How Facebook Algorithm Changes will Impact Freelancers and What to Do About It

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facebook changes | freelancing advice for beginners | facebook changes freelancers | freelance tips | freelancing tips

Ahhh! Stop with the Algorithm Changes Already!

Are you about to rip out your own hair trying to keep up with all these changes to social media, SEO, algorithms and the like?  People are always talking about these topics and it seems like the changes happen so fast we can’t keep up with them.

 

Let me tell you, I had a similar experience, recently, with these new changes to Facebook.  I heard about them and thought, “Well, shit.  There’s a whole new group of crap I have to learn about.”

 

Don’t get me wrong – I love to learn and I understand that any good business person is always trying to learn more and get ahead of the curve, but I also have my limits!

 

As freelancers, the work we do on our blogs and social media pages isn’t really the same as work done by other companies.  It won’t necessarily drive someone to buy a product (because we usually aren’t selling products) and isn’t exactly directed toward luring in clients.  For most of us, blogging and social media act as a conduit by which we can connect with other freelancers or people of interest in our freelancing niche and a way to showcase our skills to potential clients.

 

Therefore, social media (including Facebook) doesn’t hold as high of a priority for us which means we can’t devote the same amount of time to.  BUT it is still important to some degree.  To help you get a quick grasp of what’s happening out there and what you can do about it, I’ve put together this article.  It should save you a mountain of research time.

 

If you don’t want to hear all my blah blah blahs about what’s actually going on skip down to the last part of the article where I discuss “actionables” – things you can actually DO to work with these new changes AS A FREELANCER.

Facebook Boasts Caring About Friends and Family – But What About Me?!

In a recent post to his own Facebook wall, Mark Zuckerberg announced jaw-dropping changes to the Facebook newsfeed algorithms that sent business owners into a bit of a tailspin as far as speculation is concerned.  Littered with phrases like “we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook” and “you’ll see less public content from businesses, brands, and media” the post was easily one of the most disturbing things that businesses and marketers have read thus far this year.

 

Sure, it’s great that Facebook cares about us as people (if that’s truly the motivation behind the changes), but what about us as business people?  Before we get too concerned, though, let’s get a grasp of what the changes will look like.

 

People Have Been Complaining About Facebook Newsfeeds for a While

People have repeatedly complained that Facebook has become little more than a trashy magazine where a few interesting bits of information were scattered throughout a book filled with unwanted advertisements.  While users realize that these advertisements help keep the lights on at Facebook’s headquarters and also allow businesses the opportunity to connect with customers, the general consensus is that the ratio of interesting information and unwanted ads is way off.

 

Although many of us follow businesses by choice we do not necessarily want those business page posts to overtake our own newsfeed.  As a business owner and a Facebook user, I have to say that I understand where people are coming from.  I follow other businesses because I want to be able to quickly access them when necessary.  For me, following them is a way of bookmarking their Facebook pages.  From what I can gather in discussions with my own family, friends, and colleagues it appears that I’m not the only one who does this.

 

So, while I want to see a business page post now and then (maybe to hear about a new promotion, article, etc.) I don’t want to have my Facebook feed flooded with those posts.  This is especially true since I follow more businesses than I have people on my Facebook friends list (I like to keep things small and intimate on my personal page).

 

Overall, this change seems like it will make Facebook a more enjoyable experience for regular users, but it will greatly reduce the visibility of business posts.

 

Facebook Puts Engagement and Interest First

Facebook’s response to these sorts of complaints is a complete overhaul of the way that content is selected for inclusion on your newsfeed.  They will allow fewer posts for business pages to make it to your followers’ newsfeeds and they will be offering much less ad space on their website overall.  The posts that do make it through will be the ones that gain the most traction in terms of interactions.

 

But let’s be clear about two things here.  They will be on the lookout for posts which actually call for an engagement and will not be giving those posts priority.  In fact, they have hinted toward deprioritizing such posts.  And, they will be ranking posts according to the actual conversations they spark, not just likes, shares, and comments.  This means that, as a user, you will be most likely see business page posts and ads which have garnered conversations between people already.

There may be a lot of changes happening on Facebook but they may be GOOD for business. Click To Tweet

How This All Plays Out for Freelancers

As freelancers, we’re a very special part of the small business puzzle.  We aren’t exactly trying to reach out to customers to purchase something and building a brand hasn’t always seemed as important to us as it has for other businesses.  So, what do we really use our Facebook accounts for, anyway, and how will that be affected?

