This past week Facebook released a set of algorithmic updates coming soon to a newsfeed near you – and as a marketer, I’m not even that mad about them.

Yeah, I went through my own Facebook-hating phrase when organic reach on all my brand pages plummeted and I was forced to start shelling out some cash so my followers could see my content. But you know, Facebook has bills to pay and they have to make money somehow.

But Facebook has the same goals as Google – to provide a quality experience for it’s users to keep them coming back. Thus, Google algorithmic updates seek to clean up the search results and provide the best content. Similarly, Facebook’s algorithm attempts to clean out low-quality, unwanted content from our newsfeeds and provide us with the best possible content. Yes, that includes ads – BUT I’ve found that almost all the ads that appear in my newsfeed are things that I am interested in.

This week’s updates are twofold:

See ya Click-Bait!

clickbait exampleFacebook will start down-voting “Click Bait” headlines. You know, like the one I used to get you to read this article. The annoying article headlines that made Upworthy (example on your right) and Buzzfeed a huge success and then immediately got super old, really fast.

While click-bait titles will get people to visit your article – and you don’t want to give away all the information in your title (thus eliminating the need for anyone to read the article), users prefer to know what they’re getting into before they click.

Embedding Links in Captions vs. Attaching Links

Facebook will start down-voting your attempts to beat the system by sharing your links by uploading a picture & putting the link in the caption. Okay, so I did this a lot. But apparently users prefer seeing the links and being able to click through to articles that way. I see photographers use this method a lot. My bet is that this probably won’t be a huge problem for people that use this method if their content is still great. Does this confuse you?

Let me illustrate:

facebook's newsfeed updatesVersus this:

 

facebook's newsfeed updates

The second example here – is what Facebook users prefer, according to Facebook. I get it – it’s obvious that it’s a link and it’s easy to click through, whereas the other one takes an extra step. The good news is that you can upload any picture – and if it’s big enough, it’ll take up more space and look more visually appealing (and get you more clicks!).

Doing Facebook Right in a Nutshell

Facebook isn’t getting easier, but it still holds its place as a top referral social platform for many, many brands. Even for Web Talent – it’s still a top referral for us – and we’re a B2B business!

To succeed in 2014 you need two things:

  1. Really, really great content. Content that matters. Content that people care about – and present it honestly without a bait and switch (aka clickbait).
  2. A credit card. In order to get anywhere – you have to compete with everyone else who is paying for a spot on Facebook. Whether it’s just boosting some of your top posts or running an ad campaign, you’re going to have to spend some money. (Nothing is free, am I right?)

If you need a little help with your Facebook (or social media in general) presence – we do offer consulting as well as on-going support and management. Just get in touch!