Facebook Algorithm Change: Stop with the text updates!

Facebook text updates in the news feed

As a Facebook marketer, to be successful, you need an edge over your competitors on Facebook. This way more of your content gets seen in the news feed by fans.

One way to do this was to post Facebook text updates on both Facebook profiles and pages. This was because they were seen more in the news feed.

Facebook even agreed and had this to say about how important text status updates were:

Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. In fact, in our initial test when we showed more status updates from friends it led to on average 9 million more status updates written each day. Because of this, we showed people more text status updates in their News Feed.

But when you really stop to think about it, you were not reaching people in the news feed because you were sharing really great content. Instead, you were leveraging a flaw in the news feed algorithm.

And while this seemed like the perfect win-win situation for both Facebook Profiles and Facebook Pages because it allowed your content to reach more people, Facebook took notice and implemented Facebook text update changes for Facebook Pages.

Now before you get mad and cry foul over how Facebook keeps making it difficult for your business to succeed because of all of these changes, consider this.

The constant changes on Facebook are not the issue. 

The main issue is the type of content that you share on your page. I’m not saying that all of the content you share is bad, it is just how you are sharing it.

Changes to Facebook text updates

With Facebook text updates, what is changing is that text status updates are being separated into two categories.

  • Text status updates for profiles
  • Text status updates for pages

Yes, pages can expect to see a decrease in text status updates now, but it is good to see that they “may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”

Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages. As a result, the latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types. This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

As a Facebook Page owner, I’m sure this scares you, but it shouldn’t. In fact, I think this is going to be a good change for everyone here’s why.

Why this change makes sense for Facebook Pages

While Facebook text updates make sense for Facebook Profiles, they don’t really make sense for Facebook Pages.

Think about it.

If I am posting something to my Facebook Profile, they don’t really care how I am posting the content. They just want to see my updates.

On the otherhand, if I am a business and my primary goal is to grow my brand, I want to be sure that I am sharing not only quality content, but I am sharing content that looks good in the news feed.

This way fans will take notice and want to share it more. This also influences the perception that they have about your brand.

Visual cues in the news feed

Here is a breakdown on posting a text status update and using Facebook link shares.

If you saw these two status updates in your news feed, which would you click?

Facebook text update

Facebook text update

Does this Facebook text update appeal to you?

Facebook link share

Facebook link-share

Facebook link shares are much more visually appealing in the news feed.

Hopefully you will decide to go with a Facebook link share instead of posting a text update.

Not only is it more visually appealing, but it helps the content you share stand out more in the news feed, helping lead to higher engagement (likes, comments, and shares of your content).

Facebook is forcing me to use Facebook Ads

One other myth about the recent changes to text status updates is that this is Facebook’s way to force businesses to pay for Facebook Ads if they want to get seen in the news feed.

Facebook isn’t forcing your to use ads with this text status update change.

Facebook Ads should definitely be a part of your Facebook marketing strategy, but Facebook’s ultimate goal is this for status updates:

The goal of every update to News Feed is to show people the most interesting stories at the top of their feed and display them in the best way possible.

 

How to create link share posts on Facebook

With the changes to text status updates, this is yet another opportunity for businesses to really focus in on the goals of their business and how to grow their brand on Facebook.

As I mentioned, Facebook text updates from pages are going to be shown less in the news feed. To combat this change, you want to be sure to create a Facebook link share.

Here is a tutorial on how to create Facebook link shares for Facebook.

Remember, this will help improve the look of the content you are sharing with fans and help you standout more in the news feed.

You win some, you lose some

Just like with any Facebook algorithm change, changes to Facebook text updates will require you to be more aware of what you are posting on your Facebook Page.

While it seems like a lot of work and things are constantly fluctuating, it really isn’t.

It is just an opportunity to take a more responsible approach to what you share on Facebook.

Instead of complaining about changes on Facebook and how this hurts your business, focus on how you can take this change and apply it to your business and add value to the content you are sharing with fans. 

Bringing it all together

How do you feel about Facebook changing how text updates are seen in the news feed? Leave a comment below.