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What the Facebook Algorithm Change Means for Your Wool Business

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash Facebook Algorithm Change 2018 Blog Post Wool Academy

Learn how to adapt your strategy to the new Facebook Algorithm Change

On 11 January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced major changes to the newsfeed algorithm. I remember the day because I was surprised that this announcement of a Facebook Algorithm Change made the German news. Now I understand why it made the news because indeed the algorithm change is affecting all businesses around the world using Facebook as a platform to market their products and services. This means that it is also important for every wool industry business to understand the recent changes and how to adapt to them.

Why did the Facebook algorithm change (again)?

I find it easier to understand the algorithm change by understanding what Facebook actually wants. Facebook’s monetization model is to sell advertisements to businesses trying to reach a certain target audience on Facebook. In order for Facebook to be successful at selling ads, it needs a large user base returning to the platform on a regular basis. At the end of 2017, Facebook has had 2.07 billion users signed up of which 1.07 billion users visit the platform every day. With numbers like these, Facebook is the largest social media platform on this planet. However, Facebook needs to ensure that these users continuously have a great time on the platform and keep coming back for more. How does Facebook ensure users have a good time? With the Newsfeed Algorithm. The algorithm delivers only content that is relevant and of interest to each and every user based on their behavior and interests.

However, Facebook noticed recently that users were consuming a lot of video and photo content but were not having interactive meaningful experiences with others. Facebook came to the conclusion that content consumption only would let users feel rather depleted. The more depleted users would feel the less likely they would be coming back for more. Fewer users also mean less advertisement money spent. This exact observation and risk have led Facebook to change its algorithm.

What is the Newsfeed Algorithm Change?

The Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm now favours content that invites users to engage with the content and with other users. In other words, the more users comment on a post, share and like the post, the more it indicates, that the post is of value. The higher the value of a post the more Facebook will show the posts to other users. In addition, Facebook puts a particular emphasis on comments compared to shares and likes because comments show real active social engagement and interaction.

Example

The other day I posted, as usual, my latest podcast episode on to my Wool Academy Facebook page. My guest of the episode then shared additional photos in the comments. Other people left comments in response to these comments. The high amount of comments made Facebook show the post to a broader audience which lead to 44 likes and 7 shares. This engagement on the post ensured that the post had a reach of over 4000 people.
Facebook Algorithm change example

What does this mean for wool businesses?

In order for your wool business to reach a large number of users and potential customers, it is important to post engaging content that sparks conversations in the comments section of your post. Easier said than done but there are a few guidelines to help us achieve this.

Be social and authentic

More than ever, your posts need to be social and authentic as opposed to being like an advertisement or promotion. Facebook is a SOCIAL media platform. Facebook users don’t want to be marketed to, they want to interact, get informed, be inspired and be entertained. You need to share posts that invite users to connect and interact with your brand.

Ask questions

One way to get users to comment on Facebook is to ask your followers questions, ask them for feedback and for their opinion. This is not only a way to start engagement, you will also get valuable feedback and insights from your followers.

Video and live video

Start creating more video content especially live video because live video tends to have 6 times more comments and engagement than video itself. In other words, Facebook will favour your video and live video content over other posts.

Facebook Groups

Another strategy that will continue to work well with the new changes is using Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups are a natural environment for users to interact with each other through comments. If it makes sense to run a Facebook Group in connection with your product, service or business, then you might find success in inviting your followers into a Group. Be aware, however, that a Group also needs lots of attention and engagement from your side to be successful.

Consider running Facebook Ads

The number of companies running facebook pages is growing as everyone is trying to get in front of those many eyeballs. This makes Facebook a crowded platform where everyone is fighting for attention. Businesses who couple their contents with some advertising money tend to see more success on Facebook. However, make sure you truly understand how running ads on Facebook works to ensure your success.

See First

You might have already a very loyal Facebook following. You can invite your fans to adjust their Facebook settings to ‘See First’. This setting makes sure your posts will be shown at the top of your fan’s newsfeed so that they never miss anything important from you. Learn about this setting in my other blog post.

Don’t ask for comments

Facebook also discourages us to include sentences in our posts that invite readers to comment like (‘Please comment below’). If you actively ask users to comment, Facebook will decrease the reach of your post. This means your content actually needs to deliver on its own.

Evaluate your strategy and adapt

If you anyways had a lot of engagement on your posts, you have nothing to worry about and you can probably just continue as you have before. However, most of us tend to have little to no engagement. If we were to continue with our same old strategy, our reach will go down (even more) and therefore it is time to analyse and adapt.

Social media platforms like Facebook will always be tweaking and changing their algorithm and we will need to continuously be aware and adapt our strategy accordingly. It can be a pain but it can also help us get creative and improve on how we communicate about our wool businesses and about wool successfully online.

If you need help with your social media management or if you just need some quick advice, contact me, I would love to hear from you.

Other posts you may like

Facebook algorithm change of 2017 – that is also still relevant.

Facebook see first setting – demonstration of the setting

 

About the author, Elisabeth

Elisabeth is the founder and host of the Wool Academy Podcast. She also runs her own consulting business where she supports wool industry businesses with strategic communications and project management.
Elisabeth used to work as the Secretary General for the International Wool Textile Organisation where she developed her passion for wool and the wool industry. Her previous education and work experience equipped her also with a broad set of communications skills.

Elisabeth vision is to see the wool industry thrive which is why she supports wool industry businesses communicate successfully.

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