I’m sure I am not alone in my Facebook frustration. Barely a day goes by recently when I am not muttering and gnashing my teeth at my Page newsfeed.
There seems no rhyme or reason to what shows in the news feed these days. What is noticeable is a lack of Facebook page updates in the news feed.
Of course, people (including me) will then talk about Edge Rank and how only an average of 16% of our posts will be seen. That’s fine, I get that…
There’s only so many hours in the day and most normal people don’t sit on Facebook all day monitoring their newsfeed. Additionally, there’s only so much room in a feed, Facebook can’t show everything.
Some people blame paid sponsored posts and say that Facebook are trying to make us pay to reach our fans. But, even before all the fuss, Page updates didn’t reach everyone.
Facebook Moved The Goal Posts (Again)
Facebook have made some major changes to their Edge Rank, and Pages are seeing a squeeze.
A Facebook rep sent this statement to EdgeRank Checker who did some statistical analysis on the effects of the changes.
- We’re continually optimizing newsfeed to ensure the most relevant experience for our users
- One of the key factors in our optimization is engagement: the amount of clicks, likes, comments, shares etc. generated by a piece of content
- While overall engagement should remain relatively consistent as a result of our most recent optimization, your organic reach may be impacted
- The more engaging your content, the lower the impact this optimization should have on your reach going forward
- Feed is optimized to show users the posts they are most likely to engage with, where engagement is defined as clicking, liking, commenting, or sharing the post – or in the case of offers, claiming the offer.
- Posts that are more likely to be engaging tend to appear higher in feed. Some of the strongest factors that influence this are how engaging an individual post has been for other users who have seen it, and how engaged a user has historically been with other posts they’ve seen from that page. Feed also takes negative feedback into account, which is the number of people who have hidden a post or reported it as spam.
- Finally, if a page has a piece of content that it feels will be very engaging e.g. A good offer, a great photo, an announcement, etc. then using paid media to “boost” that post to fans in newsfeed can be an effective tool to increase engagement with fans.
The bolding is mine.
How Much Engagement is Engaged?
When I view my Page newsfeed over the last few weeks, there is a distinct lack of updates from other Pages I regularly interact with – that’s liking, commenting and sharing as my Page.
Instead, I see page updates from businesses I had forgotten I even “liked” or even more annoying, the Sunday Facebookers who post multiple page updates within the space of a few minutes then nothing for a week (or longer).
So, I’m not regularly seeing updates from Pages I historically interact with unless I go looking for them.
Add that to Facebook’s lack of recent time keeping. Even clicking the “most recent” I’ll see updates hours old, sometimes days! I’ve renamed it to an oldfeed…
The other side of that, I’ve noticed my Page reach has taken a significant battering, it’s down around 23%. I often see people liking or commenting on an update that’s been around for a few days, so people must be having the same oldfeed symptoms as I do.
As for paying to have my Page updates seen… well, until I have something posted that has a definite return such as a product, new service or workshop, that isn’t going to happen.
Mix and Match Updates?
Some people have noticed that the type of status update that is seen more often the page newsfeed has changed. In the past, images usually did well.
Both Jackie (Angel Virtual Assistant) and Ginny (Marketing TwentyOne) have observed that text only based Page updates seem to do better recently. While not as eye catching, they certainly seem to get a response.
I had this update show in my newsfeed yesterday. Another change in what we see from Facebook. You will notice, if you squint at the pic, that the delay was 12 hours (again, an oldfeed).
As much as I look forward to Jackie’s Angel VA updates, I really don’t care that she has liked a status (sorry Jackie, if you’re reading!) I’d much rather see her actual updates regularly – her Page is one that often has gone MIA.
I really don’t see how a business page liking another business status is giving any value to a user. Or is that just me?
It’s not just a rant
I don’t want this to be another Jan rant. There are things we can all learn from these changes. Just like the Big G, Facebook has to adapt and change to give the best user experience and make money. They won’t always get it right and things will settle down.
As business users of the (mainly) free platform, we need to understand the concept of social media. It’s not there to simply broadcast our offerings and talk at rather than to our likers.
Likes and shares aren’t a given right because we are a small business.
Instead of coming up with detailed instructions on how to show in peoples newsfeeds or begging (in my view) to support small businesses with images similar to the one here, give people what they want.
Take some time to imagine yourself on the other side – people will like and share:
- what interests them,
- what answers their questions,
- what amuses them,
…just like you do when you take your business hat off.
You won’t get it right all the time, I know I certainly don’t! I have days of tumbleweeds passing through my Facebook Page and fool myself that it’s all down to EdgeRank changes.
Things will settle down, it always does. We’ve been here many times before. Those small businesses that stick with it and adapt will come out stronger. Just like Google with search, don’t put all your eggs in one basket relying on a single platform for your business.
In the meantime, mix and match your updates to see what works best for you. Check your insights regularly to see when people interact with your page. And of course, encourage sharing or ask for the like on individual updates.
Over to you…
Has your Facebook Page been affected by the changes? What do you like to see from business pages you follow? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.