What the Algorithm Change Means for Race Organisers on Facebook

In January of 2018 Facebook updated their content algorithm to improve engagement quality on the platform. What this means is that access to users has become harder – yet again! Engagement with the Followers you’ve painstakenly built up is being challenged.

We’ve researched the new algorithm and are here to share a few tips to make the upheaval a little less painful.

What is the algorithm change all about?

In its simplest form, Facebook is concerned they are losing users based on the quality of their engagement. Their solution: allow user content to break through the noise of businesses and pages. This may improve the experience for many users, but isn’t as altruistic as it seems. It just means pages that want to be sure to reach their audience must (a) pay or (b) create quality content that is more likely to be engaged with. “As we roll this out,” Zuckerberg highlights, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” Zuckerberg also cited “a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being”.

So, this is both good and bad. Read on to ensure you come out on top after these latest changes.

Quality over quantity

Given that pages and professional publishers will be bumped to the sidelines, content needs to be all the more engagement-worthy and qualitative. There is no point in simply populating your feed with uninteresting content or boring recycled material, find good quality content that you would read yourself. Use platforms like Flipboard and StumbleUpon to seek out quality, targeted content.

Meaningful interaction

According to Zuckerberg, “meaningful interaction” is just comments, discussion and more comments! So post content aimed at starting discussion. Ask questions, dare to be challenging, or even a little tongue-in-cheek. The more comments you get, the chance of your post getting seen by others, goes up exponentially.

Keep the growth coming and the users engaging

Encouraging Follows is still be the best approach to reaching your audience. Or if they already follow, you could even go a step further and remind them about the “See First” function, if they like your content it will always be boosted to the top of their feed.

Continue to populate your feed with regular, engaging content using a scheduling platform like Planable, Hootsuite, or simply by scheduling posts directly into Facebook. The benefit of using a tool like Planable is that you can see your upcoming content in a calendar mode to have a better grasp on the posts you’ve already prepared.

Put a little budget behind key posts

For some, it might be difficult to take this leap but you’ll recognise quickly that for content that matters you do get what you pay for. If you invest a small budget in posts that will drive users toward converting on your race you’ll recognise the difference quickly.

The key here is in your targeting, if you already have a majority of your target market following your page then simply ‘Boost’ a post with a budget between £5-£25 while targeting ‘people who like your page’. The nice thing about a ‘boosted-post’ is that it also grows organically as you invest in advertising it to a larger audience.

Create a group on you page

In some cases it might make more sense to create a group that is directly tied to your page, allowing more direct contact with your followers. Depending on your organisation this could be useful in other aspects outside of marketing as well. The benefit with groups is it tends to be mostly user generated content which falls inline with Zuckerberg’s interaction focus. So if you have an already engaging audience considering utilising a group as a way of opening the conversation directly to your community.

The take-home

The key takeaways from this change is to really consider the quality of your posting. Share content that is relevant and useful for your followers. When you have a piece of content that is important to be seen by as many people as possible invest in the post with a £5-£15 boost and be clear on your targeting.  Always give your community clear instructions on how to keep up to date with your organisation whether that be on Facebook or a blog, email blasts or Instagram.

April 24, 2018

Sean Errey

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