3 Big Changes To Facebook’s Feed Algorithm

It is Social Media Wednesday, and today is the 22nd of April. There is a new change from Facebook regarding their algorithm, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. And as usual, I have Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing. Good morning

Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing good. Sorry we’re a little late. I had a little technical snafu with my computer. The cameras and the microphone didn’t come up. I had to reboot at the last minute.

SG: You’re replaying.

RP: And I don’t know where. Alright. Give me a second. I’m sorry. I don’t know where I’m replaying at. I didn’t open anything. Darn it. This is just going to be one of those days. I apologize.

SG: It was me.

RP: I didn’t open anything, I promise.

SG: It is definitely going to be one of those days.

RP: Alrighty. Well, let’s do our best to just recenter focus. Basically, we should all know by now that Facebook updates their algorithm, I don’t know how regularly, but the fact is, we do not get a direct feed through Facebook, like we do Twitter. It’s actually filtered, and just like Google likes to change their algorithm, Facebook likes to change their algorithm. However, lately, or recently, they made three major changes, and that’s what I’d like to talk, or discuss, with you today.

SG: They did. So, it was announced yesterday, that they’re re-tweaking it a little bit based on feedback that they’ve been getting from clients, and… Or from users, that really how they interact with the content and what they see in their news feed. Because it is Facebook’s best guess of what you actually want to see in your news feed. Because we follow so many pages and we have so many friends, any time you log in, you get upwards of 1500 pieces of content as options to have in your news feed, and that’s just not feasible, the way that they have it. And so, they’ve done three important changes. One of them, the biggest one is based on people who might not have a ton of content, so, the less user… Somebody who has less friends, they follow less pages, and there might not be quite enough content to fill their news feed, they… Facebook used to have a rule in place where they couldn’t see two posts from the same source back to back, because they wanted to give you a variety. And they’ve loosened that up, so that you don’t run out of content if you’re one of the people who have less than a hundred friends, and you have less… You know, you follow very few pages, and there just might not be a lot of content options.

RP: Right.

SG: And so that’s a really big one, that you’re not going to run out of content, start seeing duplicates every time you log in.

SG: Let’s see. The next one is, people really care about the content that they see from their friends. That is the reason we’re on social media. Yes, businesses use it to market to people and build a community, but we all got onto it, first and foremost, to be social with our friends and family, and keep up with that. And so people gave the feedback, they want to see that more. So, Facebook is giving that a higher priority, that new posts, pictures, videos, status updates, things like that from our friends that we care about the most, and it’s most likely going to be the people that we interact with the most. So, if you’re never interacting with somebody, they’re probably not going to fall into this mix. But, for instance, my husband has posted stuff and I never see it. I will probably start seeing his content more in my news feed, because him and I obviously interact often, because we’re married, and we’re on Facebook a lot. So you’re going to start seeing your friends’ stuff more prevalent, more up at the top, and not missing out on what they’re posting.

RP: Okay. Perfect. And then the number three one is?

SG: Number three is, people gave them feedback that they do not like seeing when their friends like or comment on other stuff. So, we’ve noticed recently that, say if Ryan had commented on my husband Tom’s post, it would show up in my news feed, because Ryan commented on it. Where Ryan commented on a page that he follows, they got feedback that people don’t really care about that. And so, Facebook is going to drop that down on the algorithm, and so it will still be there, it just won’t be as high of a priority in the news feed, and you’ll see it lower down. So, if you are somebody who’s on Facebook for a while, and you’re really scrolling through that news feed, that is where you’ll start seeing it. But you’re most likely not going to see it at the top of the news feed.

RP: Okay. From the sounds of it, from a business point of view, the first two aren’t really going to affect business very much. However, this third one could, because if I respond to an article that somebody wrote, or I like something, basically Facebook is saying, “Hey, based on the research that we’ve done, your friends don’t really care what you say about other people or things, therefore we’re not going to show that content as prevalent as we have been.”

SG: Right. So, pages could potentially see their reach and interaction decline from this, just because of that, and also because they’re trying to customize the news feed, based on each individual person. So, if for instance, you Ryan, you interact more with people, and less with pages, your news feed is going to customize you to be more people, less pages when you log in and look at it. Whereas say I tend to interact more with the pages I follow, I get a lot of my news from Facebook. If I interact more with pages and less with people, my newsfeed is going to show more and more of those pages and those news articles of the pages that I interact with. So they’re really trying to give each individual user their own custom experience, and in giving them a newsfeed based on what they want to see.

