Another day, another change to Facebook’s ranking algorithm. And this time, they’re coming after your status updates.
For a while now, things have been stable enough in the EdgeRank environment that marketers have been able to establish some general best practices when it comes to posting on Facebook pages. We had a pretty good idea of what got the best results, depending on which metric you were looking to affect (reach, virality, and engagement). As of last spring, it had become common knowledge that if you wanted to get broader reach for your update (have it seen by more users) the best thing to post was a text-only status update.
Well, Facebook is about to change that…again. Hope you didn’t get too comfortable! It seems that the reason that text-only status updates from Pages were receiving the privileged position they enjoyed was because they were riding on the coattails of personal user status updates. According to Chris Turitzin, Product Manager of News Feed Ranking, Facebook studies had shown that when more users posted personal status updates, it inspired everyone connected to them to do the same. Therefore, the social network prioritized those status updates so more of them would be seen in the news feed. Until now, status updates from Pages had not been treated any differently.
However, upon discovering that Page updates did not have the same positive effect on personal user posting habits and did not generate much engagement, Facebook decided that they should be treated as a separate group with separate rules. Therefore, Page updates will now show decreased reach and will be seen by fewer followers. According to Turitzin,
“Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”
So it’s not all bad news. Facebook encourages Page admins to post more engaging content like links, photos, and videos in order to have their content seen by more followers. Turitzin points out that links should be shared using a link-share, not just a URL embedded into a status update, as summarized below:
How will this change affect your posting strategy? Were you already leaning away from text-only updates, or will you have to tweak your tactics?