Beating The Facebook Algorithm

Yes friends, the Facebook Algorithm has changed again…

facebook algorithm doesn't care about you being the policeChange is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. ~ John F. Kennedy

Sometimes change happens for the sake of change. Sometimes change happens because change is truly needed. Either way, it is the law of life and for our purposes today, it is the law of Facebook.

Just when you adapt to Facebook changing it’s algorithm, they mix it up, shake it up and change it again.

The worst thing you can do is complain and whine about it. The best thing you can do is figure out the best way to work with it. In the middle of the worst and the best is to work without it.

The most recent Facebook change is to make the content seen by its users more about friends and family. A page doesn’t have friends, it has fans so you can assume that this change is another blow to how much of your content is seen by your fans.

3 Ways To Work With The Newest Facebook Algorithm Change

1) If friends and family is what Facebook wants, then focus more on friends and family.

Make your page content appeal to your community. Often we post information about wanted people, things our agency has done and events that are happening. All valid things to share, but very rarely do those posts explain the importance of it to the average everyday person.

Talking about the arrest of a person is good. Telling your community why it is important to have this person off the streets is better. Safer community, less crime, lower insurance rates, increased quality of life….let them know all of this. The end value of your content must be on the end-user. Too often we post what is important to us.

When people see the importance as being personally valuable then they are more likely to share it. Who are they going to share it with? Friends and family.

Add in content that is educational and or entertaining and you have the Holy Grail of what is important to Facebook.

2) Share your page content on your profile.

Again, friends and family are what’s important, then take your content down to the friends and family level.

If you have a Facebook Page, you have a profile that runs that page. When you post something on your page share it from the page using your profile. You can also reverse this by posting something on your profile and then sharing it to your page.

Add in a call to action. We have been conditioned to do what we’re told on social media; click here, subscribe, learn more, sign up…don’t overlook the power of telling people what to do. “Share this with your friends.”

3) Be conversant

When someone comments, comment back. When someone shares your information, thank them. When someone asks a question, answer it.

The more activity a post has, the more interest Facebook believes it will have with friends and families so use that to your advantage.

Experiment with commenting as both your page and your profile, thanking and liking as your page and your profile.

Two Platforms That Beat Facebook Hands-Down

What platform has more users than Twitter and Facebook combined? It’s the same one that has been around forever. Probably the most important (and most dreaded tool you have available…nope, not the telephone…EMAIL!

That’s right, email.

It is probably your most overlooked tool for communicating with your community.

Emails get opened more, replied to more and can convey a world of information. They can be automated, grouped, listed and private. Images, videos, links, massive functionality.

You can have people subscribe to an email list and then segment that list based on location, interests, needs, etc.

You want to get your message out? Send an email. Think about your own life…how many times a day is you checking your email? Do you have notifications turned on for your mobile device when you get an email? There is probably only one platform that gets more of your attention then email…

Text messages

 You will look away from this and go to your phone if you get a text message while you’re reading this post. There is even a better chance you are reading this on your mobile and if a text comes in, I’m gone.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing that gets more of our attention than a text message. Why?? 99% of the time it is personal. Someone has been given permission to contact you intimately, via the most cherished thing you have, your phone.

It may be limited in functionality, but what it lacks in function is more than makes up for in attention.

Throw a link in your push and you have got attention.

Twitter, Nixle, Nextdoor are great for immediate dissemination and in the moment events, but hands down, a text message will get way more attention.

So stop whining and complaining, “Oh the Facebook Algorithm doesn’t understand we are the police and have information that needs to be known.” and start working with the change since you’re right; the FBA doesn’t care about you.

BTW…if your information is that important that you need it to be seen on Facebook with it’s 1-3% reach, then your Facebook strategy needs to be seriously re-thought.


About Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including, IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing and crisis communications. Tim is available to assist you with your social media program and communication. Click here to contact him

This entry was posted in Communication, Strategy, Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply