Well, this time, they made a change that you may or may not have noticed.
In the last two weeks, Facebook engagement has dropped for individuals anywhere by 6% to 45% depending on what individuals and brands post. Apparently, Facebook quietly announced on Sep 20th that it had changed its EdgeRank algorithm on Sep 18th, 2012. Even those of us who pay attention to things like this, missed it.
Why did they make this change?
Facebook advises that the changes were made to reward content-rich brands- meaning the more engaging content the content the more News Feed exposure.
According to Facebook: Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.
I personally noticed this change yesterday when I posted about my anniversary. In a matter of 12 hours, I had 168 "Likes" on my status and 55 comments. I was amazed at the "interaction" I was receiving from that post!
But what does this mean for us as business fan page admins?
This change means that Facebook wants us to "Pay to Play". In their words:
Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans.
So much for "Organic" reach on Facebook!
What do we do now?
- Keep engaging! Know your fans! Continue to post things that they "like", comment on and share!
- Pay attention to your analytics and insights on your Fan Page! Under each of your posts on your Fan page, you will see "222 people saw this post". If you hover over that line, you will see how many were organic and how many were viral. You will also see how your number on this post compares to your most popular post on your Fan Page!
- You can also click on your Insights tab at the top of your fan page and take a look at all of your numbers. As long as your "Engaged Users" and "Talking About this" numbers are up, you know you doing ok.
- Don't post too much- that will decrease your reach. Carefully pay attention and select times that your audience is "listening" and choosing to engage and post during those times.
- Consider promoting a special offer or using Facebook Ads. Just be sure to select “People who like your page and their friends” and make a pointed “share” or “like” ask in your post to get the most from your investment.
Changes like these means, now- more than ever, you need to create a social media marketing strategy. No more- posting now and then and hoping for people to see it. We have to stay ahead of the curve to stay in front of our customers!