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Facebook’s algorithm has been updated, here’s a quick overview

Facebook has had an algorithm makeover this summer; we’d like to catch you up in a concise manner.

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Bringing you up to speed on the changes to Facebook

Just when you were getting used to marketing on Facebook, the social media site has changed. In case you were unaware, June of this year, Facebook announced a revision to the algorithm that it uses to prioritize content on user’s News Feeds.

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The new algorithm now consider not only which posts users are commenting on and sharing, but will also factor in how long a user spends reading a post. Facebook figures that if you are viewing a post for a long time you are obviously interested in it, even if you don’t directly engage with the post. These types of posts will now be placed closer to the top of your newsfeed.

Length of time on a Page is now important

In its announcement, Facebook said that “we do not expect Pages to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.” Nonetheless, the change to Facebook’s algorithm does reveal that it is worth considering the length of time users are viewing your posts when making marketing decisions. What can marketers learn from the recent algorithmic change?

Facebook provides analytic data for your post’s reach, and for how often users are clicking, liking, sharing, and commenting on your posts. Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t yet have a way to share data on how long users are viewing each post. There is also a lack of research and data regarding which type of content – be it text, photos, videos, surveys, etc. – generate the most attention and engagement.

Time to focus on deep, engaging content

Without this crucial data it can be challenging to figure out the best way to optimize your posts to maximize Facebook user views and engagement. Mark Schaefer, social media marketing consultant for businessgrow.com, recommends focusing on deep, engaging content.

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He advises businesses, “don’t post for the sake of meaningless engagement” – arguing that reading a long, expressive post will be more effective than commenting on or liking a short but random and unremarkable post.

Emotion is key – users will pay more attention to, and are more likely to engage with and share, a post that evokes a strong emotional reaction. Just be careful not to stir up a controversial debate that might actually hurt your business.

It’s also time to start posting videos

Schaefer also recommends posting videos. Facebook has matched YouTube with over four billion video views per day. Videos are one of the main ways to catch a user’s attention these days, and watching a video will drive up the “length of view” time that Facebook’s algorithm will use to prioritize the post.

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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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