facebook has an internal score card for all business pages, and I have many prospective clients who come to me with thousands of page ‘likes’ but their posts are routinely reaching 30-40 people, and they want to know what they are doing wrong.
Unfortunately, the answer is often that Facebook has decided, based on your content over the past couple of years that the quality of your posting is poor and has reduced how many impressions it gets on the newsfeed.
So what exactly did you do wrong?
- When the algorithm changes first came in, a lot of people thought that posting 2-3-4-5 times a day was the best way to make sure your posts ‘got seen’. In practice, it just meant that Facebook picked this up as you spamming the newsfeed with poor quality content. Less is more. And like your mother always said, if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.
- Your website or the links you have been directing to were poor quality / fake news. Have you been sharing stories that you thought were interesting without checking where the link would land? Linking traffic to poor quality information sources will have hit your credibility with the Facebook bots.
- Do your links and videos try to mislead people in order to bait them into watching / reading? (like the red carpet example) If you are publishing a blog, or a video, it is important to accurately summarise what they will find by clicking. For example I posted a Google Analytics tutorial on my Facebook page – I clearly explained what the video was about and that the video was 6 minutes long (so people could make an informed choice about watching) By dancing to Facebook’s tune, my reach was handsomely rewarded (200% of my audience reached so far).
- Have you been breaking Facebook’s rules? You aren’t allowed to run competitions that ask people to ‘Share’ the post or to tag their friends. If you’ve been doing a lot of this, there’s a good chance you are now being punished with poor reach.
- Does your page have fewer follows than ‘likes’? This is a warning sign to Facebook that people have manually opted-out of seeing your content (because when someone likes the business page, they are set to ‘following’ as a default)- which tells Facebook the content you are publishing is poor quality and people don’t want to see it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Here is another blog post about the 3 Things You Are Doing Wrong with Your Facebook Page
The fundamental points to take away from this – don’t spam people, don’t use your business page to constantly tell your audience about yourself.
Create great content that informs, educates, motivates or entertains and you won’t go far wrong.