The Facebook algorithm that determines what you see in your news feed — and how often your message is seen in other peoples’ news feeds — has been the topic of much debate here and elsewhere over the years. It seems as the conversation usually centers on Facebook’s crusade to drum up more ad money for itself by decreasing the likelihood that a band, company or brand’s message will reach those who have chosen to “like” them.
That trend isn’t about to change. But today we’ve got a bit of good news regarding a coming change in Facebook’s algorithm… as long as you follow some simple rules.
Digital Music News reports that starting in 2015, Facebook will be reducing the amount of “overly promotional” posts from Pages in news feeds. While this might seem like a direct cut into your band’s efforts to reach your fans, you’ll come out on top as long as you don’t post any of the following:
1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.
Says DMN, “Basically, if you’re going to advertise anything, Facebook wants you to pay for it.”
What does this mean for you? Avoid posts like the following:
“Like our page to listen to a new song!!” (this rule went into effect November 5th)
“Buy tickets to our show on Friday right now!!”
“Our new CD is out now, buy here!!”
From what I can tell, Facebook isn’t trying to eliminate those activities completely — as long as you make your post substantive with a bit of context around it you’ll be fine. Some versions of the above that (I think) will play much better in Facebook’s new scheme:
“We just released a brand new song called ‘Farts on Fire’ from our upcoming albumStormy Butts — check it out in the ‘Music’ tab and tell us what you think!”
“Chicago, we’re going to playing a show in you on Friday — come and hang with us! Gonna be a groovy time.” <insert ticket link>
“We are SO stoked to premiere our new album to the world, it’s been months in the making. Get yourself a copy today.” <insert buy link>
Essentially, Facebook is trying to reduce the amount of annoying, spammy, click-to-act text in your news feed by banishing it to Facebook’s bowels in favor of content that’s more substantive. Really, they’re just making official what’s long been “best practices” for posts anyway. I, for one, look forward to it.