If you’re paying any attention at all, you know that Google’s last few major algorithm changes have placed an increasing importance on quality content. You can’t trick Google anymore—no more meaningless keyword stuffing or other despicable deceptions to make your website show up on page one rather than page 50. The emphasis is now on quality.
Facebook now ranking posts according to its own criteria for quality
On Monday Facebook announced that it will “rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see”. It looks like Facebook is taking a page from Google—it’s now ranking posts according to its own arbitrary criteria for quality.
The “action” to which Facebook is referring, of course, are the Likes, comments, clicks and shares that we all like to receive on our posts. As we’ve learned from Google, the message is clear and familiar–provide quality and avoid gimmicks. Pages should avoid encouraging people to take an action—according to Facebook, this is a gimmick. No more “Check out my party pictures” for example.
Facebook has graciously come up with a list of best practices to help us comply with their new rules.
- Post frequently. Post frequently to your Facebook Page to drive more referrals and get more fans. A note here: Many (most?) people I know are using their personal pages—not their business pages for the bulk of their messaging, both personal and business. This is NOT best practices for a lot of reasons, including that Facebook has been known to completely take down a page that’s being misused in this way. There are many reasons you want to use your business page, including the ability to generate Likes and metrics.
- Use a variety of content, including links and photos. Use a variety of formats including links, photos, videos, and other content. Pose a question; use calls-to-action to encourage engagement.
- Upload videos with a call-to-action. More than 4 billion video views happen on Facebook everyday. Upload videos to Facebook to let them play automatically in News Feed and make sure you add a call to action to your video to drive viewers to your website.
- Create content with social context in mind. Be thinking about what would increase the likelihood of someone’s sharing your content. Think about identity and emotion — key drivers of sharing — when writing headlines and choosing images. Remember that short posts are most effective, so you’ve got to choose your words carefully to get the most impact.
- Tag other Pages in your Facebook posts. Tagging other Pages will make your post eligible to appear in the news feed of people who are fans of those pages, potentially increasing your distribution.
- Engage. Host a Q&A session or sponsor a contest.
- Use Trending to find popular topics on Facebook and post about them. Trending—on the right side of your News Feed–is a personalized list of the most popular Facebook topics by country. Repurpose these, comment on them, etc.
- Embed Facebook or Instagram posts in your website. Once you’ve found a great piece of content on Facebook or Instagram, you can embed it on your website using Facebook Embedded Posts or Instagram Web Embeds. Embeds are fully interactive and bring your webpages to life.