How Facebook Changes Affect Bloggers and Businesses

Do you have a Facebook Page for your blog or business? 

If you have a Facebook Page for your blog or business, then you may have noticed a substantial drop in engagement within the last month and a half. That’s because in early December Facebook implemented some major changes on how pages are promoted within the platform. The result is that much of the content shared by pages now may never be seen in a follower’s News Feed.

Many suspect that Facebook’s motives here are to lead page owners to purchase ads or pay to boost posts. That may be one reason, but Facebook’s official goal here is to put forth an effort to declutter the News Feed of its users by devaluing some of the content that is shared on its platform… content like memes and caption contests that many users post to generate a quick laugh, comment or like, but that don’t offer any real news, value, or content. Twitter is touted by many users to be a source of news; this is Facebook’s way of trying to position itself in the same way.

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For a blogger or small business, these changes can present some challenges. We are all keenly aware that one of the “rules” of social media is that it’s not all about self-promotion, and many lean on the 80-20 rule for content (only 20% of the content you share should be self-promoting like a link to a blog post or product, and the rest should be “other”). If you’re a blogger or business that has developed a strategy where your 80% is now considered low-value by Facebook, your efforts may all be for not and all those likes on your page may now rarely, if ever, see anything that you share.

The irony here is that Facebook is largely responsible for the meme and caption contest boom by putting a high value on photos (without links) that generate likes or comments into previous algorithms. 

What hasn’t changed is that in order to organically grow your presence on Facebook, a page owner still needs to be putting out content on a regular basis. It’s just that now, more of your messages than not need to provide value to the reader (i.e. a link to something news-worthy like a blog post or article), and they need to generate engagement (comments and likes).

Facebook now has a long-tail

If you’re still trying to maintain the 80-20 rule this may all sound tough, but there is a flip side that is very positive.

One new way that Facebook is rewarding those who post high value content is by making those posts last longer. You may have noticed that if you have your News Feed setting set to “sort: most recent” that you sometimes see posts from earlier that day or even the day before. What is happening here is that Facebook is re-positioning both page and profile posts to the top of a follower’s News Feed if one of a few conditions are met: a friend of yours comments on that post or your settings are such to see all activity of that profile or page. Whereas posts had a limited shelf-life previously, comments on a post are now keeping that post alive and helping pages grow.

The following post was published Dec 31 & had comments through Jan 2!

 

The bottom line here is that you can still grow your presence on Facebook without paying for likes or paying to promote a post, but you’re just going to have to work a little harder now than you did in the past to do it. If you can grasp these new Facebook changes and apply them to your promotion strategy, you’ll be successful, you’ll be sharing valuable content, and you’ll attract more readers to your blog or business. Facebook, in a way, is just making everyone step it up a notch or two. Touché.

Do you have a new approach to promoting your blog or business on Facebook? If so, please share in the comments below!

  • http://www.postguru.com/ PostGuru

    One approach would be to see exactly what kind of posts perform better and focus only on them. Insights is trying to do this, but analytics on post types and timing only cannot capture the whole picture.

    Take for example Wine Enthusiast’s page – http://www.postguru.com/pages/wineenthusiast/. It is much better to post photos and status updated after 16:45 EST on Sunday than links or videos.

    You can see your own Page if you go to http://www.postguru.com/post-review/. PostGuru will be happy to help you for your page!

    Antonios