You may think that Facebook is perfect for attracting new B2C clients. But if you’re looking for where your next B2B client is hanging out, most likely they’re quite a bit of time on Facebook.
But what about the algorithms? Is attracting, engaging, and delighting clients on Facebook truly possible if the algorithms are in flux? The short answer is yes. We'll explore how Facebook's algorithms have changed in the past three years and the recent changes for this year.
A Shift from Clicks to Quality
It’s true that as Facebook’s goals change, their algorithms are also change and are refined. The aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the inappropriate usage of user data by Cambridge Analytica had Facebook combatting what they called “false news” and other low-quality content. They took a page from Google’s efforts to reward content with high E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) and began to tweak the News Feed and Video algorithms, de-emphasizing clickbait and engagement bait and prioritizing original, high-quality content.
In 2017 and 2018 Facebook implemented major algorithm changes to its News Feed. This is from their announcement in January 2018:
“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”
This shift in focus, from publishers and news organizations to family and friends, caused a reduction in organic traffic for business pages, causing a significant drop in engagement — over 50 percent in a 18-month period. Marketers had to learn how to adjust their content to Facebook’s latest requirements.
In May 2018, Facebook announced how they would rank content from Pages, with four criteria:
- Inventory— the amount of stories available to be shown
- Signals — story data points (e.g., internet speed, age of a story, publisher, user interactions)
- Predictions — the likelihood of whether a user will like, comment, or share (or hide or report) a story
- Relevancy — a numerical score of predicted user interest
The News Feed is ordered by the relevancy score by default. If a user has liked your Business Page, it will be a part of their inventory of stories. The goal is to get a higher relevancy score so you’re able to be more visible to your prospective B2B clients.
Facebook Algorithm Changes in 2019
And the changes to Facebook’s algorithms continue. This year, in 2019, Facebook wants to provide a more personalized experience. In May, they discussed survey results involving Facebook users and their close friendships, the interest of content from Pages they liked, and the importance of various groups they belong to.
Based on those survey results, Facebook changed the News Feed algorithm again, giving priority to groups and Pages that a user prefers. Facebook uses some of the following indicators of how meaningful a group or page is to a user:
- How long a user has been in a group or followed a Page
- How often a user engages a group or Page
- How often a group or Page posts content
The News Feed will still full of content from a user’s close friends. So how does this impact Pages?
It goes back to how Facebook ranks stories. If Facebook believes that a user finds your content to be meaningful and valuable, it will prioritize that content on their News Feed. What that doesn’t mean is more Page content showing up on a News Feed.
Other changes are coming to Facebook, which include a focus on community via groups and further enhancements of privacy.
Based on these latest refinements here are three tips you can use now:
- Post more often on your Facebook Page (around five times a day).
- Participate in relevant Facebook groups, which can help you secure better prospective clients.
- Use more images and videos with your post. HubSpot found higher percentages of engagement with post featuring images and video.
As Facebook focuses on create more "meaningful social interactions," then you need to find ways to align your posts with what your ideal audience wants to read — without gimmicks or schemes, but with authentic, original, high-quality content.
First, it helps to know who you’re trying to connect with.
Refine Your Buyer Persona
Any content that you produce should have your ideal client in mind. As Facebook refines its algorithms, take some time to see if your buyer persona needs to be refined, making this person as real and fleshed out as possible.
What Does High-Quality Content Look Like on Facebook?
After you’ve crystallized who your ideal client is on Facebook, you need to remain top-of-mind in their News Feed. Facebook has outlined three guiding principles for publishers, which will sound like Google’s E-A-T and YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) rubrics for high-quality content.
- Meaningful, informative stories
- Accurate and authentic content
- Safe and respectful behavior
Each principle centers the user/prospective client, not your business. What’s meaningful to you may not be meaningful for your audience. By examining engagement metrics, you can see track what content is landing well with your audience. Below is an example of what it might look like:
What Facebook is cracking down on lately is content that lacks originality or is hosted by a third-party. For example, if you post videos from YouTube on your Page, it won’t be ranked as highly as a video uploaded to Facebook or a live video via Facebook Live. If you continue to post low-quality content on your page, Facebook will penalize your content, demoting it in priority on the News Feed.
What Facebook rewards is content which is engaging, such as polls or questions. Getting feedback from your audience not only boosts your content’s relevancy score but also gives you more data on what your ideal client is looking for.
- Facebook is focusing on promoting quality content higher up in people’s news feed which drives traffic to your site
- The facebook algorithms are dramatically changing in 2019 which means that you should always be on the lookout for updating your facebook targeting tactics
- How to refine your buyer persona by understanding who you want your content to target is a key strategy
- Understanding what good quality content for facebook looks like for your company is super important, because high the quality mixed with good targeting means a higher success in marketing tactics