I may have lost my mind, but I've read somewhere that there are over 100,000 factors that help decide what a user sees on their News Feed, And for those who have been under a rock for the last one year, EdgeRank isn't one of them. That got killed by Mark.
The focus for Facebook is the consumer. The average Joe. The daily Facebook Jill. And for Joe and Jill, what matters is honest, transparency and reliability – round those up and you have value addition in every sense of the word. So, it's all about quality of content – and Facebook is going the Google way, asking for marketers to re-think content and social comments they they develop content for Google's search – meaning what is key now is timeliness, relevance, value addition and reliability. Wow. So, no value, no show, or even if it does show - no engagement. That does not sound like Harvard MBA to me, that sounds like a lot of common sense.
What is absolutely not going to work is content that begs for a Like or for some action rather than provide value. Facebook are now clear, you'll get negative results if you ask for Likes or for some form of action or engagement. No, you cannot, should not ask. You shall not receive. The gospel according to Mark.
True shares are different. If someone sees real value on their timeline, they will share it. So, people who sit there, working on social content need to be a lot more introspective when writing content for Facebook these days. Does it serve a sense and purpose of greater Facebook – meaning, does it create ripples in the community – ripples of unforced sharing, of altruistic giving to a brand, rather than a penny at a beggar? Is the content genuinely shareable - independent of the tone of voice (meaning, without asking)? Is it high quality, or is it something that raises a groan?
Facebook is also looking for variety in types of posts from brands. Brands that keep posting link posts don't get the fact that people out there want variety, and want visual difference, want value - even eye candy wise. Individual users form their own algorithm. And then there's the dreaded 'story bumping' where certain posts (called last actors) are bumped to the top – not chronologically, but based on interaction values. The posts that Facebook chooses for this are based on several factors, including the entity posting the update and the user’s relationship with that entity. So, this is about interest and community. And serving the end user – not the brand.