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How to Make Facebook’s Newest Algorithm Change Work For Your Brand

Brands are people too (according to Facebook).

In its most recent attempt to make branded content feel more organic, Facebook announced that it has updated the way Page interactions display.

The update will treat Pages even more like people. If one Page tags a second Page that a user has “liked”,  that post may appear in the user’s news feed, even if they don’t “like” the first Page.

While the intent of this change is to create a more organic and natural newsfeed for Facebook users (the network ran a survey and found that these stories received high scores), the implications are also awesome for brand pages looking to expand their reach or grow their engaged audience.  This change brings Facebook closer to Twitter’s prerogative; validating the fact that users are less resistant to brand interaction than was once assumed.

Here are some ways to ensure your page increases its odds of success with this update.

How to Take Advantage of Newsfeed Changes


1. Identify Pages that already interact with your Page:

Pinpoint Brand Pages that already drive engagement for your brand by mentioning your Page, and leverage this attention.

2. Tag Pages in posts when you may have similar audiences:

This can help grow your audience organically, and gain added exposure for your content among a segment you wouldn’t have reached otherwise.

3. Discover new or related audience segments:

Identify other brands in your space who engage their audience at a high level, and leverage this attention.

Seems simple enough. But what’s next? Aside from guessing, how can we identify brand Pages to involve in our engagement strategy? Here are four types of analysis, using four different Simply Measured reports, that you can use to plan your Page-targeting strategy.

How Analysis Can Help Identify Opportunities


Discover The Pages Mentioning You:

Finding pages that are already mentioning your Page gives you an opportunity to develop content that builds that relationship, and now, leverage their audience.

Using Simply Measured’s Facebook’s Fan Page Report, I’m able to identify the “top posters” of any brand page, whether I’m an admin or not. Using Ducati’s Facebook Page as an example, lets take a look at their top posters by both engagement, and number of posts:

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Right away, it’s clear that Ducatisti Integralisti is both the most frequent poster on Ducati’s page, and that their posts have received the most engagement of anything posted on Ducati’s wall.

To get a closer look at that engagement, we can open this report in Excel, and flip over to the “Posters” tab.

Screenshot 2014-02-26 09.59.09

Of the engagement on Ducatisti Integralisti posts to Ducati’s wall, 219 were “shares” and 786 were “likes”. This suggests that there is both an overlap of Page fans, and interest. This is key to Facebook’s News Feed “relevancy” algorithm. According to the announcement:

We look at many factors to make sure the most relevant stories appear in News Feed, including which posts are getting the most engagement (such as likes, comments, shares and clicks) across all of Facebook. We also consider which posts are getting the most engagement from people who like both the Page that posted and the Page that was tagged.

Take Away: Since Ducatisti Integralisti is a Ducati-focused site, this isn’t surprising, but it’s very possible that not everyone who likes that page also likes the Ducati page. Ducati could take advantage of this potential by tagging Ducatisti Integralisti in their Page Posts. With Facebook’s newest change, this gives them a new potential to show up in relevant feeds.

Find Large Pages Catering to Similar Interests:

If you have a large list of competitors or industry “frienemies”, there’s a good chance that they’ve reached a large group of potential customers that you haven’t. Find out who they are, and how they’re doing it…also, I just used the word “frienemies” and you’re welcome for that.

Competitive analysis is one of the most versatile and under-utilized types of analysis. There’s a lot you can learn from your competition, and in this case, a lot you can leverage.

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With the Facebook Competitive Analysis Report, you can add competitors or successful companies in your space, and identify trends in engagement. Once you’ve done that, you can have a good understanding of how and when to mention them in a Post, and leverage their audience.

In the above example, Special K had the most engaging Tweet, leading the way with a post about Mother’s Day. If I’ve determined that I’d like to attract the audience that engages with Special K’s Facebook Page, this presents a great Mother’s Day theme for me to use, as opposed to only talking about our products, which may compete for marketshare.

Learn When to Time Your Mentions

Once you know which Pages you’re looking to leverage, it’s time to focus on tactics. How do you plan on doing this?

While Facebook offers a plethora of public data on your Page and your competitor’s Page, you can also access data that’s private to you as a Page admin. The Facebook Page Insights Report can give you some great data about when to plan your attack (so to speak).

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In the optimization section of the report, you can identify the peak times that your audience is logged into Facebook. If you’ve done your homework, this will mirror the data for industry-aligned pages you’re looking to target. Pick your times wisely. Mention other pages at peak times to ensure it displays in their fans’ News Feeds.

Test and Measure Everything

Once you’ve started your campaign, and are mentioning other Brand Pages, it’s time to measure. Did it work? Which one worked the best?

Using the Facebook Post Insights report, you can determine which posts led to the highest engagement.

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Analyze whether or not tagging the brand pages boosted your engagement per post, or if it stayed relatively flat. This will help you understand the value of engaging with specific pages.

Make sure you take into consideration your overall content goals when it comes to Facebook. You’re looking to see which post drove the most engagement, but also what type of engagement. If tagging a specific Page led to a lot of photo views, but no link clicks, which was the goal of the content, it may be time to reevaluate or try a different angle.

To analyze your own Facebook Page, or to learn more about your competition on Facebook, learn more about Simply Measured’s full suite of Analytics on Facebook here:

Learn more about Analytics on Facebook

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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