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Can you ‘hack’ the new Facebook algorithm changes?

By the end of this post you will:

– Understand what to expect due to the changes.

– See if the top 3 hacks can be implemented or not.

– Understand what to do going forward.

What do I have to accept going forward?

The Facebook Algorithm changes have shifted the core intent of the product from relevant content to meaningful conversations. (Read more about this in our post: “What is the Facebook Algorithm change all about?”.) With that change in mind, there are some things that us marketers will need to come to term with very quickly in regards to Facebook.

 

First of all, if you do a lot of video content today, you can expect less watch time going forward. This is because Facebook sees watching videos as primarily a passive experience. Meaning you are likely just consuming video after video with little regard to adding to any meaningful conversations. However, you can combat this with aligning your video content to spark meaningful conversations of course.

 

Secondly, you can expect your link posts to get lower reach than they have previously. This is for the simple fact that Facebook’s main intent now has shifted toward engaging you with content, not sending your off elsewhere. Clicking on a link to leave Facebook tends to often stop meaningful conversations from occuring on the post.

 

Thirdly, both organic and paid reach will be affected. Meaning unsponsored as well as sponsored content alike. You as an individual as well groups and pages, nothing is exempt.

 

Facebook knows this is likely to hurt them in the short run, but they plan to be around indefinitely and thus they are playing the long term. All to make Facebook your favorite social media platform.

But I can ‘hack’ around it all, right?

With changes like this though, you are naturally asking yourself if you can outsmart the algorithm and do something to ‘hack’ around it. Here are three examples of ‘hacks’ that might have come to mind having heard about the algorithm changes.

 

The first thing you might have considered is to get all of your employees to comment on company posts or post from your own profile instead of your company page. Well, I’m sorry but your connection to pages are known and tracked. Of course you could go out of your way and start a brand new profile, but new profiles have no connections and so you are limiting your social reach exponentially until they are rebuilt. Not to mention the content you have gotten your employees to comment about isn’t made to spark meaningful conversations amongst others. So faking it won’t get people to necessarily join in on the conversation. If you were to post from your own profile instead, that doesn’t change that underlying fact either. So this won’t work well!

 

The second thing you might have already considered is hiring people to make long comments for you. All those bloggers out there must be rejoicing to be able to write long posts for brands! Well sure, you certainly could do this, but just like in the first example, the underlying problem hasn’t been taken care of. Until your content is aligned to drive meaningful conversations you can not expect to get the desired effect. Not to mention this is a very costly way to fake brand interactions which won’t help your bottom line at the end of the day.

 

The third way you might consider to hack your way around the algorithm changes is to get everyone to be ‘see firsters’. All you have to do is get the user to find your brand’s page on Facebook and then click on the ‘follow’ button and from the drop down choose ‘see first’. Note, you can only get people to do this on desktop, the function isn’t available on the mobile app. Which greatly limits the probability that people would see this through being a mobile first world. You will have to convince the person very well as to why they should be seeing your content first from everyone else on Facebook, competing with their friends, family and other relevant brands. If you are able to get some people to do this, that is great! But the probability is low to get everyone to do this so it isn’t per say the answer.

 

So let’s forget ‘hacking’ around everything and instead, focus our efforts on embracing the new.

So what do I need to do?

The first thing you will need to do is review what your current strategy is and leave room for content that sparks meaningful conversations. You do not and should not, need to adjust all your content to become conversational. It should be natural for the content to be conversational, and thus brainstorming new content ideas is most likely needed. Formats such as live video is great because even though it is video it opens up for conversations and interactions directly with your audiences. One of many formats to consider going forward with.

 

Creating a sound data-driven strategy, that utilises these new opportunities that the Facebook algorithm changes have brought to the table, might however be harder to execute internally due to lack of time or in some cases expertise.

 

That is where we at Digital Fans comes in and can help you with that. Feel free to get in touch with us to ask any questions you may have. We regularly host live Q&A sessions on Facebook.

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