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Win your Organic Reach back – Beat Facebook’s Algorithm Changes

Last updated:
26th Feb, 2018
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Win your Organic Reach back – Beat Facebook’s Algorithm Changes

One of the biggest shifts that have taken place since the industrial revolution has been the emergence and growth of social media, and one of the platforms that have changed it all is Facebook. Today, each and every marketer is using this platform to reach their user base and target them appropriately with relevant messages. Lately, however, we have noticed one thing which is annoying users. The first is spam content and the second is ads.

A lot of users have been complaining that they are seeing a lot of advertisements within their newsfeed. Also many complain that they can’t verify the authenticity of news. Keeping this in mind, earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that Facebook is going to curb the organic reach of publications and users will start seeing fewer ads on their newsfeed.

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Facebook will ensure that people spend more time on Facebook

“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.

But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Facebook prefers video content more

“It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.

We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities.

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The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.

Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

People will see more content from friends and family, affecting brands’ organic reach

“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Live videos will be given preference

“For example, there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching videos, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.

Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.

At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”

The above announcement came as a shocker to publishers as well as marketers as the organic reach for business pages was anyway low – hardly 1%. After this announcement, we do not know if organic posts will even exist.
So if you are a marketer and wondering what is going to happen next, I have broken down some tactics which you can use to win back your organic reach.

Here are the 5 ways to beat the Facebook algorithm changes and win your organic reach back:

1. Post more about topics which are trending

Trending content always wins. People love seeing content which is relevant and trending. If a brand can come up with content real quick and share how their brand is a part of the trend culture then you can come up in the newsfeed of more users, and pretty quickly that too.

Some brands that do this really well are Amul, Zomato, etc.

2. Need of more relevant engagement

People think it’s all about engagement and a marketer’s job is to get maximum likes and comments. But what really matters is relevant engagements, which are not posts by spams or bots or some random comments which don’t make any sense. But what matters is the kind of comments and the time at which those comments appear. You can notice high levels of engagement on brands which produce high-quality content, such as Oreo.

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3. Get creative with rich media

If you have noticed, today you see a majority of content which has images, videos, and gifs. Facebook loves rich content and great graphics which people engage with. Only a text status update or content won’t give your brand enough reach. The right copy with the right visuals will help your post reach more and more people. Facebook pages such as Durex or TVF do a very good job here.

4. Encourage users to use the top of the news option on your page

This might be a tough one, but this is similar to the CTA YouTube usually gives at the start of their video, by asking people to click the bell icon. Likewise, you will find a lot of brands requesting users to select the option of ‘see first’ on Facebook. 

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5. Use Facebook Groups

Though the organic reach of Facebook has gone down, but not for groups. In fact, groups provide more engagement and are often more visible compared to pages. One can now link a page with a group and today even a brand can open up groups from their pages. Also since Facebook groups are more engaging they help in developing more organic reach.

6. Go LIVE more often

In Mark Zuckerberg’s post, he specifically mentioned that live content is streamed more often. Facebook loves relevant and fresh content and what better than going Live? Which is also good news for brands as they now have the opportunity to go live with influencers, staff, and employees or with any engaging content such as events, interviews, shows, behind the scene campaigns and activations.

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In order to win the organic game, marketers have to be smarter, create better content and also ensure quality and authenticity of content is maintained. So don’t fret and just get those amazing Facebook posts going up on your page.
If you have any other interesting ideas which can boost organic reach in light of recent announcements at Facebook, please share them with us.

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Hitesh Motwani

Blog Author
Hitesh is a founder and CEO of Socialopedia, Digital media consulting company. His experience in Digital & Social media marketing, public relations, corporate communications and branding spans more than a decade. In an earlier endeavor with Ogilvy and Mather, he led some of their flagship clients such as Twitter, Future Generali Life Insurance, Swiss Re, Bandhan Bank, EXIM Bank, CFA and many more. He also enjoyed heading the PR and Marketing department for Crompton Graves and leading the account for Tata Group when he was with Rediffusion Y&R. Hitesh has been training various participants on Digital Media Marketing for close to a decade and he has consulted several start-ups. He is a passionate digital media trainer and a visiting faculty at IIM Bangalore.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is brand activation?

Brand activation refers to the process of increasing engagement and awareness and making your brand known to people through some form of an experience.

When you first start a business, nobody is aware of your enterprise. They are not aware of your products and services or what your brand is all about. Activation is the process by which you introduce your brand to your target demographics.

Brand activation is not just undertaken by new companies. When an existent business chooses to rebrand itself, it cannot afford to merely make the requisite changes and hope that its customers notice.

Even established businesses have to undertake brand activations to inform their customer base about their makeover and new products and services.

2What are GIFs?

A GIF is one form of an image file, similar to PNG or JPEF file formats. It can be used to create images that are either static or animated.

GIFs are not videos. They are similar to flipbooks. Unlike videos, they do not have sound. Initially, GIF files were not created for animations. Users realised that the file format could accommodate multiple pictures at once which can load sequentially.

The GIF format has been around since the 1980s and is older than the internet. Fortunately, its popularity has only increased with the passing decades.

3What is a Bell icon?

The Bell icon sends notifications of live streams and uploads to subscribers of YouTube channels. Subscribers can choose to have a customised selection of notifications from the channel. They can also choose to receive all or none of the notifications.

Selecting the bell icon ensures that the subscribers are always up-to-date with the latest content from their favourite channels.

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