Facebook announced a change to their algorithm in a blog post which dings “Like-baiting”, spammy posts, and frequently circulated content, and “Content Pretenders” (pages that try and utilize social media without putting the time and effort into true content creation) have cause to be worried.
Facebook’s algorithm change is focused on making sure the end user receives new, high-quality content from pages, and penalizes pages that frequently use shortcuts to try and increase their engagement or commonly post duplicate, triplicate, or (even in some cases) quadruplicate content.
Changes to the algorithm also addressed true spam-type posts where users click on a link only to land on an ad-filled page that may or may not even contain the article in which the user clicked on, but I’m not going to address there here whereas I don’t believe many of you participate in that type of activity.
What is Like-Baiting?
“Like-baiting” is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive. Pages often “fish” for likes, comments, and shares in hopes that the increased engagement will help increase that particular post’s reach and increase the affinity score between the page it’s fans.
Now you may be asking “What can I do to increase the engagement on my posts?”, and the answer is simple: put your time into creating posts and content that are more LIKEABLE (Tweet this).
Stop wasting your time being a content pretender by wasting time trying to essentially “trick” your way to better engagement; put your efforts into becoming a true content creator. Yes, it takes more time, but the time you put in creating good, quality content will help you out in the long-run.
Stop Posting The Same Thing Over and Over
In the algorithm changes, Facebook also penalizes pages that post content multiple times. Facebook does not address, however, whether or not they are penalizing duplicate links back to a particular page or just those posts that are duplicated verbatim.
Many pages (including myself) often promote a certain page, but they’ll put a different spin on the post, or direct it at a different demographic of their fans. To be safe, my recommendation would be to dedicate more time to content creation so you’re always giving your audience fresh, new content.
There is a gem hidden in this particular portion of the update; Facebook reports that by implementing the change of not showing frequently circulated content has resulted in people choosing to hide 10% fewer stories from Pages overall. So, in a nutshell, less repetitive content = more audience retention.
The Moral of the Story Is…
Pages who are “doing it right” when it comes to content marketing and social media marketing have no need to worry. This Facebook algorithm update only affect the “content pretender” pages who are trying to take shortcuts to increase their engagement.
With that being said, this isn’t the first time that Facebook has tweaked its algorithm, nor do many experts believe it will be the last. EdgeRank Checker recently published research showing that organic reach for most Facebook pages currently hovers around 6.5 percent — down from 17 percent 2 years ago. Some people hypothesize that the trend is most likely going to continue to the point where organic reach will ultimately decline to 1, even 0 percent.
For now, keep your heads up and concentrate on creating captivating content. In the end, hard work eventually pays off.
Follow Lance on Twitter: @LanceBrownDSP