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Facebook Fix: Take Control Back from the Puppetmaster

Facebook has been tweaking their EdgeRank algorithm again! What does this mean? Well, in the recent past, photos were the key to getting your content noticed and seen on Facebook. It appears that Facebook has now made TEXT ONLY posts the “post du jour” and that THEY decide what your fans will see.

This was the hot topic on Mari Smith’s Facebook Fan page last night. Mari asked, “Are you noticing a change in the reach of your Facebook fan page PHOTO posts vs. just TEXT status updates? It’s almost always been that posts with an image get more EdgeRank (news feed visibility), but is something changing? My last post (text) has DOUBLE the reach of the one before that (photo). Hm! Hugh Briss of Social Identities is seeing a difference of 3x!”

Not sure what the Facebook EdgeRank is? On our 12 Most site, the traffic referred by Facebook dropped 52.19% last week compared to the previous week with the same exact number of posts per week. Not good Facebook! However, our LinkedIn referrals were up 191.67%, Pinterest referrals were up 56.52%, and Twitter was up 2.84%. Are Facebook users already finding the content they want other places instead of what Facebook tells them they want? Maybe.

From this post called Facebook: I want my friends back! The biggest bait ’n switch in history:

“…The volume was getting turned down on their Facebook reach. Each post was now being seen only by a fraction of their total ‘fans’ who would previously have seen them.”

But it wasn’t just the so-called “fan pages,” individual Facebook users were also starting to notice that they weren’t seeing much in their newsfeeds anymore from the various entities they “liked” — or even updates from their closest friends and family members. Something was amiss, but unless you had a larger “data set” to look at — or a formerly thriving online business that was now getting creamed — it probably wasn’t something that you noticed or paid that much attention to.”

It isn’t that Facebook shouldn’t be allowed to make money, because everything in life can’t be free, but to continue to force pages to change their sharing methods due to random, unpublished algorithm changes is entirely unfair and seemingly unethical business practices.

What can be done?

What can you do to ensure that you are seeing the content you want to see? Add pages to your Interest Lists.

Or, as a Facebook page manager, you will need to try to get your fans to add you to their interest lists as well as like your page. And you thought just “getting the like” was the challenge? Silly you!

Interest Lists are an optional way to organize the content you’re interested in on Facebook. You can create your own Interest Lists based on the things you care about, or subscribe to other people’s lists. For example, you could create a Top Indie Bands list that features bands’ Pages and public updates from band members.

When you create or subscribe to a list, you’ll see the best posts from that list in your main news feed. Your lists will also appear in the Interests section of your bookmarks. Simply click the list’s name to see all the recent posts and activity from the Pages and people featured in the list, without overwhelming your main news feed.” Notice that Facebook said, “you’ll see the best posts from that list in your main news feed” — keep in mind that they are choosing this with their top secret EdgeRank algorithm.

Another thing that you can do is “Add to My Page’s Favorites,” also found in the same drop down menu on the right corner under the cover photo. This is more time consuming and I am not sure if any individuals will go through these steps to make sure they see Facebook pages they have liked.

Facebook page managers: check your insights to see if your text only posts have been getting more traffic this week. Honestly, we don’t usually post all-text posts since photos have been the “big thing” for awhile. Facebook may be trying to set itself apart from the other social channels that are visually-based such as Pinterest and Google+, but can they tell Facebook fans what they like? I am guessing that they can’t. These Facebook shifts and changes are what make Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ more appealing by the day.

What are your thoughts on all these changes in Facebook? Are you going to change your Facebook posts to include more with text only? Will you conform to the puppetmaster or move on?


Article by Peggy Fitzpatrick.

Featured image courtesy of Louish Pixel via Creative Commons.

0 Replies to “Facebook Fix: Take Control Back from the Puppetmaster”

  1. I have been playing around with Facebook posts on a few different pages, and here is what I have noticed lately:

    1. Posts with pictures and just a line or two of text are not getting as many views.

    2. Posts of text only, that are more than four lines, are getting more views than previously.

    3. Posts with an image or video, with more than four lines of text are getting more views in the first few hours.

    In addition, the total views per post still usually seems stagnant. That is, while Facebook was once a “momentum” based platform, I am not sure that is still the case. If you look at posts that are more than 10 days old, you will find that the “total views” for those posts tends to be the same…. no matter how fast the views were compiled.

    Sponsoring posts is now the only way to generate large volumes of total views, whether short or long-term. The problem is, it is more expensive to pay for broadcast on Facebook than it is on radio, and in some markets, cable television.

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    I agree with your points in #1 – 3. We have seen an almost 50% drop and that includes the post for this article on Facebook compared to a text only post 5 minutes later.

    Your momentum theory does appear to be true. Facebook users seem to be relying on the timeline to feed them their content as opposed to going to a Facebook page of our choosing to check out the content. So if Facebook has decided to remove your posts from your fans timeline, you have no choice but to promote the post or, of course, stop using Facebook and head over to Twitter or Google+.

    They maybe separating the small businesses from the big brands again in marketing. Social media marketing appeared to have evened out the playing field between Mom and Pop shops and big brands but with this type of paid marketing being almost a requirement for Facebook traffic, big brands will have the advantage again.

    So is it only a matter of time before Twitter and Google+ start doing the same?

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