Video marketing vs. the Facebook algorithm

The Facebook algorithm is what most marketers have a lot of anxiety around these days. Knowing as much as possible about how the algorithm works gives marketers an edge, but it can also be hard to keep the changes straight.

With that in mind we’ve written posts to keep you up-to-date- both specifically about how the algorithm works  and also through posting weekly platform updates in our Week in Social posts- but as video marketing shows no signs of slowing down, we thought we’d discuss more specifically how the Facebook News Feed algorithm weights video.

This is the first in a series; we’ll be covering how the Instagram and Twitter algorithms weight video as well, so stay tuned!

And if you’ve got questions or something we missed, you can always find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

What we know

We’ve already written posts that cover what we know about how the Facebook News Feed algorithm works, both before the end of last year and after they announced more updates this year.

What it boils down to is that Facebook is going to prioritize person-to-person interaction in users’ News Feeds over person-to-Page interaction, even if a Page is creating content that person wants to see.

The truth is that organic reach has been falling for Pages on Facebook for a while, and it’s publishers that are likely to see a bigger impact from this latest announcement rather than most brands. The biggest takeaway for brands when it comes to content is that they need to work to create content that is useful and engaging for their audience; hardly a revolutionary takeaway, but one that’s true because it’s an enduring best practice you can’t cheat.

Whenever brands learn how to cheat it- by creating clickbait or “engagement bait” posts- platforms learn about it and punish that type of content. An authentic strategy is always worth it in the long run because a brand won’t have to continually start over from scratch while also worrying about getting shut down for spammy behavior.

So what should your brand try? We’ve got a few options.

What your brand should try

Facebook has given out some advice themselves, including encouraging Pages to use Live video and to ask their fans and followers to mark their Pages as “see first” on their News Feeds.

Influencer marketing is a good tactic to try now that Facebook is prioritizing person-to-person interaction and influencers often have very devoted, engaged followings. (You can read more about algorithms and influencer marketing here.) They’ve also created their own partnership posts between brands and influencers too, ensuring the FTC won’t come knocking for violations.

Facebook encourages (and therefore might prioritize) Live video that’s at least ten minutes long, so aim for that in your broadcasting. They have a whole host of Live best practices your brand can incorporate into your Facebook video strategy, including scheduling broadcasts, asking fans and followers to opt in to receive notifications when you go Live, making sure you only go Live when you have a strong connection available, and more.

What else have you tried or seen other brands trying?

Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash