No matter where you stand on social media, Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms will affect your veterinary hospital’s Facebook page. Facebook now introduces new algorithms every few months or so.
What You Need to Know
The latter half of 2015 saw the introduction of the following Facebook algorithms:
- Time spent on any given post was added as a “signal of interest,” as users don’t always like, comment, or share things they find interesting or meaningful.
- Positive signals were added to native videos when users click to activate audio or expand their screens.
- An algorithm override, users can now select up to 30 of their friends and pages they want to see updates from first in their News Feeds.
- Posts hidden by “serial hiders,” those who hide almost everything in their news feeds, now act as weaker negative signals.
- Facebook can now detect users on slower mobile devices and will direct less “bandwidth-hogging” content to them, i.e. more text and photos, less video.
- With the introduction of the Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry reactions, all are currently still treated just like a “like” in terms of content ranking.
- The real-time news search function has been expanded, encouraging more Facebook posts about human and world events.
What This Means for Your Veterinary Hospital’s Facebook Page
With the above changes, users are seeing more of what they want to see as well as less of what their friends liked or commented on. Many small businesses worry that this will negatively affect organic traffic. But, with each Facebook Page post only having about 18 percent organic reach, it isn’t the end of the world. Spamming your audience’s News Feed is no longer possible, but it was never the greatest marketing method to begin with.
Tips for Being Facebook Algorithm-Friendly
- Forget About Marketing & Focus on Connecting – Facebook is a social network, not an advertising platform. Your audience doesn’t want to be sold anything, they want to be engaged and informed. Facebook’s algorithms echo this, so “save the converting for your website or blog.”
- Engage – Be accessible to your audience. Comment on posts when you can and develop relationships with those who frequent your veterinary Facebook Page. This will help you avoid being a “faceless entity that’s after their money” and instead “become the business that cares about providing value to their customers.”
- Write Informative, Not Promotional Posts – Again, content that engages the user is favored and your audience is more interested in reading helpful, informative posts than those of “self-praise.” Also, full content keeps users engaged with a post much longer than a link to an outside source – boosting your veterinary hospital Facebook Page’s positive signals.
- “You’re Only As Good As Your Last Post” – Don’t get complacent, Facebook is ever-evolving and you need to keep up to stay on top. Be aware of new changes and algorithms, and post to and update your Page frequently.