Defeating Facebook’s Algorithm with Organic Content

Far too often, we hear claims that organic social on Facebook is dead. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Throughout 2018, Facebook has continuously updated their algorithm to focus more on providing content posted by friends and family and less on that from brands. While that is all fine and dandy for your Aunt Carol, for those of us using social media to support businesses, it has been a true shock to the system.

The general consensus is that Facebook is becoming a “pay-to-play” model for businesses, meaning your content will not be seen if you don’t invest some cash. However, we know all too well that running a business can be feast or famine, and not everybody has huge budgets to invest in advertising. Social Media is usually the last item of consideration when it comes to how to spend any available funds, and its important to bump it up on the priority list, both from an organic and paid perspective.

The fact of the matter is, organic and native social may be wounded, but they are far from dead. Try to think of Facebook’s algorithm as less of a death sentence, and more of a puzzle to solve.

And, one of the best ways to outsmart Facebook is carefully choosing the content you share. Take a look at the following content ideas to help boost your impressions in the fight against the big, bad algorithm.

Deliver Value

Facebook’s update has changed the way it ranks content. It is now more important than ever that the content you share provides some kind of benefit to the viewer. We recommend focusing on content that educates or entertains, like blog posts, downloadables or other information that provides tangible value to followers.

Be Topical

It’s called a news feed for a reason. Brands who share content that is educational, newsworthy or relevant to trending topics tend to get a higher uptick in Facebook’s algorithm than brands who do not. When you are planning content, take a look at popular news or trending topics and see if you can connect your existing content to those topics. The presence of those keywords should give you a much needed boost.  

Avoid Clickbait

That being said, when you are posting content on your feed avoid using headlines that can be misconstrued as dishonest or clickbait. The term clickbait is categorized as articles that promise a huge surprise or value-added content in their headlines, only to disappoint the user when clicking through. In 2017, Facebook announced clickbait as their mortal enemy and vowed to eliminate it on their platform. As a result, the algorithm now considers the length of time readers spend on a web page after clicking through an organic link. Be sure your post sets the right expectations and that the content after the click pays those off.

Share Third Party Content (Carefully)

If you are curating third party content, try to share from reliable and well-known sources. Facebook gives larger brands that are seen as thought-leaders in their space higher priority than smaller brands. That doesn't mean smaller businesses can't capitalize, creating partnerships with or sharing content from larger ones. And, if you are both sharing each other’s content, it may be more likely to be seen on their followers’ news feed.

Embrace Video

According to a study by Quintly, Facebook videos have a 186% higher engagement rate than static image-based content. Take the time to put together video content for your brand. For those without the ability or resources to put together a full video, Facebook Live is a valuable resource -- users actually spend three times longer watching live broadcasts than traditional videos on the platform. Take the leap and begin setting a schedule to go live to talk about your brand.

Don’t know what to talk about? Share answers to commonly asked questions, talk about issues or opportunities in your market, share tips and tricks or talk about exciting upcoming news and changes in your business. This will give your followers a chance to engage with your brand in real-time.

So, take off your black dress and return the casket, organic social is far from dead. With these content tips, you should be able to revive your organic social reach on Facebook and build an engaged social media audience.