Facebook made recent modifications to News Feed, presumably to reduce the amount of spammy posts coming from Pages. These posts typically fall into three categories: Like-baiting, frequently circulated, and spammy links.
- Like-baiting. Posts that explicitly ask News Feed readers to like, comment on, or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what it would normally receive.
Based on a survey of Facebook users, on average like-baiting stories are 15 percent less relevant than others. As such, Facebook changed the algorithm to detect such stories and ensure they don’t appear prominently in News Feed.
- Frequently circulated. This consists of photos and videos that get uploaded to Facebook repeatedly. The social network says people find these instances of repeated content less relevant, and are more likely to complain about the Pages that post them.
- Spammy links. Facebook reports that some News Feed stories use inaccurate language or formatting to trick people into thinking it links to content that, in fact, it does not. This constitutes outright bait-and-switch, a tactic Facebook is trying to identify and reduce.
5 Tips for High-quality Facebook Content
Over the next few months, businesses that post spam content will likely see their News Feed distribution decrease. However, Pages that do not utilize such tactics should not be adversely affected.
Because syndication of stories coming from Pages has already seen a decline in readership, pay attention to this latest round of changes and focus on providing relevant, high-quality content.
These five tips should help.
- Focus on relevance. Focus your efforts on posting content that is relevant to your target audience. Facebook says that it’s okay to encourage discussion about content that you post, but avoid asking for likes or shares to get more distribution.
One way to accomplish this is by knowing your audience. Facebook Insights provides ample data reflecting audience demographics, interests, and popular posts in terms of likes, comments, shares and viral reach. Once you know who is reading your content and the types of posts they prefer, create more of the same.
- Use original content. Develop a publishing strategy that uses original content. Do not copy from other sources on Facebook.
While sharing posts from other Pages is common, it’s better to find inspiration from outside sources such as content discovered curation sites like Mention or Feedly, social content from Pinterest or YouTube, or motivational quotes from Brainy Quote and Quotelicious. It’s best, however, to create original content such as topically relevant blog posts, how-to videos, images showing your products being used, and more.
- Link to legitimate sources. Don’t lure visitors to your website using the aforementioned bait-and-switch tactics that promise one thing and deliver another. That is sure to adversely affect News Feed distribution and, worse, could abolish trust among readers.
- Use Attractive, Bold Images. The use of photos with social media posts is commonplace and for good reason: people are more likely to engage with posts that contain images more than those that don’t.
The Shutterstock blog provides some good advice along this line. It says to choose simple, bold images that will resonate even at a smaller size. Also, it’s best to focus on a single subject rather than one that is too busy. Shutterstock also recommends that Pages convey a positive, aspirational impression — something advertisers have used for decades.
Speaking of advertising, it’s best to use eye-catching images in Facebook Ads, especially those that appear in News Feed as that may create increased attention and engagement.
- Use Facebook Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences are a form of Facebook advertising designed to help businesses strengthen the relationship they have with their customers and prospects, and create highly relevant targeted offers. I’ve addressed the topic in detail here previously, at “Creating Facebook Ads Using Custom Audiences.”
These five tips should help you avoid any problems that may come as a result of News Feed changes and ensure your message is seen not only by more people, but by the ones who are most likely to have interest in your products and services.