In December, many business owners started to notice that content on their business’ Facebook page was reaching less people, despite either no change or an increase in the amount of ‘likes’ their page was garnering. It didn’t make much sense, until Facebook explained: they had adjusted their algorithm to account for excessive content appearing on others’ newsfeeds.
In reality, this algorithmic tinkering was implemented largely to expand a monetary platform that persuades Facebook page owners to expand their reach by paying for it, particularly by “boosting” posts. This strategy on Facebook’s behalf is important for their monetary success, which has increased as ads and “sponsored posts” have become more common across users’ newsfeeds in 2014.
Facebook’s Reasoning: Too Much Content
Your Facebook pages’ reach may be suffering compared to 2013, but according to Facebook it’s for the dumpsoon good of everyone. The average Facebook user has the potential to see thousands of different posts every time they sign in, with all of those posts being based on some sort of interest or browsing pattern of the user. These thousands of different posts range from your best friend posting a baby photo to a company using their Facebook page to get your attention, especially since more and more companies are becoming active on Facebook. Competition for your eyes on Facebook has never been fiercer.
Facebook’s belief is that pages willing to pay for your attention are more likely to be providing something of interest to you, particularly since they’re putting their money where their mouth is. Of course this benefits Facebook monetarily, as these pages must pay at least $5 to get any sort of traction. But Facebook is intent on distinguishing itself from other social media platforms like Twitter,dumpsoon.com which shows every tweet from all your followers. Instead, Facebook aims to come across as a highly select and targeted wealth of useful content.
How Can My Business Take Advantage of This?
Any savvy business owner will ask themselves how this algorithmic change can be used to their advantage. For one, not many Facebook Page owners are entirely familiar with Facebook’s ad platform yet, which means less competition for those willing to embrace Facebook’s new model. As a result, all business owners should familiarize themselves with post boosting to see if it makes sense for their content. It’s also worth keeping in mind that…
Social Engagement Still Matters
Some business owners perceive Facebook as an ad platform ahead of a social network. While this may be true to some extent, it’s still worth valuing Facebook’s multiple uses, particularly in regard to marketing reach and consumer engagement. Both are important, but in many cases both can only be accomplished if a post is “boosted” or receives an overwhelmingly positive response from the hundred or so users that did happen to see it organically on their news feed.
With the new algorithm allowing posts to only reach a few hundred or so followers organically, a wide reach can be difficult without a money-padded boost. Still, page owners should engage with followers whenever possible, no matter how they stumbled across the page — via organically or via a boosted post.
A Common Criticism: Too Much of the Same
Especially for startup businesses, there is a reluctance to spend on “boosting” Facebook posts, since every dollar counts and there’s no way of being sure that the “reach audience” is even a relevant one. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that many Facebook users have complained that the new algorithm results in too much of the same content appearing on their news feed, particularly boosted posts. While this may seem like a nuisance to users, businesses can take advantage of the platform’s current tendency to repeat posts. After a user sees your business and an engaging post several times, it is likely to pique their interest, assuming they were targeted correctly.
Correct targeting shouldn’t be too much of an issue for attentive business owners, since page owners can tailor boosted posts to users of a specific location, age, gender, or interests. As is the case with traditional and digital marketing outreaches alike, proper targeting is dependent on a business knowing its target demographic. This is something that should be a component of any business plan, all while keeping that in mind there are a variety of ways a business can reap benefits from Facebook’s new reach-related algorithm. There’s little harm in spending $5-10 to evaluate the impact of boosting one of your pages’ posts; the high degree of engagement and reach may surprise you.