Earlier this year, Facebook announced they’d be making some major changes to their algorithm. For most social media marketers, Facebook changing their algorithm is par for the course – anyone who’s ever tried to measure Facebook KPIs year-over-year will be familiar with the frustration when Facebook suddenly changes how a metric is calculated (or even better, stops tracking it altogether).
But this change marked a real shift in the platform. Facebook’s new algorithm will focus on “meaningful interaction” – that means fewer ads, and more content from the people you actually know.
What does Facebook’s new algorithm mean for fundraisers?
It means that the tolerance for using Facebook poorly is lower than ever. It’s simply not enough to post links to your blog twice a week anymore.
It also means that Facebook’s pay-to-play model is probably not about to go anywhere. But, mindful targeting and high-quality campaigns are going to become even more vital to success. We’ll see fewer moderately successful campaigns – only people who are knocking it out of the park, and people who aren’t.
It also means you can still absolutely raise money on Facebook – if you play by the new rules.
So aside from increasing your ad spend, what can you do?
Be responsive to commenters
Facebook’s new algorithm will prioritize content that fosters conversations. They want to see active engagement – comments, shares, and reactions are now king over passive link clicks or likes.
So, in addition to posting content that elicits those kinds of reactions, you want to actually respond to them. I so often see ads with 5 or 10 comments and no replies from the organization itself. What a missed opportunity! Please, when people talk to you, talk back. By engaging, and creating more engagement, you’re sending Facebook’s algorithm a big green flag that people like your content, they’re interested in it – and more people should see it.
Schedule content within Facebook
Facebook wants you to be on Facebook. They want you scrolling through Newsfeed, commenting on posts, adding your own content, and responding to conversations on your page. And though they’ve never officially confirmed it, it makes sense that they’d deprioritize content posted through a third party (like HootSuite or Buffer).
This is can be a contentious topic – most third-party content scheduling tools deny it, and Facebook does too – but many marketers have noticed significant enough differences in their results to ditch the third-party and stick with Facebook. So, in a Newsfeed that’s more competitive than ever, I’d suggest taking every advantage you can get, and stick with Facebook.
This goes for organic posting as much as boosted posts or ads, so make it a best practice across the board.
Diversify your content offerings
Using Facebook as a Recent News-type bulletin board won’t be effective anymore with the new algorithm. To succeed in the new algorithm, you’ll need to create content your audience wants – and content of all different types.
Need some inspiration? Why not:
• Take folks on an office tour with Facebook Live.
• Share powerful, emotional videos of your work (Facebook especially likes it when you host your video right in the app!).
• Use photos to bring the audience behind-the-scenes, and give them a close-up look at the work they make possible.
• Post longer status updates with questions to elicit conversation.
• Use Polls to gauge interest.
Facebook has given us so many tools that we can use to engage with the audience, and you’ll get bonus points for using them all.
Those are just 3 things you can do to work with the new Facebook algorithm. There are plenty more, but these are a great starting point that addresses a lot of the most common mistakes I see on the world’s more popular social platform.
How are you getting ready for the switch? Let me know in the comments below!
Charlotte Field is a Philanthropic Counsel and Digital Specialist at Good Works, a national consulting firm that specializes in helping charities build highly loyal donor constituencies. She’s passionate about helping charities embrace digital to connect with donors online. Get in touch with Charlotte at email@example.com.