In January 2018, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new changes to the social platform’s newsfeed algorithm — in efforts to deliver more meaningful content to its users. Zuckerberg states that the algorithm is being modified to “prioritize posts from friends and family over public content.” The push for quality over quantity is apparently meant to encourage users to engage in more meaningful social interactions on the platform.
There are several ways marketers can keep their content fresh and relevant to combat the algorithm changes, and we’ve outlined just a few steps below:
1). Student-Centric Content
Simply creating and sharing content is no longer enough. The content needs to entice a prospective student and should be something they find genuinely useful. The student is more likely to further the engagement by commenting or sharing the post if the information is beneficial to the user. Posing a question to your prospective, current, or past students is an effective way to spark these valuable engagements. Not only does this approach encourage conversations between students and prospective students, but Facebook will recognize these engagements as “meaningful interactions” — pushing your content towards the top of your followers’ newsfeeds.
2). Marketing Budget Adjustments
As far as paid marketing is concerned, advertisers in the education industry can expect to see a decline in the number of impressions, engagements, and inflated pricing due to the increased competition for advertising space. The algorithm limits organic posts from pages, brands, and publishers, encouraging more companies to pay for reserved spots in users’ newsfeeds. While the impact may be problematic for your higher ed budgets, there is potential for an increased investment in paid advertising to combat declines in organic reach — while maximizing the value of Facebook’s effectiveness in audience targeting.
3). Boosted Posts
As organic posts by pages will become less prominent, boosting posts is another way higher ed advertisers can offset decreased organic engagements. Boosting posts will increase the chances of being seen among students who already like your Page, while also reaching a new audience. However, it is important to boost posts that are worth the boost, such as calls-to-action that lead directly to your landing page where you can convert new visitors into leads.
4). The “See First” Option
Another way to ensure that your content retains its prominent place on the newsfeed is to encourage users to click the “See First” button. The “See First” button gives the user control to pick and choose what they want to see on his or her newsfeed, and allows the user to prioritize who they want to see first. The See First button can help ensure that the user will see more from your page more often. This will improve your school’s ability to keep users updated with important and time-sensitive events via organic reach.
5). Using Facebook Page Insights
Lastly, using data from Insights to evaluate your strategies will become an even more important tool to assess content. The Insights provide information such as impressions, clicks, and demographic data about the users who engaged with your content. Regularly checking this data not only allows you to easily assess what’s working and what’s not with your content, but also provides a guide for creating new content.
As Facebook’s algorithm goes into effect, schools will need to adjust their strategies to respond to some of its impacts. Creating quality content, increasing advertising budgets on Facebook, boosting posts, encouraging followers to prioritize your content, and using data from Insights to evaluate these strategies will help prepare your school to combat the more negative effects of the recent algorithm changes.
Online Marketing Consultant