Facebook's Recent Algorithm Change Punishes Clickbait and Rewards Quality
Those secret algorithms are everywhere online, nowadays. They control what people see and engage with, pushing some content to the forefront while punishing pages that don't abide by the rules. Recently, Facebook pushed out a new algorithm change that small businesses should be aware of when posting content to their audience.
Here's one clue: it doesn't always have to do with how much engagement a post receives.
How Past Facebook Content was Viewed
Remember a few years ago where clickbait was all the rage. "You'll be amazed by what this person did, and you will want to try it out too!" Those headlines dominated Facebook pages, enticing people to find out what the mystery was because the headline was so enigmatic. What did the person do? Is it really important? How does it relate to my life and should I be doing the same thing?
Those were the questions that caused people to click and engage with the content, raising the algorithm's engagement number based on the amount of likes, comments and shares the post received even if the content wasn't anything that people wanted to read. The posting would go viral and spread out all across page feeds, reaching a bigger audience. Facebook's past algorithm rewarded such posts because of the high engagement, while content that was valuable to the audience yet received low engagement was pushed further out of sight. This circumstance has now changed.
Going Beyond Engagement
As a small business owner, you either played by the past rules or did your own thing and hoped to reach the audience you wanted. Yet this new algorithm change on Facebook should make you smile a bit more. No longer is Facebook basing their assumptions only on engagement numbers. Quality content, even on a page that has lower engagement, will have the opportunity to be seen just as much, if not more so, by users than clickbait stories.
Facebook took a large step in trying to refine the content seen by people by performing hands-on research. Garnering important feedback from users, they were able to make better assumptions on what a person will want to see even if the content doesn't receive a lot of engagement. The algorithm still keeps track of engagement, yet it also factors in quality content and punishes posts that are only designed to game the algorithm system.
What Does This Mean for Small Businesses?
If you have focused your efforts in providing quality and relevant content to your audience on Facebook, this change won't negatively impact you at all. Instead, your content will be exactly what your audience desires. The algorithm won't do anything to you even if your posts get low engagement. Quality and relevant content that interests the person may have them like and share it more, increasing your viewer reach.
The important thing to keep in mind is that your posts should be about what your audience wants to see and know about. Focus on them instead of on what Facebook's popularity number, a.k.a. algorithm, says about your content. Your audience is what matters the most in the end.
by MICHELLE HART/CMO & CSO/Web301