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BUSINESS: SOCIAL MEDIA

FACEBOOK ZERO

Algorithm changes and how to work with them

Facebook Zero is not a low calorie version of Facebook. It is a term that alludes to the end of organic reach for your page’s posts.

If you have seen a recent decline in your organic reach, you have been affected by recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm. (See photo.) This means it has become harder for your Facebook page’s posts to show up in your fans’ newsfeeds.

Here are the top three things you need to know about Facebook Zero and what you can do about them.

1 LESS PUBLIC CONTENT

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always been clear that he wants Facebook to be a place that brings people together. On his Jan. 11 post, he wrote: “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” He went on to further comment, “But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” In short, the content that your page produces is disruptive to Facebook’s goal of helping people connect with each other. He was very clear that Facebook would be changed to provide users’ newsfeeds with more content from the people they care about and less public content.

2 CUTS DOWN THE SPAM

In addition to being shown less in the newsfeed, your page content will be held to a higher standard than before. Specifically, Facebook will be cracking down on spam-my posts, promotional posts and click bait. Pages that continue to use those techniques will see their organic reach fall even more. Inversely, pages that do a better job of creating content, measured by reader engagement, will be rewarded with higher reach.

3 COMMENTS ARE MOST VALUABLE

It is time to really focus on generating content that gets people commenting. Comments are more valuable than likes, as they are a sign of meaningful engagement.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Identify what posts generate the most engagement, and simply create more of them. To do so, navigate to your page’s “Insights” tab and then the “Posts” section. For example, I have learned that my page’s most engaging posts often involve videos of our team and actual patients. To maximize our chances of ending up in our fans’ newsfeeds, we make it a point to create more videos highlighting actual patients and their experiences.

BACKUP PLAN

There is no doubt that many small businesses will see a decline in reach as a result of Facebook’s algorithm change. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to focus on meaningful content, as demonstrated by fans who comment. If you are struggling to do such, it is important to note that advertising will be unaffected by these changes. It might be time for more of you to “pay to play” and invest in Facebook Ads. OM