Facebooks New Algorithm and how It Affects Small Brands


Facebook strategy for smaller businesses just got tougher. This is because they changed the News Feed algorithm, meaning people will see less from brands/pages in their news feed. I work with a lot of small brands and getting their message out in the crowded social space is not easy, but now it just got a lot tougher.

As a result, competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Because the content in News Feed is always changing, and we’re seeing more people sharing more content, pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many pages, this includes a decline in organic reach. We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality
What does Facebook suggest? Make more engaging content and advertising. The first is something we should all be doing. Finding really great content and putting out content people really want to share. The second, Advertising, is a great part of a social strategy, there should always be a balance of the two. The best results i have found with smaller businesses are sponsored posts. The side ads have never really performed for any of my clients. 
I should have seen this coming. A few weeks back I met with a friend who works at a large quick service restaurant and they told me “It’s becoming pay to play” on Facebook. They weren’t getting much organic engagement. This made me think of my own clients. I noticed over the last year it’s getting harder and harder to break into news feed. 
My suggestions how to create great content:
  • Use a picture – a picture gets more engagement then anything else on Facebook. Links are ok, but attach a picture and include a bitly link if needed
  • Make sure the picture is fun and sharable – Don’t just find a random picture, but find one that includes your brand and resonates with your fans. 
  • Show your brand personality – Every brand has a personality and show it off. This is the biggest mistake small brands make they post matter of fact posts, but show some personality and fun in the posts
  • Engage people who comment – Don’t let a comment just sit there, try to respond in a few hours when possible. When you talk to people they love to know a brand cares
My Suggestions for Ad Creation
  • Do a Promoted Post – Promote content you have on your page. Don’t create something you don’t do, you want to showcase your page at the best
  • Use A Picture – It’s for the exact same reason above, it’s the most engaging piece of content you can use on Facebook
  • Test a Few posts – don’t rely on one post for your advertising. You want to try a few different types of pictures and content to see what people love the most
  • Start with a Smaller Budget – Don’t go into Facebook spending $200. Start off with $20 and see how it does. If the promoted post does great for you, Facebook allows you to extend the promotion. 
  • Change your promoted post – Change the post on a weekly basis, if not weekly then monthly. People want new and fresh content in their news feed. Don’t be afraid to have fun. Remember if an ad isn’t performing you can always pause or kill it. 
These are some suggestions that have worked for me with clients. If more happens then let me know. Just know there is no one great answer in social it all depends on your fans/followers. 


Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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