RP: Right, and again coming from the business owner’s point of view, I think it would behoove you at this point to kinda keep an eye on your post, what is your organic reach on your post. And I’d also be curious to see for those people that are doing boosted posts, paid advertising, especially the boosted post. A lot of times when you boost a post, we see that the organic increases also. And it’ll be interesting moving forward seeing how this just started yesterday. So we don’t really have any numbers to crunch, but okay if in the past if I spent $5 boosting a post and I was able to double my own organic reach, it’ll be interesting to see how that’s going to affect things today, is that organic reach going to be pulled back, which means as the business owner it’s going to be more relevant to you to spend money essentially if you want visibility on Facebook, which would make sense cause it continues the model that they started a year or two years ago really pushing people to spend money if they wanted to create visibility from a business point of view online.

SG: Right, and boosting one post increases your organic for the next few posts, because if people interact with the boosted posts that shows Facebook that they interacted with it, they like it, then the next couple posts that you have have a higher probability of organically showing up in their newsfeed because they just did an action. And boosted posts is still relatively inexpensive. I’ve got one running right now for a couple days that things’ $10. Big deal. It’s not a lot…

RP: I agree, but as a business owner we really have to be aware of what’s working and what’s not working. Ultimately I want to make sure that as a business owner, you’re paying attention to your analytics and going, “Okay. If Facebook announces that they’re making a change its probably, and people are talking about it it should be somewhat of a drastic change.” So it kind of behooves you as a business owner that go and pay attention, see where your organics going. And the other thing based on what you just said that I thought of also, is that if you can get more engagement out of your post, it’s going to help you down the road, because basically if Facebook is saying, “Look, we’re really going to pay attention to if people are engaging with you, yes or no. If they’re not, you’re probably going to drop down. If they are, we might keep you at the same level or push you up.”

SG: Right. They’re really trying to individualize the results. So like you said for a business owner, paying attention to an analytics, see what’s working, what’s not. Utilizing the boosted post very strategically to help increase the organic for the next few posts that you do. Boosting your own content to make sure people… Using custom audiences also could be really powerful, and one of the customizes you could do is the retargeting. They go to your website. You target them again on Facebook. That’s someone who’s already engaging you. They’re more likely to engage with you on Facebook if they’ve been to your website and looked at stuff, and again it builds that interaction where you start showing up on that individual’s newsfeed more often, because they’ve interacted with you a couple of times.

RP: Right, and I think ultimately it just goes back to the core of what social media should be, and that is really building a community. The better job you can do building a community, I think the more you’re going to be rewarded, not just in engagement and that viral effect but also in the fact that Facebook is saying, “Look if people aren’t engaging, you know what? You’re not relevant.” So the more you can engage and in communities people engage. The higher your relevancy, the more visibility you’re going to have.

SG: Right, and it really still goes down to like you said, building the community, having really relevant content to your followers, and being social. Talking to them as if they’re standing right in front of you, having that interaction and being relevant to them. So and that’s where we… We still keep going back to that 70-20-10 rule. Where 70% of your content is just education information, what’s going on in your community. It’s Wednesday. Weekends coming. Do you have a festival going on, or something in the community that you can add that in there that’s relevant so it’s not all about you, and build that engagement, and having people comment, and having a call to action in your post. There’s a lot of things you could do to stay relevant, but you definitely want to be paying attention to what’s working and what’s not, because that relevancy is really going to matter moving forward.

RP: Yeah, definitely. Alright Sarah. If you could do me a favor, because it’s 10 AM, if you could highlight the three points again that… And those changes were yesterday correct with Facebook?

SG: Correct. They announced it yesterday.

RP: Okay, and what were those three changes again?

SG: So first is they’re going to… People who don’t possibly have enough content to show in their newsfeed, they relaxed the rules so that there might be duplicates. So if you follow page XYZ, you might see two in a row if they posted a lot. Number two is showing friend’s posts, pictures, videos, stuff like that more often and higher up in the newsfeed, and number three is the interaction that you won’t see friend’s interaction with other people on pages as often. That’ll be lower in the newsfeed.

RP: Alright. Perfect. So, as business owners make sure you’re paying attention to your analytics as this one, especially number three, if… Again, if I go and I like Pepsi, as an example, and maybe they made a cute post and I respond to it, as of yesterday the likelihood of my friends seeing that comment that I made about Pepsi is going to significantly drop, essentially, is what we’re understanding. Again, we won’t know until we actually have some numbers behind it, and that’s where you, as a business owner need to pay attention to your analytics and see what’s working and what’s not working. Alright, Sarah, as always I appreciate your time and looking forward to next week’s broadcast. We’ll talk to you then.

SG: Thanks, Ryan. Always a pleasure.

RP: Alright, bye.

SG: Bye.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

Leave A Comment