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How Toosday: navigating the Facebook algorithm in 2018

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Facebook’s plans changes to its algorithm and news feed in 2018 have certainly caused a stir since they were announced. Heck, this very website is only a few weeks and we’ve already covered them extensively.

Check out the rest of our Facebook coverage.

Since their initial announcement, planet Zuckerberg has trickled out a little more information about how the news feed is likely to work in 2018 and what sort of content will do well.

With that in mind, here’s a few tips to give you the best chance of making the most of Facebook this year, in spite of the latest tweaks.

Understand what Facebook classes as ‘meaningful interactions’

The phrase ‘meaningful interactions’ has become something of a buzzword since Facebook dropped it on the world back in January. Essentially, for a post to do well in the new feed in 2018 it needs to evoke some of these meaningful interactions from your audience.

But, what are meaningful interactions?

Well, for marketers looking to post content on their pages, meaningful interactions come from the long list of signals that affect news feed rankings for each post – that’s everything from the amount of engagement a post gets through to the time of day it was posted and everything in between.

When it comes to posts from pages, the meaningful interactions you need to get from your audiences are those that involve some active participation. That means you want comments, shares and reactions.

So, there lies the challenge for every marketer using Facebook in 2018; create content that will prompt comments, is shareable and will get reactions.

But, don’t forget, you shouldn’t ask your audiences to do any of this. As we’ve already covered, Facebook is clamping down on engagement baiting this year. Your content has got to be good enough to get these reactions without you asking for them.

Really understand your audience

The driving force behind Facebook’s updates in 2018 is around prioritising people-to-people interactions rather than people-to-pages.

That doesn’t mean we should abandon our pages, we just need to take a long look at what content we’re posting and make sure that, to be blunt, our audiences would actually give a shit about it.

This means being clear on why people have liked your page in the first place, understanding what sort of content they expect from you and dipping into your insights regularly to get a clear picture of the sort of stuff they really dig.

In short, you need to know your audience so well that you can fill your Facebook content calendar with posts that will add value to them, every single time.

Stop putting off video

Throughout their updates this year, Facebook has been about as subtle as a brick to the face in pushing video, especially live video.

Think about it; they’re not just telling us that live videos get more than six times as many interactions on average as regular videos for our wider interest. Pushing this stat out is Facebook’s way of making a huge, flashing sign that says ‘do live video!’ in giant letters.

And, while live videos might outperform regular video massively, regular video in turn still beats everything else. So, if you’re serious about Facebook in 2018 you really need to add video to your arsenal.

Go in on groups

The other not-so-gentle plug Facebook has stuffed in this year’s announcements is for groups. More than one billion people use groups on Facebook, with more 100 million folk also saying groups are the most important part of their Facebook experience.

When you think about it, it makes sense – people join a group to be part of community with a common interest. Page owners have, for a while now, had the capability to make a group. 2018 could be the time for you to exploit that and create a space your audience will love.

Some pages are already giving it a go – last week the University of Glasgow’s Daniel Marrable shared how his institution’s newly-launched community group was getting on.

Prioritise quality over quantity

Lastly, something I’ve been preaching for years when it comes to Facebook; prioritise quality posts over quantity of posts. It’s long been far better practice on the platform to share fewer posts of a higher quality than loads of average posts.

Now, more than other, you need to maintain a quality threshold. Don’t give Facebook any reason to deprioritise your page’s content…in 2018 you need to see Facebook as a place for your greatest hits and only share your bangers.