What New Facebook Algorithm Changes Mean for Marketers

Google isn’t the only media giant whose algorithms deserve careful consideration among marketers. Facebook uses its own internal algorithms to determine how and when to serve up content to its users. Writing for Marketingland, digital marketing reporter Tim Peterson reveals that Facebook has recently tweaked its algorithm. What do you need to know about this change for your business’s advertising and marketing campaigns?

Clicks and Likes Aren’t the Only Important Data Sets

Facebook algorithm
Facebook will now track time spent on content as well as the venerable clicks and likes.

According to Peterson, the latest Facebook algorithm change will enable the social media platform to track the amount of time users spend on third-party content. In other words, it will not only know if a user clicks on a link or likes a post, but also how long that person engaged with the content.

As Peterson points out, this makes sense from Facebook’s point of view. It generates more revenue when users spend more time in the sight. By prioritizing content that keeps people riveted to the page for longer periods of time, it stands to increase its income as well as its market reach.

Although this new algorithm change could significantly impact how content displays in users’ feeds, it only applies to the mobile app. Facebook members who access the site on their desktop computers won’t have their activity timed.

What Does this Mean for Marketers?

Facebook algorithm
Facebook isn’t just switching up its algorithm to collect data —

it will use that data to inform how it serves up content.

As Facebook collects data about the amount of time users spend on specific pieces of content, it can start prioritizing that content. For instance, if users spend an average of 30 seconds viewing Content A, but spend six or seven minutes on Content B, Facebook will display Content B in users’ feeds more often.

Clearly, this means that marketers will have to step up their game when it comes to creating useful, engaging content. Clickbait titles with no substance behind the headline will prove less valuable to Facebook, and will therefore see far less screen time.

How Can Marketers Use this to Their Advantage?

The best strategy for marketers is to create content with the highest value possible. Each piece of content should serve a specific purpose and provide the user with some benefit, whether its knowledge, entertainment, or inspiration. If your content contains fluff or filler, you’ll encourage users to close it quickly, which means Facebook will send it to the back of the line.

Lesya Liu of Entrepreneur magazine suggests that marketers will have the best luck with video. Since users have to wait for video to queue up, then must watch the content to know whether they’re going to find it useful, marketers have a better chance of keeping users on the page for extended periods of time.

According to Liu, longer text-based content won’t necessarily have an advantage because Facebook will factor content length into its algorithm. If you’re hoping to keep your content front-and-center, consider shooting video for your Facebook content.

While Facebook’s algorithm changes always alter the ways in which marketers can pursue their campaigns, this one might prove even more impactful than usual. To stay on top of Facebook’s algorithms and the latest trends and best practices in the digital marketing space, sign up for Top Secret Digital Marketing Insights and news.

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