Facebook announced they are refining their algorithm this week to better identify and promote quality news content. This can and will affect your strategic performance, but what exactly makes “quality” content and how can your agency ensure they are on the winning side of this adjustment? We talked with Facebook about the changes, and the bottom line line is that these improvements will make it harder for organizations to clutter news feeds and cheat their way to engagement metrics.
Facebook News Feeds will now attempt to show more high quality news content. What does that mean? Facebook is attempting to differentiate between high-engagement posts that contain links to news sites versus those that are only meme images created to boost engagement numbers without further depth of content.
Here is an example of a quality post that is favored by the algorithm update : Jason Kelly from the U.S. Navy shares a Tumblr link to a post discussing why launching an Instagram account supports his team’s strategic goals.
What will be punished ? You’ve seen them every time you log in — posts that contain links to an image or info-graphic that does not come from within the link shared. The image used to draw in users and elicit engagement is itself a dead end of content (as well as inaccessible to some). This example, edited with black boxes to obscure the originator, represents a commonly seen Facebook content format which will be featured less now in News Feeds.
Case and point: Facebook is making it that much harder to cut corners to improve visibility and engagement metrics , and this is a very good thing for federal agencies. Based on the performance analysis recommendations shared by the Social Media Community of Practice working group, agencies should look to define conversion, or desired outcomes, beyond simple metrics of likes and shares. Metrics of this nature are indicators of performance, but alone are not the end goal and cannot illustrate the complete impact of social media activities on the mission.
Share opportunities for citizens to learn, participate and engage in your Facebook posts, and measure their effectiveness at helping citizens better use your public programs. Each agency has a wealth of programs citizens rely on, and with Facebook’s algorithm adjustment it will be easier to deliver them in a meaningful way.