Facebook is built to keep users in-app for as long as possible to make it easy to share their experiences and interact with other causes.
Hearing from the platform itself,
Our priority is keeping you connected to the people, places, and things you want to be connected to – starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.
How simple idea is that as a social platform. You can say it is a strategy that has paid off tremendously for Facebook, looking at the numbers.
The recent revelation shows the number of monthly active users on Facebook are now at unprecedented 1.65 billion.
These users really want to talk about themselves and learn from other people as well, as the engagement on Facebook is the highest among the top social media platforms.
With the astronomical number and user engagement on Facebook haven’t gone unnoticed, there are now 50 million small businesses promoting on Facebook through fan pages. They are sending a flood of content into the news feeds, increasingly competing for user’s attention.
As a result, the news feeds have become cluttered. Facebook said an average user has a chance of seeing about 1500 stories in his/her News feed on every visit.
While it’s difficult to ascertain whether users want to see more of such stories in their news feeds or not, it’s obvious that only a small portion of the stories are actually getting seen by them.
Hence, Facebook introduced ranking algorithm to determine which content are most relevant that will be displayed higher up in user’s news feed.
EdgeRank, as a first major algorithm introduced, had three primary elements that explained why a content was relevant to a user: Affinity, Weight, Time Decay.
- Affinity: takes into account how close is the relationship between the user and the content/source?
- Weight: takes into account what type of action was taken on the content?
- Time Decay: takes into account the time lapse since the content was posted, – for instance, current/recent content gets better rank over old content.
EdgeRank enabled Facebook to give a more personalized experience to users in the Newsfeed, as explained by Chris Cox, Facebook VP of Product. Users that watched a lot of videos on Facebook would see more video content in their Newsfeed. Users that participated actively in Group discussions would see more group-related content in their Newsfeed. And so forth.
With EdgeRank, how you used Facebook largely determined what showed up in your news feed.
But today, EdgeRank is no longer the only ranking factor that Facebook uses, not even close. Given a phenomenal number of people that are now using the platform, it’s impossible to rely on only three factors to determine what would be relevant to them.
In fact, EdgeRank is dead.
Facebook now has over 100,000 factors that it uses to serve content in users’ news feeds.
As the platform continues to evolve and makes changes to its news feed, it’s imperative to keep up with these updates as a publisher if Facebook is a big part of your content strategy.
Particularly, the recent updates that placed more prominence on posts by friends to show up in the feeds. This would amount to a serious decline in organic reach of many brand pages. Even, that’s happening already.
So what can you do to reverse the trend if you’re a page administrator that is experiencing such massive shortfall in organic traffic?
Using a data-backed solution to the problem, I’ve come up with simple content tweaks you can implement to give your posts a better chance of being seen in the news feed.
Repurpose content into videos
Socia media has come a long way in recent years to become what it’s today, and even the most accurate analysts will find it difficult to predict many changes that will come in the next few years. But one thing you can say without batting an eyelid is that all social platforms are trying to be visually relevant.
Facebook has taken a giant stride in this regard in pushing video content a lot more at the forefront on its platform. The introduction of Facebook Live, increase in organic reach of native video, and Facebook acquisition of Visual Reality (VR) company Oculus all pointed to that fact.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, affirmed this in 2014, as quoted
In five years, most of Facebook will be video
That’s the word as it’s said from the horse’s mouth, – that gives you a hint on where the platform is heading in terms of what get shared often by users.
As other post types tend towards a decline in organic reach, video content seems to be gaining the momentum in user’s news feed.
According to Socialbakers, Facebook photo posts repurposed into videos could bring 138% more organic reach, on average. And that figure even gets higher when the post is aimed at Facebook fans as videos get 148% higher fan reach, on average, than photos.
So no more make-believe as to why you should incorporate videos into your Facebook, it is the real marketing strategy that drives growth on the platform.
To quickly make an impact,
Make your video short and sweet, preferably, 30-45 seconds, highest 1 minute. Make sure you have a movement in less than 3 seconds to capture attention due to Facebook’s autoplay feature.
Tools you can use to repurpose your content into video
Camtasia – Camtasia provides a highly sophisticated screen recorder to capture anything on your screen. Making videos with this tool is as easy as it can get. You can import your video or any media into this tool and have it done into finished work.
