INSPIRING AIM: What Facebook’s big shift in its algorithm will mean for the public sector

Brace yourself for another big shift in the Facebook algorithm… and this time you may actually like it.

Right now, engagement is the big metric for driving what you see in your Facebook timeline.

The more people interact the more chance you’ll see it.

The more you interact with that group or page the more chance you’ll carry on seeing it.

However, Facebook in a company blog post have announced that there will be a new key factor in the algorithm and this centres on what you and others think of that content.

The way I’m seeing it is this:

If you have an amazing story of a nurse who has come out of retirement fronting a video to encourage you to take the jab and if people engage with it, that’s good.

But if people also mark it as ‘inspiring’ in feedback to Facebook then even more people will see it.

The whole aim is to find a way to highlight that story of the inspiring nurse over the punch-up about, say, potholes which is a story that raises hackles and therefore engagement but isn’t all that inspiring.

You’ll be asked your views more

You’ll be asked: ‘Is it inspirational?’

Look out for this type of pop-up:

New Feeds ranking product mock

You’ll also be asked what type of content you’ll like to see from friends, groups and pages.

So, if you love your Aunt very much but you’re not keen on her love of Steps then potentially you can opt out of the 90s pop act content but still get the other stuff.

Detail is vague right now with ‘cooking, sport and politics’ only given by Facebook as examples.

This part of Facebook will look like this:

In summary, Facebook describe it as:

Overall, we hope to show people more content they want to see and find valuable, and less of what they don’t. While engagement will continue to be one of many types of signals we use to rank posts in News Feed, we believe these additional insights can provide a more complete picture of the content people find valuable, and we’ll share more as we learn from these tests.

What it may mean for the public sector

As a rule, Facebook is a huge oil tanker that barely stops for big brands. Government and public sector doesn’t float their boat that much.

But it does raise the intriguing prospect that there may be less shouting on Facebook. If people don’t feel inspired by posts about dog mess and potholes they will be ranked down so they will be seen less.

It also means – and this is important – that you need to pay even more attention to the content you are creating if you want organic connection – eg without spending money on ads.

It absolutely means that the uninspiring clip art poster a middle manager is insisting be posted to Facebook is even more unlikely to go viral. You need to push back on this type of tumbleweed even more.

More than anything, it underlines the hard fact that if your audience is on Facebook you need to take what you post there even more seriously.

I try and stay across this because I deliver training which includes getting the most out of the algorithms for major social media platforms. What the algorithms say can affect how successful your content performs.

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