Facebook has a new update to tell you about – and an exciting prediction about the future of your Page!
Want to hear it?
It goes a little something like this:
“We anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.”
That doesn’t…sound all that great.
But let’s back up, because there’s more to this algorithm update than there seems.
What’s Facebook changing this time?
Why do they expect Page reach to drop?
And why might this actually be good news? (Seriously!)
Let’s break down what’s happening.
Friends and family are taking priority
The short version of this update?
Facebook is bumping updates from your friends and family members higher up in the News Feed – and updates from Pages are going to be pushed further down.
Facebook weighs a bunch of different factors when deciding which updates to show in a person’s News Feed, and in which order. Now, updates posted by your friends and family have a big advantage over the ones posted by Pages.
(If that doesn’t sound like a big deal, remember – Facebook users don’t tend to scroll very far.)
Basically, showing the stuff that Pages post just became even less of a priority for Facebook.
They say it’s so that they can make the News Feed better for individual users, and while you have to admit that it does make sense to show people more content from personal connections than from publishers, that doesn’t mean it feels good when you are one of those publishers.
But even though Facebook is saying that your Page’s posts are going to be less competitive, there is good news hidden in this announcement.
If you have the right priorities, this algorithm change doesn’t have to be a bad thing at all – in fact, it might be the opposite.
And why is that, exactly?
Shareability matters more than ever
Facebook did mention that certain Pages aren’t going to be affected by this algorithm change as much as others – so, who’s getting off easy?
Pages whose content gets share and engagement.
You already knew that higher engagement rates can improve your reach, and now, it’s more important than ever to post things that people will want to interact with. Facebook came right out and said that Pages that get their content shared more often won’t take as big a hit in their referral traffic.
What does that mean for you? Posting not just the type of content you think your audience will appreciate, but the type of content you think your audience will share. Getting your posts shared by the people in your audience is your secret weapon!
And what types of content do people like to share, exactly?
A consumer research division of The New York Times conducted a study to determine that very thing!
You can read the 46-page report here, but here’s what “The Psychology of Sharing” says are the five reasons people share content online:
- They think it’s interesting, entertaining, or otherwise valuable content. 94% of people “carefully consider” how the things they share will be useful for others.
- Sharing helps us define ourselves to others. When you share something, it reflects your values, interests, and identity. (What does your favorite cat video say about your personality?
- We create, build, and enrich personal relationships by sharing. Sharing content gives us a reason to talk to people with similar interests, and to strengthen our existing relationships. 78% of people actually share content online because it gives them a reason to maintain personal connections that otherwise might not be as strong!
- Sharing creates a sense of self-fulfillment. It feels good to share things! Because it satisfies different personal desires, there’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with sharing something with other people.
- We want to get the word out about things that matter to us. From a totally practical point of view, sharing is how we educate others and, ideally, get them interested in the things that interest us!
When you have a Facebook page, you shouldn’t just think about your audience – you should also think about your audience’s audience. The more your followers share your content with their personal network of family, friends, coworkers, and guys-from-high-school-they-kinda-sorta-remember, the better off you’ll be!
Before you hit that “Post” button, then, don’t stop at asking yourself whether the people in your audience will be interested – ask yourself if it’s something they’ll want to share!
Are your readers sharing?
While Facebook’s emphasis on posting content your readers will share is encouraging, it might also be frustratingly easier-said-than-done.
What’s your experience – and what’s your preference? Are you glad to see more friends and family in your News Feed, and fewer posts from Pages? Or do these algorithm changes feel a little unfair? Sound off in the comments below!