I accidentally took a month off from blogging but am back today because we need to have a chat about Facebook and algorithms and all the posts detailing tactics and strategies to help you outsmart the new rules. (Because there are really only two things you need to focus on—you know I like to keep it simple around here!)
Last year, my Facebook feed was a non-stop parade of ads, viral videos, random posts from friends of friends (you know, when you have to scan a photo to figure out who you actually know). It got so bad that I finally deleted the app from my phone and used a browser add-on to remove the news feed on the desktop version entirely.
In an effort to make everyone’s time on the platform better, Facebook announced last week that it will now be prioritizing posts from family and friends. This is great for people who want to see content from people they actually know, but it also means everyone who has put time into growing their Facebook page is a little pissed.
Miranda, one of the members in Dare to Grow, said it best, “You know how you could make Facebook a place I want to spend my time, Zuck? Let ME pick what people and brands I want to follow. Show me their posts in chronological order. Don’t hide anything I don’t tell you to hide.”
Girl, I am so with you on that! But until Facebook gets its shit together properly (or hires Miranda), we are stuck trying to make it work.
Now, I could dig into the specifics of how algorithms work, and do lots of research, and leave you with a list of tips for how to outsmart the algorithm yet again. But, like I said, I’m tired of that, and I have a feeling you might be too. So instead, let’s talk about the two things that have been, and will always be, true . . .
1 | You should put most of your eggs (aka time and money) into the baskets YOU own and YOU control
I’m talking about your blog/website and your email list here. When you have great blog content and a growing email list—and you use both of those consistently—changing algorithms doesn’t suck so much.
Why? Because I know that even if you miss my tweets and my pins and my ‘grams, there’s a damn good chance you’re gonna open my email on Monday morning or make your way to my new blog post each week. (We’ll imagine in this scenario that I’ve been posting every week and didn’t just skip a month >_<)
This means I did not panic or even get terribly annoyed with the algorithm change. I know, just from looking at my numbers, that the majority of my sales come directly from emails. Facebook is great for creating a conversation and getting more people over to my blog + email list, and Instagram is helpful for sending quick hits of inspiration or a peek behind the scenes, but when it comes to actually making money, my email list is where it’s at.
And it’s really just a waste of time to focus on things I cannot control. I can control how many posts I publish, I can control how many emails I send, and that is where I spend most of my time + effort.
2 | Valuable content and genuine connection always get people to come back
Yes, there are ways to get your content in front of more people on social media, and yes, you should experiment with different tactics. Change up your graphics, adjust the number of hashtags, post video or go live. But in the end, it’s not about outsmarting an algorithm; it’s about publishing content that your audience is stoked to see, hear, or read. It’s about publishing content they want to sit and watch, comment on, or share. It’s about publishing content CONSISTENTLY so they expect to hear from you and look for your posts every day.
Because in the end, no matter how many tactics or tricks you try, Instagram and Facebook are both more likely to show content that has already had lots of interaction. If you post something brilliant and the people who see it like, share, or comment, the algorithm will be more likely to show it to more of your followers.
We’ve been hooked on social media (like literally addicted) for YEARS now, and I think more than ever, people are pruning their follows and only slowing their scroll for people they know are posting genuine content and seeking genuine interaction. So it is worthwhile to put more thought into what you’re posting, be a little more vulnerable and real, and use social media more as a tool for interaction and less for just broadcasting your message.
Also, as a consumer, you can still see more of the stuff you want to see.
While the algorithm does do a lot of the choosing, you can still voice your opinion on what you want to see in your feed. Here are two ways to make sure you are still able to see the posts from people and pages you’re interested in. (Like mine ;) ;) )
First, adjust your News Feed preferences. You’ll find the option to edit this by clicking the three dots next to News Feed on the left side of your Facebook screen.
Click “edit preferences” . . .
Then click “Prioritize who to see first”. . .
Click “Pages only” (you can also do this for people) and star those pages you want to make sure you see updates from.
And second, comment on and interact with posts from the people + pages you’re most interested in. The more you engage with posts, the more you’ll see from that person or page. This is why you always see your best friend’s updates, but the posts from that chick you worked with for six months five years ago have pretty much disappeared. Facebook pays attention to the clicks, comments, and shares, AND how much time a post is on your screen.
When you’re a content producer, the algorithm can be annoying, but its main goal is to display content it believes you want to see most. You can help it figure that out by commenting on posts and watching more minutes of video from the people, blogs, and businesses you really like!