Facebook advertising

Facebook Algorithm Changes in 2018: The Sky is Falling! (No, no it’s not.)

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Mark Zuckerberg recently announced in his 2018 “State of Facebook” address that Facebook users will soon see even less content from brand pages in favor of posts from friends and family, stating a desire to ensure we are using Facebook primarily as a place for connecting with each other.

“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you will see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups.

As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. Moreover, the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

What Does This Mean for Small Business and Non-profit Marketing?

Well, that depends. Facebook has increasingly been shifting from being a “free” social media channel to a paid media channel, despite recent protests from Facebook that it is not a media channel at all, a statement more likely stemming from the scrutiny following the 2016 U.S. elections.

We have been counseling our clients to include some form of paid posting in their Facebook content plans since that 2014 change, so, thankfully, our clients are ready for this new paradigm. That is not to say we have ruled out posts that rely on organic reach, either. Admittedly, organic post reach is nowhere near what it used to be, but results vary depending on the size of a page’s audience and the quality of the content.

Create Meaningful Content

What does “meaningful content” mean to Facebook? That is a moving target. So, don’t try to please Facebook in this regard. Work on pleasing your audience by providing information that is helpful and engaging. Make them laugh. Help them solve a problem. Use your content to build the “know, like, and trust” factors of the consumer journey.


Don’t create posts that use “engagement bait” as a means to gain more “likes” such as emoji reaction posts or posts asking for a “like” or a “share.” Facebook is increasingly penalizing these posts:

“…over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed. Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update.”


Let your page followers know that they can choose to see all your posts first in their newsfeeds. Share this JPG in your own Facebook posts and email newsletters.

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Increase use of Facebook Live – Facebook claims that Facebook Live broadcasts reach 6x more people than uploaded videos. Facebook Live is a tremendous way to make a customer feel as if they know you before they walk in the door or click “buy.” They’ll begin to rely on you as a trusted advisor. It’s well worth your time.

Start a Facebook Group. It depends on the type of business you have, but using Facebook Groups ensures your page fans will hear from you and works to create community.

Listen to your audience. Find out what subjects they’re interested in. How? Social Listening. Search Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for your company’s keywords or questions your customers might have to see what information your target audience is seeking.

Moving Forward

So, now that you’re ready to conquer this new Facebook landscape, go get ‘em! If you need help, we are here for you, ready to provide advice or work with you to tell your story as effectively as possible.

Business Owners: Don't Let Facebook as Paid Media Scare You

Today's news that Facebook has surpassed 2 million (yes, that's right, million) advertisers should convince any business owner that Facebook should now be shifted to the "paid media outlet" column. 

Does that mean you have to completely ditch the "social" aspects of this social media channel? No, of course not. My clients still benefit from relating directly to their audiences, sharing news and useful information. I also recommend that they continue to share the posts of organizations/pages as appropriate, making sure to tag the page being shared, as a means of community building.

However, with strong organic reach a thing of the past, it pays to, well, pay. If you're unsure about fitting this into your budget, try a few boosted posts for the minimum of $5. With proper targeting, over time, you will increase your exposure and interaction. Let those posts work smarter for you not harder.

Facebook for Small Business: Surviving the Next Adjustment

Yes, Facebook is once again making changes affecting how your brand's posts are viewed in the Newsfeed. Starting in January 2015, posts that are solely or too promotional in nature will be seen far less by Facebook users.

What constitutes "overly promotional?" According to Facebook, this:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Hopefully you've been shying away from this kind of content anyway, given that within this year Facebook has been adjusting their algorithm to both monetize (aka decrease your organic reach to the point where you're willing to pay to boost posts and/or create ads) and encourage posts that include value for the consumer. 

Why this seemingly drastic transition? According to Facebook (by way of Hootsuite's blog):

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

While the initial reaction is to moan about yet another Facebook algorithm change, is this such a bad thing? Not if you're already following a good content marketing strategy of being helpful and sharing information that is valuable to your audience. Does this mean if you share any promotional content, it'll be invisible? Of course not. But you might need to put some money behind it, or make sure the news of your promotion is included within a broader context of the value of your business.

One of my clients has great success with contest-themed posts, but they are created to be of interest to the customer base. When I experimented with a similar contest on another client's page, it fell flat. Why? It wasn't as relevant to the people who liked their page.

Brands should already be considering Facebook as a monetized platform rather than a home base. Given the ability to target your audience with precision - and even have decent results with as little as a $5 boost depending on your goals - this could be a welcome change to your content marketing strategy.

Above all else, brands should remember the social in social media. Be helpful. Create community. Be of value before someone needs your service and guess what? You'll be on their mind when they're ready to use your services.