TL;DR – Facebook is updating its algorithm in a way that will greatly reduce the organic reach of your small business’s Facebook page.
Yet again, Facebook is changing its algorithm for determining which Page posts show up on users’ newsfeeds.
And, yet again, this is the kind of information 99% of small brands are going to miss out on for the next 9 months (at which point Facebook will probably have changed their algorithm again).
But if you’re reading this, you’re going to be ahead of the curve and adapt to the latest Facebook update.
A post on Facebook’s Media blog explained that Facebook is tweaking how often posts from brand Pages (like your small business Facebook fan page) will show up in your fans’ newsfeeds. Overall, there’s the potential brands will lose lots of organic reach, kind of like what happened at the end of 2013.
Business Insider summarized the three changes you should be aware of pretty nicely:
Facebook users will now be able to see more than one NewsFeed post from the same source in a row. Facebook’s algorithm previously prevented that. Facebook says it’s “relaxing this rule” so that users who don’t see much content in their feeds can start seeing more.
Facebook will start prioritizing NewsFeed content posted by friends. “The second update tries to ensure that content posted directly by the friends you care about, such as photos, videos, status updates or links, will be higher up in News Feed so you are less likely to miss it,” Facebook writes. It says you’ll still see content from news organizations and Facebook pages you enjoy though.
Facebook will begin hiding posts that say what your friends have liked or commented on. This sounds like it could really diminish a publisher’s second-hand reach. “This update will make these stories appear lower down in News Feed or not at all,” Facebook says.
The biggest one small businesses should be worried about is the last item. Often, a great way for a post to go viral is to have your fans comment on it. Then, that posit will start showing push in the newsfeeds of your fans’ friends, giving an entirely new audience (that will liekly be interested in your page) the opportunity to begin following your page.
No word on when we’ll start seeing the effects of these changes, so it’s better to begin planning for them now.
Overall, the takeaway from this is that Facebook is pushing its Page owners to use paid boosting in order to get the reach you need for successful social marketing. I’ve been saying small businesses should stop thinking about Facebook as a “free” platform for a long time, and this recent update further proves I was right.
If you’re following me, that means you’re right, too. And you’ll be miles ahead of your competition when they finally realize something is wrong and they’ve been wasting too much cash on ineffective Facebook posts.