Navigating the Latest Facebook Changes

Facebook changed the algorithm again. Here are some tips for both users and Page owners to make the best of it. How many times have we said this?

Just when I figure out Facebook, they change the News Feed!

As a reader, it’s frustrating because I want to see posts from the Pages I “like”.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have “liked” them in the first place!

As as an owner of a Facebook Page, it’s frustrating because I know there are people who need what I’m sharing, but Facebook is not showing it to them.

And it’s happened again.  Facebook recently announced MORE changes to what is shown in your News Feed.

You’ll start seeing more from your family and friends than from some Pages that you like.  You’ll also see Pages you like that have engaging posts with back-and-forth conversation.

I love the idea of seeing more from my family and friends. That’s why most of us joined Facebook in the first place.  I’ve re-connected with so many old friends and kept up with family members I would never see otherwise.

But I don’t want this to be the end of Facebook Pages.  I’ve intentionally liked Facebook Pages that fill my News Feed with positive, encouraging posts and helpful information.  So I’m going to do my part to be sure I see them.

HOW TO BE SURE YOU SEE THE PAGES YOU LIKE MOST

Facebook will continue to show the Pages that you have chosen to See First.  To do that, go to the Facebook Page you want to see and look just under the cover photo.  Hover over the Following button, then check the See First option. While you are there, be sure the Notifications are turned on so you’ll know when your favorite Page shares a FB Live video or an Event.  It should look like the photo below:

Facebook will let you select up to 25 Pages.  Here are some of the ones I’ve asked to See First.

Do A New Thing (duh!)

Proverbs 31 Ministries, Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, Lysa TerKeurst and my other favorite P31 authors

Dr. Michelle Bengston – I love her Hope-Filled Perspective FB Live Videos

Lindsey Hartz Creative – Great support and information for Christian writers

Sweet Tea Social Marketing – Heather Heuman stays on top of all things social media

Kirsten Kiki Oliphant – Resources for the digital writing life

By George Organizing Solutions – In addition to providing tips and strategies to stay organized, Liana helps us deal with the mindsets that keep us cluttered.  Love her approach!

HOW TO BE SURE YOUR AUDIENCE SEES YOUR POSTS

If you have a Facebook page for your blog, business or ministry, here are some tips from the experts:

Keep calm – As usual, everyone is freaking out over the latest changes. But just hold on for a little while.  No one knows exactly how these changes will really pan out and the intended and unintended consequences.

Educate your audience – Just like I’ve done here, teach your audience how to use the See First option to ensure they see the content they want to see.

Community, community, community – If Facebook wants more interaction and community, let’s give it to them.  Your posts should ask questions, take polls and otherwise encourage a response.  Facebook is going to favor posts that have back-and-forth conversation in the comments.

Video, Video, Video – We’ve heard this for a while … FB users love video.  In their announcement about the new algorithm, Facebook said FB Live videos get six times the engagement.  Videos that people come back to view again, or videos in a series that people come to the Page specifically to view will be favored.  So try how-to videos or a weekly/ongoing series of videos with a similar format. A good example is the OBS Today series on the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Facebook page Monday and Wednesday. It’s live, fresh, authentic “must see TV” that inspires discussion.

Consider starting a group – Groups naturally have more interaction than Pages.  It is thought that the interaction in a Group connected to a Page will spill over and help the reach of the Page.  Expect an explosion in the number of Facebook Groups. But beware … maintaining a group can be time-intensive, and some people are reporting that reach on posts in their groups are not really much better than on the Page.

What does it mean for Christians with an online presence?

Honestly, I think we are well-positioned to weather this storm.  Our audience is passionate and personally invested in our content. We are already focused on building relationships rather than numbers.  And our message it positive and engaging.

But, we must not be complacent or give up.  We must be savvy in adapting to change, and help each other by commenting, using the See First option and highlighting high-quality posts when we find them.

We also are reminded that our faith is not in algorithms, platforms or Page likes.  Our faith is in a mighty God whose word has not been stopped in thousands of years.  It will go where He wants it to go, whether by papyrus, monk-scribed paper, printed books or electrons.

So how are you responding to this change?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Do you have days when the words just won’t flow?  

 

13 thoughts on “Navigating the Latest Facebook Changes

  1. Thanks, Christa. Well, I think the first thing I must do is not panic. You have some good tips though, that I must implement. Inform my followers (through my email newsletter) and really I MUST do more videos.

  2. I’m so grateful to hear someone addressing this with a level head! I’m torn on the issue because, honestly, my Facebook feed makes me a little sad. For every post from an actual person I know there are probably 10 that are sponsored or page posts. I see the need for page posts (obviously) but it has completely changed facebook.

    That said, I do worry about the reach of a small page like mine. I appreciate the concrete info here. I think one other idea is to share your Page posts on your personal feed sometimes. Then people you know can interact. Just an idea. With Facebook you don’t always know what will work. You just have to try things.

    As for video….this is really not my cup of tea. I JUST WANT TO BE A WRITER!!! LOL

  3. Christa, I appreciate your thoughts on this. I’ve seen falloff on my author page shares since Sept. and Oct. 2017 when the changes began. Note: I saw no big difference in scheduling native shares from my blog vs. Buffer shares in the month of December. So I’ll stick with Buffer since the native shares are a lot more work.

    Now I’m investing more time in mini blogs that post during the peak viewing time Mon.-Fri. Seeing good results from that.

    Also I pour into my private group Mon.-Fri. and I’m seeing good results there.

    Trying to add weekly live videos to both my author page and my group–those definitely get more views. *Added bonus–even if you don’t have a speaking platform as an author yet, you can build credentials with FB and YouTube videos. I think it’s a must, not really an option, especially if you want to publish in the traditional market.

    Every so often, I do a live video on my personal page, and that gets the best response by far with the least amount of effort. However, I don’t want to overuse my personal page for self-promo, so I’ll probably limit that to once per month videos and perhaps twice per month posts. I keep the videos short–under 3 minutes.

    I’m experimenting and trying to stay flexible. Facebook has been very good to me in the past, and I don’t want to shut down or get angry. I’m trying to learn the new ropes, and I appreciate your help in doing that!

  4. I really appreciate your approach and perspective. I feel like social media is a place I could get very anxious if I wanted to and obsess over numbers and shares, etc. I know myself so well that I am going to weather this storm just looking up. You are so right that faith connections mean more to the reading audience…the God who unifies us. Blessings from Espressos of Faith!

  5. Thanks Christa. My little Facebook Page is slow, but it’s hard to find time to really pour into it you know with all these little toddlers God has so graciously placed in my life.

    I agree our audience needs to be educated knowing how they need to use that “see first” option.

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