Recently, Facebook rolled out several new changes. Some of these changes were met with excitement and others caused anxiety for many users. Here is a breakdown of the changes and what they mean for you.
Gray Badges are Gone
Facebook is removing gray badges for business pages. Previously, you could verify your website and receive the gray verification badge. Facebook has now deemed this as confusing. Now there will only be the blue badges, which are reserved for brands and celebrities.
No More Scheduling Posts Directly On Your Page
You will no longer be able to schedule posts directly on your page. Instead, to schedule a post you will have to use either Creator Studio, Publishing Tools, Business Manager, or a third-party app such as Hootsuite.
The easiest option is publishing tools. It allows you to schedule posts in almost exactly the same way, just from a different location. Simply go across the top of the main page and select “Publishing Tools”. Then select “Posts” and you can schedule from there.
It’s best to schedule directly from the platform to avoid any issues a third-party app could have with Facebook. For instance, a couple of months ago Sprout Social had a glitch in their system that caused every post ever scheduled through them to disappear completely from Facebook. It took 2 weeks for them to return. Things like this happen from time to time with the third-party apps so it’s better to go ahead and post from the platform itself.
Your ads can now show up in both the general search and marketplace search on Facebook. You can specifically set your ads to show in keyword searches or you can select auto-placement, which we generally recommend for most users, and this will also make your ads searchable.
Post Topic Tags
Facebook is now allowing post topic tags in groups to make searching for particular content easier. As it was, you had to do a keyword search and then sift through every post with that keyword. Now the group organizer can attach a tag to a post so that it groups them together and makes it simpler to find the content you are looking for. This will be slightly more work for the group organizer but should make the user experience better overall.
New Photo Layouts
One of the more exciting changes is that Facebook is offering new photo layouts. Now when you create a post with multiple images, you can select from multiple layouts and choose the one that works best for you. This will enable you to add variety to your posts.
New Organic Reach Calculation Algorithm
We’ve now reached the change that has caused the most concern among Facebook users. This new algorithm will likely cause you to see a decline in your organic reach. The reason for this is that Facebook has updated their filter for organic impressions from the same person. When an individual visits your page repeatedly it will only count them one time. This is how they already weighed their ad statistics, but now they’re going to weigh page statistics and analytics the same way.
Don’t stress. You have tools to combat this decline. One of these tools is video with intent and loyalty. Intent means you schedule a video at the same time every week and on the same platform, like the videos we post every Wednesday morning on the Social U Facebook page. You build loyalty as the same people return consistently each week to view your videos.
Intent and loyalty make your content more weighted. This means, if you are going to do video, schedule it and do it consistently. It will be given a higher priority and carry much more weight than it did before the algorithm change.
Also, comments that have a lot of engagement, not only from the original poster but from the page, are an important tool. This means if someone comments on your page you need to respond. Even just a simple “thanks for the comment” or “we agree” will work. Anything that can engage them and encourage them to respond to you will be more weighted.
Facebook is also improving their ability to recognize posts that are exaggerated or have misleading claims, specifically as it relates to health. Stay away from posts like this to maximize your reach.
Ways to Prevent Organic Reach Decline:
Don’t be afraid to bring the emotion. People buy based on emotion. If you love what you do and you’re good at it then you are doing others a disservice if you don’t tell them about it so it can help them. The coffee or widget you sell may not be life-changing to everyone, but it may be life-changing for some and that’s why you need to tell that emotional story.
Get Rid of Clickbait
Clickbait is going away. Facebook is avidly seeking to eliminate clickbait posts. This means anytime you lead a post with vote, react, comment, tag, or share, Facebook will tag it and get rid of it. They are not going to delete your post. They’re just not going to let anyone see it. You can’t come out of the gate with “Vote on your favorite picture” or “Share this with a friend.”
You can still run contests that require comments and likes to participate. You just lead with what the prize or contest is, not with clickbait terminology. If you don’t do this, you’re burying your lead anyway. Steer clear of clickbait.
Another way to combat organic decline is quotes. People love quotes. Quotes actually have a higher statistical likelihood of being shared. Instead of just typing them out, consider using them as a graphic. This is the easiest way for them to be shared. When creating a quote graphic make sure it’s branded.
Remember that quotes don’t always have to be from famous people to be effective. Testimonials are another great source for quotes.
If you’ve not integrated video into your marketing plan, now is the time to do it. Both live video and prerecorded are good options but live gets the priority. Remember to schedule your videos and be consistent to maintain that intent and loyalty.
If you have a YouTube channel, create unique videos for it. Ripping your Facebook live videos and uploading them to your YouTube channel can split your views across platforms and negatively affect your stats.
The biggest way to not have to worry about the algorithm change is to implement Facebook ads. Facebook is pushing the whole ad concept and, if you have any ad that runs consistently, your numbers will stay consistent. Consistency is the key to better statistics. Ads are almost a necessity for brands that want to have a consistent presence online.
If you are going to dabble in Facebook ads, you may want to let an agency, like Social U, help. If you do one ad, once a year, your numbers won’t be as good as if a team like ours does it, simply because we have weighted results. We would love to help you maximize your ad reach.
Change is Inevitable
As social media keeps evolving, you can expect the algorithms to keep changing. Some of the changes will make us happy and others will make us worry, but if you can adapt your strategy with those changes then you will be ahead of the game.