Improve the quality of your video using their powerful video editor, animated backgrounds, ready-to-use themes, graphics, callouts and more. Using Camtasia will make your videos more interactive with clickable links, tables of content and more, aimed to improve user engagement.
Camtasia is a robust video making tool. But as a starter, you might need a more basic tool to test drive your skills in video making before taking the plunge and investing in video software. You can take advantage of the following tools to repurpose your content into videos for free.
Jing – Jing is a free tool from TechSmith (same company as Camtasia) that lets you capture short videos, animations, and still images of your computer screen, and easily share them on the web. You can capture whatever that’s visible on your screen, record what you are doing as a video or screenshots and share the content through instant messaging, email, or to your social media fans, and more.
Windows Live Movie Maker – You probably don’t need an introduction on this one if you’re a Windows PC user. But maybe you have not been taking advantage of it for content repurposing. Movie Maker is a great tool to transition from any content to videos. Or, you can transition between videos. When you upload your content (photos or videos) into this tool, there are a few options to give you a level of control on how you want the finished product to be.
With the visual effects, you can combine multiple effects to make your video eye-catching and interesting to viewers, likewise the animations. Add a music to your work, take a snapshot, or even record a webcam video to add your human voice, your creativity is begging here.
Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts are a powerful video tool mostly used for online meeting and chat on the social network Google+. But it can also incredibly serve for content repurposing.
You can use a live video to explain some of the tips in your blog post, take screen shots, add commentary to a written customer testimonial, or even reference a section in your webinar, – just anything you can add your voice in. The entire video is ready to be uploaded to YouTube at the click of a button.
Repurposing your content into videos with these tools can be as easy and fun as it can get. But remember to keep it short and sweet.
Pro tip: Post your video initially without a link. When it started gaining traction, you can share a link to the original post in the comment section of the shared video.
Go Live on Facebook
Launched in August 2015 with access initially restricted to some public figures, Facebook Live has gone to become a boon for many users to share their great moments with friends & family, and fans alike, in a more fun and authentic way.
Marketers can tap in on the fact that Facebook live videos are watched 3X more than the pre-recorded videos. The engagement is even greater, as live videos get 10X more interactions from users than pre-recorded, according to Facebook itself.
Of course, you don’t need to repurpose your content into a live video, but you can use the live broadcast to get people aware of it, explain the key points, and get them giving their feedbacks since people love to interact with a video when it’s live.
Also, using live broadcast will enable you to watch their reactions live as you speak with comments, likes, and emoticons that will be displayed on your screen.
You can read more about using a live video for marketing on this page.
Be the first to break big news
There is no doubt that Facebook gives preferences to certain types of posts in the news feed. Mainstream publications like CNN, Buzzfeed and Upworthy have courted Facebook love for being a major source of breaking news, trends, and latest events.
You can cover more ground quickly in organic reach if you happened to be among the first few people to share a newsworthy content. Particularly before the news starts trending.
Just make sure that the news you share is relevant to your audience because user engagement is a big factor that Facebook considers to prioritize content in the news feed.
Even if you are not in a news business, there is always a fine line you can use to connect with a trending topic (without being spamming).
Refine your headlines from clickbait to being ‘interactive’
The recent updates to facebook news feed have shown us that the platform is currently fighting off clickbait headlines.
With the user engagement now includes time spent on a post, or whether the user toggled into full screen or turned on the audio (in case, of video content) and more, it’s imperative that marketers move beyond clickbait headlines.
Facebook affirmed that posts by friends will take prominence over brands’ in the feeds, so the only way around it is to post content that your fans are more likely to share with their friends.
With the interactive content, you could provoke engagement, feedbacks, and conversations that might give your post enough mileage to reach friends of fans.
Consider a paid traffic
Paid advertising is a must if you are to open the floodgates of Facebook traffic for your business. Considering how the organic traffic on major social platforms is in steady decline, you need to diversify your traffic source.
You can take advantage of the powerful targeting in the Facebook advertising ecosystem to optimize your ROI. Particularly for your video content. You don’t want the time spent to create your video to be a waste, by limiting it to your page fans.
Consider using paid traffic to add more legs to the content. And with that combined with the video organic reach, …you don’t know if it might unlock the door to your next valuable client.
Over to you
Do you have tips about the Facebook algorithm updates apart from what is on this list? What have you done to keep up visibility in the increasingly changing news feed? Let’s hear your views in the comment below