Facebook Marketing – The Times are Changing!

Do you promote your business using Facebook?
Wondering how advertising on Facebook is evolving?
Well, this article addresses all that…

Let me begin with the Facebook Algorithm

The Facebook algorithm, as you may already know, pre-filters content that hits the news feeds of users. The algorithm controls a plethora of content put on Facebook and is thus beneficial to advertisers while attempting to display the content having the most relevance among the thousands of post they could see.

Users can have up 5,000 friends, join as many as 6,000 groups, and also follow as many as 5,000 pages. So that’s huge. With posts possibly coming from all these sources mentioned, users might get to see as many as 15,000 posts. The algorithm then filters what users might see to around 1,500 posts, and further trims down what users might see, from that pool of content to about 300 posts. Much more manageable!

The algorithm itself is a complex one with about 100,000 ranking factors, of which only about six of those factors are known. Facebook, for instance, gives preference to posts from friends of users, as well as video content. The algorithm is in place because Facebook needs to improve user experience so they can keep returning to the site. This same theory being upheld across all social media channels. And the average user logs on every day an average of 14 times and stays on Facebook an average of 50 minutes. This means it’s possible to capture a huge audience, which offers enormous potential to small businesses and advertisers.

The algorithm encourages user engagement so as to maintain that value. If you like to keep in touch with your friends via Facebook, you will likely be exposed to an ad about every third post. Your response to the ad depends on how targeted and relevant it is. And by seeking to improve user engagement, the algorithm also encourages to share information on Facebook. Facebook uses the information to keep advertisers and users happy.

So what should you do as a business to make your content hit their news feed?

The belief is that aside from sharing video, increasing video length a bit is considered to be best practice these days. For uploaded videos, a length of at least 90 seconds increases video visibility. For a live video, consider broadcasting for a minimum of 5 minutes. Facebook also prefers that you upload videos directly from your device to Facebook rather than pointing links to a third party platform such as Youtube.

Now with users posting less often, and the algorithm preferring camera-based content, are closely related. Facebook is tending towards the camera mode as a result of users posting fewer status updates in the last 3 or 4 years. It is easier to snap a picture and attach a filter or sticker than to type a post. Also, Facebook just released a study that shows that users view a video five times longer than traditional content on Facebook and Instagram.

Real-time signals are also critical to your content’s visibility. Post that attracts lots of shares, likes and comments get more visibility as it shows that the posts are relevant, engaging and newsworthy

To increase the organic reach of your post, and then make sure your post is relevant to your audience. That is, make it entertaining and newsworthy.

But be aware that the Facebook algorithm is also smart enough to figure out if you are attempting to game the system by asking for likes, shares or comments. If you do this often then Facebook may decide never to show your post to anyone again.

After a post gets organic reach, you can follow up on it with advertising. One strategy has to do with getting some organic reach (a few comments, likes, and shares), and then scale up significantly with your ad budget.

Take, for example; you can maximize your $200 budget if you split it up. Don’t commit your entire budget to boost a post to those who like your page. Facebook algorithms aren’t friendly to people who just boost posts at every opportunity. You will not achieve a favorable ROI on your ad with this approach.

What does the future hold for Facebook?

Facebook and Instagram aren’t done yet, which means lots of releases are expected – going forward. Facebook wants to keep giving a better experience to users so they can come back every day and connect with friends.

The Information age is long gone. Here comes the Experience age, which is more about snap, swipe, tap, take a photo, record a quick video, or share a quick story. It’s “Hey guys, check out what I’m doing right now.”

The brands that fail to embrace videos and visuals are certain to be left behind. It’s about human connections, emotions and interacting with people.

Need help with your Facebook marketing?

If Facebook seems like too much hard work, but you know that you need to communicate regularly with your customers using this social media channel, why not contact us today to discuss how we can help you design, write, schedule and promote your Facebook posts to help you communicate with your customers and stand out from the crowd.

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