Social Media channels are an amazing resource in reaching your target audience. Maintaining them and knowing what works for your audience can be extremely time consuming and the recent change in Facebook’s algorithm (to show more friends and family posts and less business pages) makes engaging with your audience more challenging than before.

What the new algorithm means

There are tens of millions of business pages on Facebook. With an audience of over 2 billion users this is not surprising. What people have noticed over the last few years is that their newsfeeds are filling up with information from business, fan and social pages and they are missing out on posts from family and friends.

Facebook have recognised that people create accounts because they want to be connected with family and friends. Being relentlessly pursued by businesses and adverts defeats the object of this. Over the years they have consistently tinkered with their algorithms to ensure that business and fan pages are reaching their genuine audience (people who are interested in their content) and not just clogging up timelines.

Why they’ve changed the algorithm

Mark Zuckerberg listens to audience feedback – this is demonstrated in his latest Facebook post:

Facebook is a free platform and of course they need the advertising revenue to ensure that they can continue to deliver it for free and work to keep it relevant and up to date. What Mark Zuckerberg is saying is that the team at Facebook will not compromise on user experience whilst doing this.

What you can do about it

Know your audience

Knowing your audience is the first step to creating great content. When you created your business you would have had an idea, or done a lot of research into who your target market is. When you know the demographics of your audience it will help influence the posts you create so that they resonate and want to like, comment on and share the post. This is essential to a post performing well as Facebook are looking for ‘conversation starters’, rather than passive content that people read and scroll past.

Read your site stats

This is an absolute must – it will tell you which posts are doing well, what bombed and which ones you could have improved on. When you click on your page insights there is the option to view all of your posts in greater detail so you can see how many people clicked to open the post, how many people reacted to it, etc. This resource will really help you to understand what your audience is engaging with. In turn this will influence the content you share on Facebook.

Don’t use third party apps to post to Facebook

We’re all busy and Social Media Management platforms offer the opportunity to schedule posts and post the same content to many different Social channels. In theory this is great, you only have to upload the content once and it gets sent to all your channels at the time you specify. In reality Facebook penalises accounts that use third party apps. Facebook want to see real people using their platform and offer their own draft folders and scheduling tools to allow you to post content whilst not at your computer or phone.

Don’t persevere with content that’s not doing well

Content that doesn’t do well and by this I mean content that your audience doesn’t engage with (like, share, comment on), won’t appear in newsfeeds. This is because Facebook never sends your posts to your entire audience at once. Instead they send it to a select few of your followers and if they interact with it then they roll it out to more of your audience. If your audience interact with it, it will show up in (some of) their friends timelines to give your friends the opportunity to view and interact with it too. If your audience don’t engage with the post then Facebook stops rolling it out to your audience and the next time you post, you need to work harder to ensure that your post is seen in newsfeeds.

I explain how this works in this 3 minute video: