Facebook is notorious for constantly updating its news feed algorithm over the years, but throughout all of the change, it’s always been pretty safe for marketers to assume that the number of likes, comments and shares a post receives are good indicators of success. Generally, the more overall engagement the post receives, the higher the reach will likely grow. While sharing has always been the optimal form of engagement, one could be pretty happy with a bunch of likes or some comments.
What makes 'sharing' so great?
More and more, Facebook is looking to ‘sharing’ as the main indicator as far as gauging a user’s interest in a certain type of content. Sharing is an action that basically communicates endorsement. Sharing says ‘I liked this content so much that I want my friends to see it too.' In a nutshell, Facebook is figuring out that ‘sharing’ really does mean caring.
And none too soon; recently there has been a growing complaint among Facebook users that content in their news feeds is overwhelmingly promotional in nature. Users are growing tired of the ads, instant articles, and promoted posts, and are annoyed that important updates from friends and family are getting lost in the noise. This is becoming a big problem for Facebook, as users are beginning to favor platforms that do a better job of delivering updates they care about, i.e. Snapchat.
How will Facebook address user concerns?
With this recent shift, Facebook is finally realizing they need to tone it down, and is making changes to better satisfy the needs of its users. One of those changes has been updating their algorithm to weight social 'sharing' more heavily. When determining what content is displayed to a user in news feeds, Facebook is taking a clear and intentional bias toward content which is, or is likely to be heavily shared.
How should business pages cope?
So what does this mean for your business page? It means you’ll need to get that much better at relating to your audiences and figuring out what it is they actually want from you. If you've been guilty of posting heavily promotional content, now is the time to ease up and adopt a less direct approach.
Bottom Line: If you want to increase the reach of your Facebook posts, stop selling to your audience and start relating to them.