Facebook is radically changing news feed (timeline)

In recent weeks Facebook has been busy adjusting the news feed and the corresponding algorithm. That is why we have listed the most important updates. As a brand or company, you will be impacted by these changes and have to adjust your strategy.

Facebook content strategy: Less clickbait and news

Do you always tag your friends in Facebook posts? When you scroll through Facebook, you will encounter this type of posts multiple times. Until recently, this was an ideal way to interact with your content as a page and thus create a large reach. Facebook is not so happy with this. Engagement bait is often perceived as spam, which creates a negative experience among Facebook users. To prevent this from happening, Facebook applies its algorithm. The use of engagement bait is therefore penalized with a reduced range of your content.

What exactly does Facebook see as engagement bait?

– Vote baiting: hereby asked to vote with a ‘like’ or ‘love’.
– React baiting: this involves asking for a specific action, such as liking if you agree with something.
– Share baiting: these are the known partial actions, for example, to be able to win something.
– Tag baiting: hereby asked to tag friends in a comment on a message.
– Comment baiting: a specific response is requested in the reactions.

Facebook content strategy Facebook content strategy

More friends and family

Last Friday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will update its newsfeed to show more meaningful updates from friends and family. As a result, Facebook returns to its original goal: connecting people.

Recently, Facebook received criticism from its community that public content – messages from companies, brands, and media – overshadowed personal moments that lead us to get in touch with each other.

Facebook content strategy: the current newsfeed

Currently, Facebook determines by the degree of involvement how high posts appear in the news feed. With this new update, they will also give priority to posts that provide interaction, such as a post that leads to a discussion in the comments. This gives the posts of friends priority over content from publishers or companies. This does not mean, however, that the posts of pages disappear in the news feed, but it may be less.

Links to a low-quality website will be penalized

A lot of spam on the internet is fed by traffic from social media channels. Facebook wants to prevent this spam by ‘punishing’ the posts that link to websites with bad web experiences. They have checked 100,000 different pages that are linked from Facebook. Then they have drawn up a list of common features that may indicate that a web page contains low-value or spam-like content.

What do these news feed updates mean for companies on Facebook?

With this update, business pages will see their reach, watch time and referral traffic drop. The impact varies per page and is related to the type of content that they share. Pages that share posts that people usually do not respond to or comment on can see the biggest decrease in their reach. Using ‘engagement bait’ to make people respond to posts is not a meaningful interaction and such messages are punished with less reach.

How do you deal with these updates of the algorithm?

The purpose of your content strategy should be: building a relationship with your target group that goes beyond a like, click or purchase. Therefore, ensure content that fits the needs of your target group. In terms of form, type, this content must also be varied and distinctive enough. If you succeed in this, the involvement will have to come naturally and asking for a like, tag or share will be ‘bad practice’.

In addition, it is also important that you link to landing pages with high quality. Pay attention to the following points:

  • Your landing pages must not contain annoying, malicious, or shocking ads.
  • Ensure a good loading speed.
  • Only place interesting content.
  • Check your bounce rate and the number of pages viewed per session. If people go deeper into your site from your landing page, this is a good sign.

Although Facebook itself does not deal with the commercial consequences of the updates, it is clear that pages that want to have more reach really need to invest in their messages in order to create a higher reach. In addition to these updates, we have seen for some time that the organic reach of news feed (timeline) posts is also decreasing. Making it more important that your Facebook advertising campaigns are used in the right way.

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