Many artists and/or their social media management teams have surely noticed a drop in their Facebook “average reach” over the past several weeks. The reason is because Facebook has made some dramatic adjustments in its EdgeRank algorithm recently, worsening the performance of artist/brand pages on the social network. Unique impressions have fallen across the board (organic, paid and viral reach), meaning that artists and brands must adapt to ensure that their time and effort is well spent moving forward with the revised EdgeRank.
Why The Change?
Given that more people than ever before are now on Facebook (1 billion monthly active users), more users are Liking more pages and thus receiving more content in their feed from brands in addition to the content from their friends. Additionally, brands and businesses have been reportedly posting three times more content than they did just six months ago, which leaves many fighting for news feed real estate.
Impressions naturally declined as a result, which is why Facebook introduced the Promoted posts feature for page owners to pay and ensure that as many people see their content as possible. A clogged news feed isn’t exactly ideal for an enjoyable user experience, so the revised EdgeRank algorithm is now making room for more Promoted posts and new users / brands.
Social media and digital analytics company Socialbreakers recently conducted a study of how organic reach has changed with this new EdgeRank algorithm. Interestingly enough, the total number of organic post impressions has remained relatively stable (July 1st – October 9th), yet one can clearly notice when the new algorithm was introduced with a sharp decline occurring in late September.
Click image to enlarge:
Engagement Matters More Than Ever
Facebook says they optimize the news feed “to show users the posts they are most likely to engage with, where engagement is defined as clicking, liking, commenting, or sharing the post – or in the case of offers, claiming the offer”.
In order to ensure that your posts are seen by more people, it is critical to make them engaging enough to draw as many likes, comments, and above all, as many shares as possible.
Visual content generally does well among users, so consider posting pictures that offer some value that would compel a fan to share it. Be sure to keep your captions short and introduce a call-to-action of some sort (pose a question, ask them to share, provide a link, etc). Videos also work well in this regard. For those big important posts, like tour date announcements or new music releases, consider forking over the dough and running a Promoted posts campaign to ensure that you reach the most amount of fans possible.
Bottom line: The more that your fans engage with your content, the better it is for your overall EdgeRank score and the more likely your posts will appear in their news feed over time. Finding the perfect storm of compelling content fused with well-timed posts will be critical to getting the most ROI out of your Facebook efforts. Just ensure that you’re monitoring your Facebook Insights regularly enough to figure out what is working, and what is not.