 

Ways Freelancers Often Use Facebook:

  1. As a substitute website which outlines their business, what they do, who they are, their services, their rates, etc.
  2. As a place to market your blog posts, etc. to engage with your community and show that you can be/are an influencer.
  3. As a place to engage with readers for your blog posts as well as a place to reach out to clients with posts, videos, etc. in the form of inbound marketing.

 

If you use your Facebook page as a second website for clients who prefer to visit you there:

If you typically use your Facebook page as a landing space for clients who wish to see a list of your services on the Facebook platform instead of on a website you aren’t likely to notice much of a difference… but that’s because you probably haven’t seen much traffic come across your Facebook page, anyway.

 

If you use Facebook as a marketing tool to garner interest in your blog posts and show you are an influencer to impress your potential clients:

If you mostly use your Facebook page as a place to market your blog posts you’ve probably already noticed a sharp drop in interactions.  Changes that Facebook put through a little while back had already begun to reduce our reach, as small businesses, so this latest algorithm adjustment is only going to compound the problems you already face.

 

If you use Facebook as a place to reach out to clients about upcoming offers/promotions, to show off your latest projects, and to attract new/repeat clients with inbound marketing:

If you have had a rather dynamic approach to your Facebook page, posting your blog entries, videos, and much more – all in the name actually branding yourself as a freelancer and proving your knowledge to potential clients – you will notice a big difference.  What was once working like a well-oiled machine will suddenly start to seize.  People won’t see your posts as often.  If you ever buy ads to try to drive interest in your page, you’ll notice a sharp increase in the price of those ads.

How Do You Combat These Issues?

Just as how you will be affected by these changes, the best way to combat them depends on the purpose of your Facebook page as a freelancer.

 

If you use your Facebook page as a second website for clients who prefer to visit you there:

  • You really don’t need to make any changes.  Since you typically send your clients to your Facebook page upon their request, from a link on your website, or in your cold pitch you will not notice a difference in their ability to access the information they’re looking for.

 

If you use Facebook as a marketing tool to garner interest in your blog posts and show you are an influencer to impress your potential clients:

  • You need to reach out in other ways.  It may be time to consider becoming active on Facebook groups which will allow you to share your blog posts.  Out of respect for the other users on Facebook and to avoid blackballing yourself on these groups, though, it’s important to follow two key rules.  First, if you are sharing blog posts on the group wall make sure you are allowed and that they are on-topic.  Secondly, if there’s a rule that you can only post your blog content on certain threads, follow that rule and reciprocate by commenting on the posts of fellow bloggers.
  • Create posts which are focused more on getting people talking than on sharing your own blog post.  If you stay up on your Facebook game, you can then use the comments area to suggest blog posts to the people who comment based on their particular comments and interests.
With these new Facebook news feed changes, we need to change how we approach communications with our consumers. Click To Tweet

 

If you use Facebook as a place to reach out to clients about upcoming offers/promotions, to show off your latest projects, and to attract new/repeat clients with inbound marketing:

  • It’s time to learn how to master the Facebook ad.  Since potential clients aren’t likely to see your posts about offers and promotions, you need to get to them a different way.  But, there are fewer ads going up on Facebook and those ads will be more expensive, SO it is time for you to really buckle down and learn how to craft an ad that potential clients will actually click on.  Make your ad worth the extra money!
  • Again, you need to craft posts which are tailored to create conversation.  If you are hoping to pull in potential clients by showing off your knowledge in the field (inbound marketing) you aren’t going to reach people as well with those posts that just say “check out my new blog.”  Now is the time to create posts that ask questions, get people thinking, get people talking, etc.  After you spark that interest you can suggest they visit your blog and begin your sales funnel.

 

facebook changes | freelancing advice for beginners | facebook changes freelancers | freelance tips | freelancing tips
facebook changes | freelancing advice for beginners | facebook changes freelancers | freelance tips | freelancing tips

Thoughts on the new changes to the Facebook feed?  Share them below!

Have you noticed any difference in your reach and interactions?  Have you heard of or tried any other way to combat these new challenges?


