How Startups are Surviving Big Facebook Algorithm Changes in 2019
With more than 1.5 billion users logging into the platform every day, it should be obvious that Facebook is still the most powerful avenue on social media. However, new policies and recent updates to algorithms have left a bad taste for some users and this is certainly true for marketers or those who manage business pages.
At the same time, while many businesses have moved their attention elsewhere, Facebook continues to dominate the market, and we should also keep in mind that this platform owns Instagram. What’s more, many businesses continue to achieve results on Facebook and make immense progress in spite of the changes.
But what has changed exactly and how can startups survive the more recent algorithm changes?
Myth vs Truth: What Really Matters for Facebook Algorithim’s in 2019?
Believe it or not, memes are a major reason why even the most experienced marketers have misinterpreted recent changes to the algorithms on Facebook. That is to say, changes have clearly taken place but not in such a way that makes the platform less powerful or relevant than in the past.
For example, certain memes went viral last year which illustrated how Facebook limits the number of people who can see your personal news feed to twenty-five. Facebook does limit the amount of material that we get to see but the truth is, this meme was ficticous and completely inaccurate.
In fact, Facebook has issued several statements on the matter and sought to assure users that they have no intention of limiting your news feed to a set of close friends only. On the contrary, Facebook is committed to providing an enjoyable experience and showing users the posts and content that matter to them the most.
Anyway, the point is, Facebook has made changes but in order to master the platform, startups must first be crystal clear in terms of what does and does not matter to these algorithms.
Facebook values personal relationships and meaningful interactions over everything else. As you may know, a major data scandal has also forced the platform to re-evaluate certain policies, while consistency, value and authenticity are equally important when it comes to posting content on the platform.
As for something slightly creepy that you may not know?
Facebook algorithms even take note of individual conversations and links that users exchange on Messenger!
In the rest of this article, we take a look at how startups can survive these changes to Facebook algorithms:
1. Staying Focused on Likes, Comments and Shares
Interactions can refer to leaving comments and liking updates or photos. However, your page is also rewarded if a person shares an update and their friends like, comment or share this content in return. At the same time, it’s important not to ask people to like, comment or share, for this goes against Facebook algorithms.
Also, Facebook algorithm’s now take the length of a comment into account. As with the recent Medic Update on Google, this algorithm favors content which has a significant number of long form comments.
Meanwhile, Facebook is also very attentive when it comes to video and the longer people stay tuned to a piece of video content, the more authority the platform will associate with your page. That is to say, your page will rank higher and show up much quicker on the news feed of your followers.
2. Knowing the Importance of Replying to Comments
While most marketers know that comments are a sign of authority, the Facebook algorithm is also programmed to monitor the response to these comments. For this reason, the more meaningful comments on your updates, the higher Facebook algorithms will post your content on peoples’ news feed. In this sense, the posts should be purposeful in such a way that people engage in conversation.
Now, that’s not to say a large number of comments will guarantee you exposure. After all, “engagement bait” is frowned upon and only likely to reduce the amount of exposure for each piece of content. For instance, if you post a photograph with a caption like “comment if you like this photo”, this will do no good for the page.
3. Producing Native Content and Local Updates
As yo may know, Facebook still prefers native content which keeps users engaged on the platform as opposed to being redirected to YouTube, Twitter or website URLs. With this in mind, try to re-purpose content for Facebook posts rather than posting a link to your latest articles on LinkedIn or Medium.
Similarly, you should know that Facebook algorithms give more weight to local news and global or generic news is much less likely to find it’s way into the news feed. In terms of how to approach this theory, you can simply use Facebook ads to target different segments of your audience according to the relevance of the news.
4. Sharing Value and Remaining Consistent
Since the recent data-scandal, Facebook is increasingly focused on transparency and authenticity. While posting the odd promotional piece of content here or there is fine, its best to share content that has no alternative motive. In other words, content designed to offer value without expecting anything in return.
On the other hand, consistency is highly valued in Facebook algorithms and daily updates can bolster the authority of a page on any given topic. Now, that’s not to say you should post multiple times a day for the sake of it but rather to highlight the importance of remaining consistent with the message you want to portray.
5. Getting Started with Live Video
For many people, live video can seem quite daunting but statistics show that live-streaming receives six times as much interaction as any non-live video content. That being said, Facebook live also gains more regular traction from users and creates a sense of “Fomo” (Fear of missing out), while the raw nature of live video is something that can also build both brand personality and authenticity.
6. Creating Authentic Conversations and Meaningful Interactions
As already mentioned, Facebook now prefers meaningful interactions and this is especially true for business pages. In other words, it’s best to avoid sounding too sales-like and focus on generating interest through conversation rather than promotional material. With this in mind, Facebook wants both individuals and pages to create content that inspires people to take action and engage in discussions in the comment section.
Moral of the story: Keep on with producing quality content that users will find relevant and meaningful.
As you can see, Facebook algorithms are heavily focused on meaningful conversation. Simply put, it’s not about the brand, it’s about creating an interesting place for your audience to interact with each other. It’s true, many startups have moved away from Facebook in recent times but this disillusion is unwarranted and the best marketers will know precisely how to navigate these algorithms to achieve some truly powerful results.