Yvette Pistorio

Spam Sucks: The Fallout from Recent Facebook Changes

By: Yvette Pistorio | December 12, 2012 | 
22

Today’s guest post is by Yvette Pistorio.

There’s been a lot of talk about Facebook recently.

Mostly regarding brand reach and costs.

We’ve even talked about it here on Spin Sucks.

In September, Facebook made some changes to crack down on spammy content.

Will Cathcart, the product manager for news feed at Facebook, spoke to TechCrunch about the EdgeRank algorithm change, “We made a relatively large ranking change in September that was designed to reduce spam complaints from users. We used [spam] reports at an aggregate level to find Pages or apps generating a lot of reports [and decrease their reach]. We’ve also added personalized attempts to reduce presence of posts you’re likely to complain about.”

To sum it up, if you never click, like, comment, or share posts by a Page, Facebook made those updates less likely to show up in your feed.

Cathcart says, “That’s a relatively large change. It resulted in a large decrease in spam reports,” meaning it successfully made the Facebook news feed better. Well, according to Facebook anyway.

Where Did Everybody Go?

I’ve seen a significant decrease on the Arment Dietrich page in our Total Weekly Reach, or the number of unique people who have seen content associated with our page. We’ve never posted spammy content or bought likes. We post content we think our community would benefit from, Spin Sucks blog posts, and also fun, humorous posts.

I compared August, September, and October and here is what I found: From August to September our reach decreased 34 percent; from September to October, it decreased another 38 percent.

Side note: The Arment Dietrich page had a huge spike in traffic on the week of September 20 which, when I looked at the history, was out of the ordinary. Therefore, I didn’t take the spike into consideration when I calculated the decrease. If I did, it would be a 51 percent decrease from September to October.

Coincidentally Facebook announced their new feature, Promoted Posts, for business pages right around the same time reach was decreasing for us and many other pages.

How to Get Them Back

Instead of simply blaming Facebook, this page admin is going back to the drawing board to figure out what our fans prefer to share, comment on, and like, then sponsor those ones if need be (with the boss’ approval, of course!). We can adapt by taking certain measures to promote content that drives interactions and increases our chances of showing up on the news feed.

A couple of other things we can do according to Mashable:

  • Post photos
  • Create photo albums
  • Write more text
  • Use post targeting

To be fair, Facebook continually tinkers with its algorithms as they develop the site. However they do have an economic incentive to make sure brands’ fans see all their posts.

Whatever their intent is, the changes at Facebook mean brands need to shift to creating social content that is as engaging as the posts we see from our friends and family.

What have you been doing to get back into your fans’ feeds?

About Yvette Pistorio


Yvette Pistorio is the shared media manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

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