It seems like every week there is a new Facebook algorithm update that inevitably has an impact on not only its users but the small businesses who rely on it as a marketing channel. Last December was no different when the company announced a new effort to push more relevant articles in users' News Feeds. On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal, but this development will likely affect your digital marketing strategy whether you want it to or not.
Here's how it works: As we all know, people like to get news and share content via their Facebook News Feed. The problem is that a lot of the content is spam. So Facebook is making a greater effort to identify and publish more of what it calls "high quality content." In addition, Facebook will also push other relevant articles to users. As they note in their press release, "After you click on a link to an article, you may see up to three related articles directly below the News Feed post to help you discover more content you may find interesting."
Why is the Facebook algorithm update important for small businesses?
It's simple: publishing compelling articles can lead to more traffic to your site. For example, last October Facebook revealed that average referral traffic from Facebook to media sites has increased by over 170% — almost tripled — in the past year. That's impressive stuff, all because viewers are clicking on unique content in their News Feed. And the more compelling the content, the more likely viewers are to click and share.
In addition, more referrals and Likes lead to more viewers reading your content, which, in turn, optimizes your search engine optimization efforts. Search engines see that real, live humans are engaged around your content and can boost your web site in search results, meaning customers will find you easier.
So what's next for small businesses using Facebook as a marketing channel?
It's not complicated: compelling, unique content is more important than ever. That means small businesses need to:
- Create a content management and marketing strategy that includes a set schedule, modified content based on social network, and a vigilant eye towards keyword trends.
- Cut back on the spam and invest time in writing compelling content that will resonate with Facebook users. (If that sounds easier said than done, fear not; it's not that difficult.)
- Consider hiring a third-party blogging service provider to do the writing.
- Continue to encourage users to Like, Share, and Comment on your content.
For years we've been hearing that "content is king." But that's not true. Content just for the sake of content isn't worth much. That's why Google rolled out it's Penguin and Panda updates, to cut down on spam and "content farms." Instead, we'd venture to say that "high-quality content is king." Sure, it's a bit clumsier as far as sayings go, but it's nonetheless true, and the new Facebook algorithm updates are further proof.
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