If you are running a business page on Facebook, you are probably already very well aware of the face that Facebook has dramatically cut down the reach of Facebook pages in an attempt to reduce spammy stories and stories that people don’t want to see on their Timeline. According to Facebook, “The goal of these changes is to make sure that News Feed delivers the right content to the right people at the right time, so everyone on Facebook sees stories that are important to them.” The ideology behind the move makes logical sense, but big changes like these never come without controversy. The new Facebook algorithm change is designed to target companies and pages that are deliberately trying to manipulate Facebook’s News Feed with spammy tactics that are designed to get a particular post or page more reach than it normally would. According to Facebook, a majority of pages on Facebook do not employ these tactics, so most businesses shouldn’t see a significant drop in their reach. However, if you’re a business that has gotten into the habit of posting content on your page every hour or so (or even more often than that), or you schedule out CTAs using an automation platform such as HootSuite or Buffer, you may want to take into account the following.
Facebook’s new algorithm focuses on three types of content that are now considered spammy by Facebook’s standards.
Baiting for Likes
The is probably the most obvious of all the Facebook spam you’ve seen. All of us, at some point in time, have come across a “Like-bait” post that was obviously created for the sole purpose to garner Likes, Shares, or Comments. These posts will often look something like this:
As you can see, there is no substance to this post. There is no information that helps you, it’s not funny or entertaining, and it’s not beneficial to the Facebook viewer in any way shape or form. The post was clearly created purely to generate Likes on the image. If you are a business page and you are posting content like this, STOP! Facebook’s new algorithm is punishing you and, if you haven’t already, you WILL experience a dramatic cut in the reach you normally get on your posts.
It used to be that, by posting something like this, you would get a lot of Likes on the image, so naturally it would be pushed to the top of people’s News Feeds because it is getting a lot of reaction. However, according to Facebook, when people are actually polled about these types of posts, they find them 15% less relevant than other stories with a similar amount of Likes, Shares, and Comments. Now Facebook can detect these “Like-bait” posts and is penalizing pages that post this type of content. So in other words, if you want Likes, Shares, or Comments on your posts, don’t ask for them! EARN them! If your content is good enough, people WILL interact with it, thus pushing the content to the top of the News Feed.
Content That Has Been Circulating The Internet
It is very common for pages, and people, to share content that has already been posted several times across the internet and Facebook. You find this a lot with memes. A lot of you have probably seen this “Success Baby” meme that EVERYONE seems to have shared at one point or another.
This type of content has been reshared over and over so many times that people have grown tired of it and find it to be a nuisance on their Timelines. Facebook’s new algorithm also targets these types of posts. Memes and viral content are okay to share on your page every one in awhile, but don’t make it a habit or Facebook will notice and your reach will suffer. Instead, try to make a point to constantly be creating new and unique content to post. If you can figure out a way to be continuously creating original content, you will never have to curate content for your Facebook page ever again. Plus, your efforts will be rewarded with improved reach. You and your Facebook fans both win!
NOTE: With memes such as the “Success Baby” meme above, people think that putting different words on it will prevent Facebook from seeing it as a reshared post. This is FALSE. Facebook is now able to actually recognize identical and similar images, so the “Success Baby” meme, among many other memes, has already been pegged by Facebook as spammy content because it has been reshared so many times.
The absolute WORST thing you can do right now is post blatant spam on your page. These types of posts are created to manipulate, or trick, people into clicking on a link thinking it’s about one thing, when really it is just a link to a website or page with a ton of ads. These posts will be disguised as something like a photo album or a story, but once the Facebook user clicks on the link, they are suddenly on some completely unrelated webpage that is designed purely to shove advertisements down the visitor’s throat. Facebook users HATE this type of content and Facebook has responded accordingly by heavily punishing pages that post this type of content. Facebook is also able to recognize links that are spammy. So if you think you are fooling Facebook users with the wording in your posts, you may be, but Facebook can still recognize the link, so you aren’t fooling Facebook. If you are simply linking to your own, real website, you should have no problem avoiding this type of problem.
The new Facebook algorithm change can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Initially, it was feared that the new News Feed would kill small businesses because they are not able to spend as much on Facebook advertising as the large corporations. However, in our own experiences of trial and error, we have been able to work around Facebook’s new algorithm and have figured out how to get the reach back up on several of our business pages without spending a dime on Facebook ads. We also feel like it has made us into better publishers since we have been forced to create a much larger volume of original content to mix in with curated posts.
If you would like to learn about this major change further, we are hosting a HUG Meeting on June 4th, 2014 at 10AM to discuss this in-depth. You can register by clicking on the button below!