Sunday, 06 September 2015 17:16

Facebook’s News Feed Shift Hurts Business Pages

You may or may not have heard about the “significant” Facebook News Feed algorithm shift that occurred in April. You may or may not have noticed a decline in Likes and comments on your business’s Facebook page.

Whether or not you know about this change - it’s affecting you and your business.

But before you start to blame yourself, your social media marketing manager or your social media agency, I’d like to explain why it’s not their or your fault, and what steps you can take to counteract these changes.

Understand that Facebook often refines the News Feed algorithms, then tests how useful and satisfying the changes are to users. This is a common practice and will continue to happen. Twitter and other social media sites do the same thing. (It’s a way for them to keep their sites from becoming irrelevant.) This change in April, however, was created to please people users, not business users.

What Was April’s News Feed Shift?

The main point of this News Feed adjustment was to bring Facebook back to an online, social place that is centered around friends and family, not businesses, organizations and public figures. To put it bluntly: This is not a business-friendly change.

The changes are specifically: 

  • Facebook omitted their previous policy that users can’t see two or more posts on the News Feed from the same page in a row.
  • Your News Feed will favor your friends’ posts over business, organizations, news publications and public figure posts.
  • Seeing posts about what the user’s friends are Liking and commenting on will appear much lower on the News Feed.

More details on this news feed shift here

This means that the algorithm calculation will favor a user’s friends’ posts over Facebook Page posts (aka: your business’s Facebook page). At the top of your News Feed, you will notice that it shows your friends’ most recent or most popular posts, and then if you continue to scroll down and scroll and scroll, eventually you will find posts from the businesses and other organizations, news publications or public figures that you have Liked in the past.

Business owners are therefore thrown into an environment where there is increased competition and less organic reach.

Facebook admitted: “The impact of these changes on your [business] page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline.”

What Can You Do About This?

Before you come to the hasty conclusion that Facebook is now a pointless, fruitless social platform for your business, read the following strategies that your marketing agency (such as us at Bloominari) can perform to increase visibility and engagement for your business’s Facebook page.

  • PPC ads: Creating Facebook ads or Boosting Facebook posts will immediately give that ad or post tons of public exposure to whatever audience you chose. This is a sure way to get engagement and page Likes, and it is always worth the small investment.
  • Post pictures and videos to increase the chances that your content appears on News Feeds.
  • Include relevant hashtags in your posts so that other people searching for those hashtags on Facebook will see your posts.
  • Be sure to post at peak times and peak days. First, you will have to run various tests to find your audience’s peak times and days. Marketing agencies live by this rule and are experts at A/B tests and research.
  • It is a necessity to record what types of posts get the most engagement. This is also something that marketing agencies do on a regular basis for their clients.
  • Ask people to change their News Feed Preferences:  As a brand new feature, you can consider delicately asking your followers to add your business page as a priority for their News Feed Preferences or by simply informing them that this is a very easy option. Any user can do this by going to their News Feed (Home) page, then on the left navigation sidebar, click Settings -> Edit Preferences -> Prioritize. Once the user scrolls through all of his or her friends, the user’s Liked Facebook Pages will show up. The user can click on any people or Facebook Pages that he or she would like to see before other items on their News Feed.
  • If you had a marketing professional try all of the above with no luck, consider shifting focus to Twitter, LinkedIn, NextDoor, Angie’s List or another social site. Perhaps your target audience isn’t really on Facebook or maybe they are not on Facebook to discuss your business. A marketing agency can conduct research to find where your target audience is online and how to properly engage with them.

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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