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What to expect in 2014: Adapting to Facebook’s EdgeRank changes

3 min read

Marketing Strategy

Are you caught up with the most recent online marketing changes, updates and theories? Wishpond’s James Scherer, in this four-part series, will examine the most influential changes that have happened in the past six months, and how those changes affect you and your business on a daily basis.

This week, Scherer will discuss what Facebook’s EdgeRank changes means for marketers. In Part 1, Scherer looked at the rise of social media optimization. Part 2 covered Content Shock — what it is and why it matters.

You may have noticed that your business’ organic reach on Facebook has declined recently. This is primarily due to an update to the EdgeRank algorithm (the bit of immensely complex code that determines how many people see your posts).

What they’ve done is devalued text updates from brand pages (this happened on Jan. 21, so don’t worry if you haven’t heard about it yet); previously, Facebook actually rewarded posts that embedded links within text, instead of what they call a “link share.”

So this:

Ranked better than this:

Well, it doesn’t anymore. So there’s now literally no reason why your Facebook posts shouldn’t be focused around eye-catching images. But wait, there’s more.

What else they’ve done:

  • Devalued memes. Traditionally, the meme was a pretty tempting Facebook marketing ploy for businesses. They were eye-catching, easy to make relevant for your brand, entertaining and recognizable. Facebook classified them as “poor quality posts” and severely limited the amount of fans who will see them.

  • Devalued “Like this!” posts. It used to work. Only six months ago I was quoting the formula “Like-this-post-if [Blank]” as a Facebook best practice. Facebook has now classified “asking for likes” posts as poor quality and devalued them. (Note, this isn’t true of Facebook Ads, but more on them in a second).

  • Re-asserted the value of new content. Provided your content is receiving any social endorsements (shares, likes or comments), newer content is featured above old.

The changes to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm also mean you may need to take another look at paid reach. As far as “sponsored stories” go, I recommend you test a Facebook post organically first and then promote it once it reaches a certain level of engagement. Remember that sponsored stories will be fazed out on April 9.

Next week we’ll take a look at how you can benefit by using Facebook Ads.

James Scherer is a content marketer for Wishpond and author of the ebook The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads. Wishpond makes it easy to run Facebook Ads, create landing pages & contests, email automation campaigns & manage all of your business’ contacts.