March 12, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,108 Reads share

Facebook Changes: Are You Up to Date?

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Facebook is constantly adjusting its algorithm for content. It is well known posting content regularly is vital if you want an engaged following, but you also need to make sure that you don’t post too much of the now on the nose promotional stuff as you might deter viewers from your page. Facebook has recently toughened their stance in this regard, and now you could actually be penalised if your content is considered “too promotional”. Promotional content is considered to be anything from encouraging people to install apps, entering competitions or simply to buy a product or service. Even using the same content from an advertisement you paid for could mean you fall foul to the updated Terms and Conditions.

Post Informative Content

If you want to avoid a reduced ranking for your page then you should try and post blogs that are helpful and informative to your users. Remember that it is always better to offer them something of value as opposed to just promoting yourself- posting too often could hurt yourself more than you’d think. Facebook have made these changes in an attempt to crack down on spam pages. It is always important to take these changes into consideration if you run a business, with social media marketing as a part of your campaign and are not up to date with today’s best practices for content marketing.

Promotion for Other Pages

Because spam pages will now be penalised for their content, this means that pages that post informative content may experience a surge in viewers. So there really has never been a better time to get your content strategy compliant across all of your social media channels, and hopefully among the top ranks. Previously, rankings were based upon factors such as the amount of likes a page has, and the amount of people that contribute to it on a regular basis. With this 2015 change, the algorithm now takes into account the content that is posted as well.

Non-promotional content will also keep your users more engaged, it also helps you to show the professionalism and expertise that your company has to offer. So if promotional content is taboo what should you be replacing it with.

The simplest option is to look at it from your ideal clients and followers point of view. Is the content interesting to them, and are they likely to get some value from it in their business or everyday lives.

Spam Likes

Many websites offer to give you “likes” in return for completing surveys. These websites often give you likes from fake accounts, so even though you will have a high “like” count, you won’t have any engagement. This completely defeats the object of social media marketing, yet many businesses choose to do it any way, in an attempt to kick-start their genuine campaign. Reports have stated that pages with lots of fake likes will also be penalised, and this also counts for pages that trick their users into liking their page.

Overall- Facebook’s new 2015 algorithm is designed to make Facebook a better place for its users. By posting quality content, talking to your users and contributing to other pages, you can be sure to see some value from your page.

Let’s not forget Facebook is a business too and a big one at that, with sales revenue in excess of $12 billion. Nobody is under any misconception that the constant policy updates are really about protecting and growing that revenue base. The free ride on Facebook is long since gone, some of your future marketing budget will surely end up in their hands.

Search Optimisation

Just like search engines, Facebook utilises it’s own SEO criteria. It should be noted nobody really knows the exact methodology that Facebook use to determine the order your posts etc will appear. However getting new “real” likes, consistently and having people engaging, commenting and sharing your content is certainly among the required actions to rank well. Keywords and hashtags in your descriptions relative to your posts should also assist.

So what is a good level of engagement! Your engagement rate is determined by taking the number of people who saw your post, then liked, commented on, shared or clicked on it. You can get these figures for each post from your pages analytics. To find this click Insights at the top of your page, then click Posts and scroll down to All Posts Published. You will find a drop down icon on the right side. Open this up and select Engagement Rate. You can view both your organic and paid engagement rates.

Facebook Changes: are you up to date

Another good site worth taking a look at is Likealyzer here you will get  some great insights into your pages performance and tips on how to improve your Facebook efforts. It is a totally free service too. You can also compare your page against your competitors.

Staying Ahead of Changes

Keeping up with the constant changes is challenging enough let alone staying one step ahead, these are my top 3 tips to do so.

  1. Get your Facebook followers onto your own data base as often as possible. Never be under any delusion you own your data on Facebook (or any other social media platform for that matter). The only space you truly own is your own website and email lists, and here you make all the rules. Create the conversation and interaction on Facebook, do your promotions through your website and database.

  2. Have a clean up of your previous posts. That old content is still there and part of your pages ranking on Facebook, set aside some time to go back through your old posts and remove anything that would be offending current guidelines and rules.

  3. Stay Informed, subscribe to a few blogs that focus heavily on Facebook. These sites will be across the changes before they take effect. The only constant in Facebook is change, keeping an eye on tomorrow’s rules is paramount to staying ahead.

Images: “LISBON – DECEMBER 20, 2013: Photo of Facebook homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass./Shutterstock.com

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Adam Houlahan

Adam Houlahan

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