Facebook’s Algorithm Update Will Affect How You Use Social Media

Arcane Blog Post

Facebook’s Algorithm Update Will Affect How You Use Social Media

Facebook’s Algorithm Update Will Affect How You Use Social Media


Facebook’s News Feed has turned into a barrage of irrelevant posts. Cooking videos, sports clips, world news — what started off as a platform to connect with family and friends has turned into a place where the voices of brands/businesses are amplified over those in our personal lives.

Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, released a statement announcing a pivot in the way the News Feed would rank posts. It will now place a higher priority in displaying content from your family and friends with public pages fighting for more limited space.

Advertisers are screwed, right?

Not really.

Advertisers briefly panicked, assuming that they’d be affected by this reprioritization; the update, however, only focuses on public organic posts by brands and publishers. The goal is to change the way we browse Facebook.

In the above example, only one of these posts is from a friend while the rest are organic posts and ads.

[It’s] like mindlessly eating a pint of ice cream while watching TV; you are less likely to be fully tuned in and more likely to feel bad afterwards. –Quartz

If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve probably seen a lot of posts you don’t reallycare about. At this point, you might passively scroll through the content, not even realizing what you’re looking at half the time. This is what Facebook is trying to change — by emphasizing posts from friends and family, users will more actively browse and look to interact with posts.

Being an active user is beneficial for both Facebook and other brands on the platform. For Facebook, a desired action makes them much more money than a view or impression; the platform makes money on quality over quantity. Needless to say, brands love users with high intent who are likely to convert on ads rather than those who rack up the bill with views.

Why do platforms even change their algorithms?

The internet is a very competitive place. Users want to learn or be entertained using the fewest clicks and keystrokes. For example, if you were to search for a how-to tutorial on knitting a blanket, you’d expect to find what you need after one Google or YouTube search.

Thus, Google, Facebook, and all other platforms constantly tweak and update their algorithms to help the user find what they need as quickly as possible. Not wanting users to take advantage or to ‘game’ the system, platforms are often secretive about exactly what gets your brand front and centre.

John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, responds to a tweet asking him if there was a Google algorithm update on March 8th, 2017.

It’s not just for the users. These platforms also realize that advertisers need to be pleased or they will just flock to competing websites. Facebook is a great example of a platform that has evolved to provide effective marketing methods for advertisers. The two examples below are sidebar ads that you could have expected to see in 2004 and ones that you can expect to see today.

Facebook has clearly updated the visual and technical power of their ads. Mobile and desktop ads have been updated for a sleek feel that aligns with today’s design trends and styles. Targeting methods have also gotten a boost with tools like Lookalike Audiences and geographic targeting.

Lookalike Audiences allow brands to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they are similar to your best existing customers.

How do you make sure your posts and ads show up on the new Facebook?

Don’t rush — you have time. Though it was announced last week, Facebook’s updated algorithm will experience a slow rollout over the next few months.

To emphasize meaningful interactions, Facebook will prioritize posts that spark conversation and offer sincere fanfare or discussion. That means attempts at viral meme-like posts will be pushed aside, forcing publishers to create high quality content; posts that beg for likes or comments will be no more.

As always, make sure that the content you publish to your Page is relevant, useful and engaging. Before posting, ask yourself “why does this matter?” You should be able to easily identify the value you’re bringing to your customers and Page fans.

In terms of new tactics, try some video; live videos are another way to create genuine interactions with your fans. One thing to note about Facebook Live is that viewers don’t necessarily expect a perfect event like they would with a produced video. In fact, if a well-planned live video has minor flaws, it can seem more authentic. That means you can easily create engaging content that is well within budget.

There are several examples of brands using Facebook Live effectively, like Florida’s Natural Orange Juice teaming up with Funny or Die for a live debateon Pulp vs. No Pulp vs. Some Pulp. Facebook has said that live videos bring in 6 times more interactions than non-live videos.

Another idea is to create a Facebook Group. Setting up a group is a great way to build a community of people who are passionate about your brand. Groups cultivate sincere interactions like the ones Facebook’s algorithm will favour, which will help increase your News Feed visibility.

It’s been a long time coming and it may have been a plateau of their ad revenue that sparked a change, but this algorithm update is a positive move. Users and advertisers should be happy about the new shifts in content, but time will tell how people interact with the new News Feed. Stay tuned for more insights every week!


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