Congratulations, Facebook post optimisation is born

Social Search & Facebook.

By Penny Driscoll.

As an agency, it’s slightly depressing that interesting content posted to Facebook is only seen by about 6% of your followers. All because Facebook have an algorithm to identify interesting content and filter out rubbish.

With an average reach of 6% you really need 10s of thousands of followers to make it worth creating custom content for Facebook. Because most don’t have that level of reach it’s easy to get lazy and simply share on Facebook a copy of what’s on the site.

But that’s not really the point. And it makes the situation worse, the self-fulfilling reality is that the more crap shared on Facebook equals even more aggressive measures by Facebook to limit it’s appearance on timelines.

This was recently highlighted when the Zuck saw an important event (the birth of his niece) filtered out of his stream, whilst the less important birthday of a work colleague made it through. Welcome, then, to the world of optimised posts, designed to make it through the Facebook filter.

“We’re testing a lot of things every day to figure out what’s going to make the most engaging feed,” Zuckerberg tells Levy. “We use quantitative metrics that measure likes and comments and clicks and shares and other activities to see if a story is good, but we also have qualitative systems so that people can reorder a feed to tell us what they thought were the most important things.”

Welcome to FaViO

An acronym derived from Facebook Visibility Optimisation. It’s the beginning of the end, and much of the reason why Google + failed. The clever agencies will jump on the bandwagon early, working out which words (eg: congratulations, born, died) trigger appearance in the timeline. This is the same set of problem that Google faced when it started doing exactly the same 15 years ago – and it took them 15 years to defeat the SEO spammers. Yuk.

Time to prepare for more rubbish on Facebook.