How to Apply Facebook’s New Algorithm to Your Social Media Strategy

Facebook algorithm and social media strategyHave you heard? Last month, Facebook changed the algorithm for populating news feeds. One of the primary goals at Facebook is to make sure that the most relevant stories to each individual user always shows up in his or her news feed at the appropriate time – ensuring that users are seeing only high quality content flowing through their news feeds. Facebook wants only the best content to keep being produced, discovered and shared. The latest Facebook news feed ranking algorithm is yet another step making sure that users are seeing only that which is most interesting to them, what they’ll comment on, like or share. So what does this mean for your business? A lot.

Every time Facebook makes a change to their algorithm, your business’s social media marketing strategy should be reviewed to make sure you’re creating content that gets seen and shared. The good news is that this time, Facebook was generally forthright with the information the new algorithm is based upon, so you can update your social media strategy accordingly.

In order for Facebook to display high quality posts, there needed to be a workable definition of high quality content. To achieve this, Facebook surveyed thousands of users to gain an understanding of what components a post must have in order to get likes, comments, shares, etc. Businesses can use the Facebook survey questions to guide their social media marketing strategy and Facebook posts. Here’s a list of the questions Facebook asked, as well as what to ask yourself as you continue to develop high-quality social media content:

  • Is the content timely and relevant? For example, was there a new development within your industry that you should share? If the development came about in October, you should share it by November instead of waiting until January. You should also consider the relevance of your content – is your target audience going to think this is worth a look?
  • Is the content coming from a trusted source? Your followers should be able to trust you. Have you demonstrated that you’re a reliable resource within your industry?
  • Are users likely to share the content or recommend it to other users? If your content engages your customers, they are likely to hit the share button or recommend it elsewhere online, such as in a blog post.
  • Is the content of genuine interest to the page followers? Are people going to hit “like” or “share” simply because might they get something out of it, such as a contest entry, or because they are truly interested in sharing it?
  • How would you feel if the content showed up in your own news feed? One of the best ways to assess your Facebook content is to put yourself in the customers’ shoes. If you saw one of your page’s stories in your personal feed, would you click on it or would you ignore it and keep going?

Facebook is constantly seeking out how to make what users see be the best, most interesting and engaging content from their friends and the pages they follow. Chances are, this will all change again, but the survey questions above outline true best practices to creating high-quality content no matter the social media channel, no matter the algorithm.

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