21 Responses

  1. Maegan O'Loughlin

    Wow, this was one of the most helpful posts I’ve read about the algorithm changes! My team uses Facebook to share our blog posts, and we’ve definitely noticed a drop in traffic and engagement. Love the idea to get people talking so we can share blog post ideas more organically.

  2. Summer

    So super helpful, Amy-Lynn! I totally agree, though if someone doesn’t want to see something – they can just unlike or hide it haha I don’t know why everyone complains about the tiniest things. My reach has taken a hit the past week, so I’m experimenting with new methods to combat it all!

    • amylynn

      Best of luck, Summer. There are definitely things we can do to work with and around the issues that are coming up as a result of these changes. Please stay in touch and let me know how it goes. I’d love to interview you some time about what worked and what didn’t.

  3. Joanna

    I did notice a major chance in my feed. There are very few ads and most of the posts are from the groups I joined, and very few from friends. I think it’s very sad that as a freelancer you can’t rely on Facebook to promote your work, not even if you pay…

    • amylynn

      It is unfortunate. It’s harder for us because we aren’t recognized brands so building up our visibility is damn near impossible. If you focus on engaging your potential clients and other freelancers, though, you may find that these changes eventually work in your benefit.

  4. Emily Terrell

    Social media kills me as a blogger. Learning the patterns and following the rules with them is more difficult than I can handle. And Facebook is at the top of my despise list. Just another reason I wish I did not have to use it.

    • amylynn

      LOL yes it can get confusing. Especially for those us with small (often one-person) businesses. Finding the time to keep up with our social media is hard enough, let alone learning about all the changes to the algorithms and how to handle them. I hope this post was helpful in at least taking away the need for you to go research all these changes and what to do about them.

  5. kumamonjeng

    I am glad to come across this useful blog for blogger like me. A lot of information and I am not aware of the changes in facebook. I like how you list down the steps to combat those issues. I really have to look into it!

  6. Sue Tanya Mchorgh

    Wow Amy-Lynn 🙂 I love this post. I use facebook to share my post and i have seen a change in the engagement. Thanks for sharing this with us. I have a lot to work on.

    • amylynn

      I’m glad it was helpful. Hopefully you can use these tips and your own research to increase your page’s engagement.

  7. Alison Rost

    It’s been rough trying to adjust to facebook’s algorithms and sometimes you just want to give up. I think this post is insightful. Clearly, there’s a solution for it all, we just have to keep learning.

  8. Preet

    I am glad to come across your post, this is definitely helpful. I read that post from Mark Zuckerberg and you have explained the changes and impact so clearly. With so many changes on social platforms, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with them along with the regular work on the content and editorials.

    • amylynn

      That’s very true. I struggle to keep up with these changes, myself, and it seems like there is always something new to learn – some changing algorithm on google, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc. For me, a big time-saver has been to focus only on research conducted within the past few months when it comes to those things. It’s really easy to find yourself reading outdated information and applying the wrong methods to your social media. Best of luck Preet!

  9. Elizabeth O

    I wish they would stop changing the algorithm already!! It’s like as soon as you master one way they swoop in and change it to throw you off and make you invest more money into ads, its clever on their part, annoying for us trying to make a business out of FB! This post is really helpful, I need to get learning the new way!

  10. Amanda Schreiber

    I pinned this to read later, I just started a facebook page and I’m so lost! But I want to see it grow, so I’m going to try to implement some of the things you talked about!

  11. Evelyn F

    Thank you for this informative post. I love how you have made it simple by directing your comments to help with use Facebook currently. Now I’ve got to decide what I will do with my Facebook page to hone in on strategy. Thanks

  12. Shubhada Bhide

    Oh, this is such a great post to read. This is so helpful and useful. I will save this for my source. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nati

    This is a very complete article! I have attended a webinar on this issue and I for me the Facebook startegy is pretty clear. Facebook remains FREE for friends and family but if you want to use it as a marketing tool to increase your profit you will have to pay. There is no way around and all the changes are going in the same direction, making us pay for ads and boosting posts, etc.

  14. sophie

    Facebook algorithm changes are such an important turn into my social media campaigning. I am not at able to reach to the audience in anyway. I think some of the methods which you have posted here will help me out to overcome this problem. Thanks for letting me know. Cheers.

  15. Marie

    I find it hard to keep track on Facebook algorithm changes so this article is very useful. Thanks for putting this together.

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