Facebook recently launched an update to its algorithm, changing the way each user receives content on their News Feed. The site’s update came as the platform continues to search for an ideal balance between the amount of content users see from companies and from their friends. Facebook listed three changes to the way content is made available to users:

  1. You will now be able to see multiple posts from the same source in a row. Previously, Facebook didn’t allow your feed to be populated too heavily by any one source, but now states, “If you run out of content, but want to spend more time in News Feed, you’ll see more.”
  2. The second update is intended to place content you care about (your friends’ photos, videos, status updates, etc.) at the top of your Feed so you are less likely to miss it.
  3. Lastly, information about your friends interacting with a company’s page will appear lower in your News Feed or not at all. (So, less of the “Sherri liked Walmart” content.)

What does this mean for my business?

It’s going to be tougher to get your content in front of Facebook’s users. Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz, mentioned that Facebook’s organic reach was already really low – at about 2% – prior to the algorithm update. This update might show that number drop even further, as pages struggle to get their content in front of Facebook’s users.

Facebook’s official statement on the impact to businesses was delivered on April 21 as:

“The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity. In some cases, post reach and referral traffic could potentially decline. Overall, pages should continue to post things that people find meaningful and consider these best practices for driving referral traffic.”

What can I do to stay afloat after this change?

  • Break out your credit card. If your page is struggling after this update, it might be time to pay to play. Taking out an ad on Facebook isn’t too pricey, though. Here’s some information to get you started.
  • Entice people to interact with your page. According to Facebook’s statement, viewers will still see posts from pages “if they like to read or interact with” them.
  • Lindsay Kolowich, of Hubspot, advises “beefing up the content on your website to improve your social sharing options.” She continues, “Instead of your content getting on Facebook only by publishing on behalf of your brand, you’re getting more people to share your content on their personal Facebook accounts — which could ultimately help you reach a larger audience.”
  • Be innovative. While we know we’re going to have less screen time on Facebook, we have yet to see how companies will successfully leverage this inconvenience. My suggestions are to keep your content exciting and to tell a story that is unique to your company’s perspective. Pages should look to Facebook’s best practices for creating meaningful content.
  • Keep up with Facebook’s educational resources. Facebook recently launched a toolkit specifically for marketers and promises to continue providing additional resources to “help businesses of all sizes succeed.”

Are you a marketer who uses Facebook as a primary source for referral traffic? What are your thoughts about the update? Leave your comments below to continue the conversation.