If any of your website traffic is referred from Facebook, or if you have a Facebook business page as part of your marketing strategy, then you’re going to want to understand how the latest Facebook news feed change affects you.
What Is the Facebook News Feed Change?
On June 29, 2016, Facebook notified their community about an update to their news feed algorithm intended to help make sure their users see more content from friends and family. This includes all the different content types on Facebook, including photos, videos, status updates, and links.
Business pages do not fall under the friends and family category. As a result, given the limited amount of space in a news feed, it is likely that there will be a further decline in organic reach of your page in Facebook plus a corresponding decline in referral traffic to your website.
By now, declining referral traffic from Facebook and organic reach from Facebook pages isn’t much of a surprise to those of us who have been using this platform for a while. We regularly see reach percentage in the low single digits for posts to the Rafflecopter Facebook page. It’s been well documented by page administrators across the web that in order to get in front of your Facebook fans by way of their news feed, you’re going to have to pay to play through the various Facebook ad options.
This expected decline is also mentioned in a post by Facebook on the news:
“Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.”
What To Do About It
They do however provide some insight into what you can do to curb that decline:
“if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.”
So there you have it. Publishing compelling content that readers want to share is the secret. Except, that’s not much of a secret. Creating high quality content has been a best practice for a long time if you are trying to drive high quality traffic to your website.
A content goal is that it be shared by readers on Facebook, and for their friends to like and comment on that content. According to Facebook, a post with these characteristics will tend to show higher in Facebook news feeds. Presumably, content on your Facebook page that is shared would also help appear higher up and more frequently in news feeds. Of course, you’ll likely need to pay Facebook to get your page, or content on your page, in front of fans in the first place.
Now that you know about this change, what changes should you make, if any, to your current content and Facebook plans? Here are a few suggestions:
Track Your Facebook Activity
Facebook announced at the end of June that the changes will be rolled out “over the coming weeks”. Take these steps to understand your baseline of Facebook traffic as changes are implemented.
- Track the amount of referral traffic your site receives from Facebook. This is easy to do through Google Analytics using the Channels report. You can access it under Acquisition | All Traffic | Channels | Social | Facebook.
- Track the reach and engagement of your posts using the Insights tool on the Facebook Business Page manager at https://business.facebook.com.
Optimize Your Facebook Sharing
Follow Facebook’s advice. They “encourage Pages to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends”. There’s more to that than just creating good content. Fortunately for you, we put together a beginner’s guide to Facebook Sharing Optimization :)
Grow Your Email List
Email continues to be one of the most valuable assets a business has. Ad blockers and other challenges are continually making it difficult to put a marketing message in front of a prospect. You have virtually direct access to speak with prospects using email. There aren’t many marketing channels left that can have that ability.
There are lots of ways to grow your email list. Of course, running a giveaway online is one of them!
Have you started to see decreasing traffic from Facebook yet and/or lower reach for your Facebook posts? Let us know in the comments below.