Facebook has become the most popular and powerful of all social networks now operating and a critical element for effective online marketing campaigns. Like Google’s search algorithm, the social networking giant’s algorithm is also continually changing as the company tries to provide the best user experience.

With significant changes to the Facebook algorithm in early 2018, you certainly have your work cut out if you are a marketer. Social media usage for businesses has never been more important; however, getting seen in the feed is becoming more challenging every day.

What Has Changed with Facebook in 2018?

In an effort to provide better service to its users, Facebook’s social networking feed algorithm was changed earlier this year. Per CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the changes allow users to see more posts from family, friends, and groups.

This means that public content from businesses and media is now receiving lower priority. Public content will also be evaluated based on its ability to encourage user engagement.

As a result of this significant algorithm change, if you are a business with social media integration, you may be seeing less organic reach to potential audiences. Many business and brand accounts are being filtered out.

As Zuckerberg explained, by providing users with more of the content they want to see and less random or lower priority content, users are spending more time on Facebook which was one of the goals of this change. If you are a business marketer, you will need to work harder than ever to be seen by audiences.

How Does the Facebook News Feed Algorithm Work?

The key to being successful with marketing on social networks like Facebook after big changes to its algorithm is understanding how the feed algorithm actually works. Overall, the new algorithm judges posts on how likely the user is to interact with a particular post based on previous user history and predictions made by the algorithm.

Facebook’s social networking team has stated that the algorithm goes through a four-step process to score potential content that could be served on a user’s news feed. Content with the highest scores show up in the feed:  

  1. Inventory available content to the user.
  2. Signals within the content that correlate to the user.
  3. Predictions about the user based on available content.
  4. Create an overall score to rate content.

How Can Brands Stay Visible to Audiences?

Although the algorithms of social networks like Facebook do some predicting, the most important factor in determining which content will show up in a user’s news feed is signals. They determine the degree of interest a user has with a particular brand, post, or idea.

Signals can be active, like commenting posts, mentioning, sharing, and otherwise reacting to content. They can also be passive, such as viewing the content, hovering over links, or even clicking links to off-site content and more.

The biggest change with the new algorithm is how it interprets user interactions, giving value only to active signals. The top ranking active signals are commenting, sharing, and reacting.

Getting the Best Results on Facebook

To get the best results from social media and ensure posts show up on user feeds, your brand must encourage user interaction, reactions, shares, and follows. Post content that will generate meaningful interaction among followers without being spammy.

“Engagement bait” posts that encourage commenting for the sake of collecting comments can actually reduce post visibility. Emphasize sharing and increasing follows by creating content that is shareworthy.

Social networks like Facebook are an integral part of online marketing. Feed algorithms on social networking sites are changing to reduce how much brand content users see in their news feeds.

As a marketer, you must concentrate on social media usage that produces active user interaction. Focus on posting quality, audience-centric content that naturally generates comments, user reactions, and shares to increase chances of your business showing up in user feeds!

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