Facebook Updates News Feed to Remove Spam from Pages – What Brands Need to Know

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Facebook Updates News Feed to Stop Spam

Sorry buddy, but Facebook does not Like you…

The natural evolution of allowing brands to promote content on a social network invariably results in spam. Towards the end of 2013 too many Facebook user News Feeds were littered with spammy posts from brands hoping to garner Likes, click-thrus, referral traffic, and ultimately product sales. It got to the point that it significantly degraded the user experience, prompting Facebook to put the wheels in motion to introduce yet another update to their News Feed as it relates to Pages. As of last week (April 10/2014) Facebook announced “a series of improvements” to target News Feed spam.

While most of you (business owners with Facebook Pages) are using the social network with nothing less than good intentions it is easy to accidently get grouped in with the bad eggs when posting on behalf of your brand. In an effort to protect your Facebook brand presence I have provided a quick summation of what you need to know about this most recent Facebook News Feed update.

What Your Brand Needs to Know about the Recent Facebook News Feed Update

1. Like-baiting is Bad for Brand Page Business – Or is it?

Like-baiting is basically what it sounds like – brands trying too hard to get someone to click that “Like” button on a post. Facebook will now limit the distribution of posts from Pages that frequently ask users to Like, Share, and Comment on posts. However this can cause confusion for brands. There is plenty of evidence that asking for a “Like” on a Facebook post does in fact increase that very engagement, and thus brand Page managers have long been encouraged to do so. Facebook also admits that this practice works. However their recent survey also states that on average 15% of users find Like-baiting stories less relevant to them, prompting Facebook to now penalize the practice when overused. The crux now, is that you can include your Call to Action (CTA) to encourage a Like, Share, Comment but it must be done in extreme moderation and within reason. If posting four times a day, use the above mentioned CTA’s only once.

2. Over-Circulation Will Get You less Circulation

Brands that post and then re-post the same thing (a link to an article, a photo, a video, etc…) frequently will receive less distribution in user News Feeds. Many brand Page managers do so without spammy intent. They see that a post alert stated that “# people saw this post” (insert a somewhat embarrassingly low number) and assume that it must have been missed by their audience. They post it again and again in the hopes of increasing engagement, which always backfires. From here on in such a practice will backfire even more. Instead, consider the best times of the day for posting on social media and negate the perceived need to over-circulate.

3. Stating the Obvious – “No Spammy Links Please”

The more obvious of the targeted News Feed posts will be ones that blatantly spam Facebook users. As a basic level example, let’s say a Page manager posts a picture of a dolphin kissing a kitten, encouraging users to click-thru to see more (who wouldn’t!?), only to deliver them to a web page littered with ads and CTA’s to make a purchase of some sort. Users become upset because they assumed they were clicking through to view a photo album. Resist the urge to bait users with a post that sends them to anything other than where they expected, even if the post was related in a “roundabout” way (i.e. selling posters with cute animals on them).

Facebook is not targeting your ability to manage your brand Page with this most recent update. They state “We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about” and in this case, they indeed seem sincere. As with the continued advice (in this internet marketing blog) on how to create content for consumer consumption on Google the same reigns true for Facebook – enhance the user experience naturally and you will be rewarded. Slow and steady wins the race. Oh, and be sure to Like/Share this post with the Facebook plug-in below.

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