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Facebook Changes News Feed Priorities

Two weeks ago Facebook updated its algorithm that determines what users see on their News Feed.  We mentioned this in our weekly digital wrap, however this update deserves closer inspection for its implications for marketers using Facebook as part of their digital strategy.

Facebook Algorithm Update 

The April 21st Facebook blog post detailed the changes as:

  • - Relaxing the rule that prevents multiple posts from the same source to appear in a row on your News Feed.
  • - Updated the algorithm to try to prioritize content from friends you care about to appear higher up in the News Feed.
  • - Updated the algorithm to push friend’s comments and likes of stories further down the News Feed.

Facebooknewfeed

An example of a friend's comment that will be pushed further down the new Facebook feed

These changes should be of interest to marketers using Facebook as the change will affect your activites.  As Facebook explains:

“The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline. Overall, pages should continue to post things that people find meaningful and consider these best practices for driving referral traffic.”

Facebook posting best practices:

  • - Post frequently
  • - Share a variety or links, photos, videos and other content
  • - Make use of Facebook’s video function to direct viewers to your website.
  • - Create personal and social content that people want to share
  • - Tag other pages to appear in fans of those pages
  • - Post about trending topic to engage your audience
  • - Embed Facebook or Instagram posts on your website.
  • - Add Facebook comments sections to your website.

 

This change continues a commitment by Facebook to help publishers find the right content for their audience.  The reduced coverage of click-bait and spammy posts was part of this commitment.  This most recent change is designed to help Facebook's engagement algorithm to deliver content from friends and pages based on the users interactions with their News Feed.

The key point to takeaway is that these changes reinforce the need for marketers to ensure their content is relevant and engaging to the audience they are looking to connect with.