Facebook is always updating its algorithms, just as Google does. Often, we need to test and track to see what is working best and what isn’t. However, one of Facebook’s account managers has recently told one of its beta Star feature users about four algorithm updates, and the changes they’ve made to the site.
1. Opening up
When you’re open and show emotion or vulnerability, you will often find an audience is not only appreciative of this, but will reciprocate, and thus engagement is higher. It’s why a founder’s story of why they’re in business resonates so well with brand fans and employees alike.
Facebook’s latest algorithm updates, according to the Facebook Account Manager Rob Moore as discussed on his Disruptive Entrepreneur podcast, can detect this. This echoes the Connection part of our 365 Days of Social Media prompts when we plan social media campaigns (this is available as a bonus to our Elite Facebook Money Marketing course, but get our Social Media Marketing Days Calendar for free here).
2. Meaningful engagement
I think we’ve all spotted this one in action already, but Facebook is taking this a step further now. When people do engage with your posts, reply to them individually and you’ll see an increase in reach and therefore further engagement. Don’t ‘post and run’, ignoring any comments on your posts, or you run the risk of effectively being ‘de-ranked’ and your reach reducing.
Instead, try to respond in a more meaningful manner to each comment. Aim to avoid simply copying and pasting the same response to multiple comments as well. Similarly, avoid a general ‘Thanks’ followed by an emoji, or just a ‘thumbs up’. While these thank yous and emojis are certainly better than nothing, it seems Facebook is looking to reward more meaningful engagement. By meaningful, think about asking a question, or making a longer comment to further the discussion. If you keep copying and pasting the same answer, or keep replying ‘Thanks 👍’ to every comment, then Facebook could see this as spam.
Now, some brands and pages have really engaged audience – just as Rob Moore does – so he has advised that Facebook doesn’t expect you to respond to every single one. If there are a lot, choose top fans first and focus on those.
Linked to the ‘meaningful engagement’ point, Facebook wants debate on its platform, so, if someone challenges you, ask them what they mean, ask people to elaborate on their point of view, and encourage your audience to debate the pros and cons, the highs and lows, and good and the bad of your topic.
4. Polarising opinion
This is arguably the most hardcore of the changes. Super positive or super negative apparently either works well. Apple fans will love Apple and hate Android. Liverpool FC fans will love Liverpool and hate Manchester United. But our opinion? Stay true to yourself and your brand. Don’t state opinion as fact. As Rob mentioned in his podcast, avoid making statements for statements’ sake; stay credible and authentic. Don’t do it for ‘engagement-jacking’. Only get on your soap box for something that matters to you, your brand and your audience.
Let us know in the comments what you think of these behaviours and how they work with Facebook’s algorithms. Is debate a good thing, should we be aiming for polarisation to encourage lively responses, or do you do this already?