Posted on April 05, 2014 at 15:22 PM
Facebook regularly updates their news feed algorithms, much to the dismay of online marketers who scramble to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. The most recent update has perhaps been the most unwelcome of all for businesses. The importance of status updates has decreased for brands, simply because they generally see less overall engagement than personal posts of puppies, kindergarten graduations and Bieber’s latest arrest. This means that it’s more difficult to get your posts to appear in the news feed in general if you are a business.
So how does a brand stay visible? MOZ recently released the results of original research it conducted, which showed that the Facebook posts that got the most exposure in followers’ news feeds were simply those with original content. Even if posts were shared again and again, or were shared by another page, the original post was given precedence in visibility. In other words, content creators fare far better than content curators.
As Facebook continues to limit the reach of business pages, this is valuable information to have. Businesses are struggling to appear in the news feeds of those who are already fans of their pages. The more Likes and Shares a page gets, the more organic reach it will have. However, Facebook decreased organic reach of status updates by 40 percent in January.
Naturally, to capitalize on these limitations, Facebook offers paid placement opportunities for businesses, such as the Facebook News Feed Ad, Sidebar Ad or Boosted Post. It’s a pay-to-play model, making businesses elbow each other out of the way for static post placement at the top of news feeds. Fan or not, Facebook users that fall within a pre-determined demographic by the business will see the post. This model is meant to weed out the superfluous posts in feeds from businesses and keep more authentic conversation going among friends. It’s a profit led initiative, no doubt.
So what does ‘original content’ mean?
- A link that has not been shared on Facebook yet, preferably to your own blog, site, video, etc.
- Keeping content relevant for the audience you are trying to reach, i.e. photos of furniture for a furniture store, not a link to a music video
- Adding descriptions to photo uploads and albums
- Adding photos and videos frequently (relevant, of course) as these are given higher visibility on Facebook as a rule
- Limit sharing or re-posting others’ updates (if you must, then change the description in your update to reflect your own content/voice)