Facebook has announced changes to their algorithm, and See First is a great way to combat them and get your message out. What changes is Facebook making, and how will See First help your business?
What is Facebook’s “algorithm”?
The content that is seen on your Facebook page is called your “feed.” Facebook uses a process called EdgeRank to decide what appears in that feed. EdgeRank is known as an algorithm, which is best described as “… a procedure or formula for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm.” EdgeRank’s algorithm uses a combination of factors to decide what posts are the most relevant to you and presents them to you in (its) priority order. Facebook now defaults to this order**, as seen here:
What changes has Facebook announced?
To provide you a better user experience, Facebook has announced that it is changing its algorithm so users will see posts more relevant to them; they define this as posts from family and friends, and amongst those, posts that have a higher level of engagement. They define engagement as comments and back-and-forth discussions.
How will Facebook’s changes affect my business?
According to many sources, this marks a big shakeup in how you’ll effectively market on Facebook. Better sources than I can break it down for you, but it is going to affect how many of your followers see your posts. If 20% of your followers usually see your daily posts, assume that that number will drop dramatically**. I know I’ve seen a big drop in my visibility ( insert sad emoji here ). And if you got a significant amount of your business from Facebook, that will probably drop as a result of the changes. Here’s another good article on the changes to expect and possible ways to head them off.
** When I say your visibility will drop, I am assuming you post without receiving many comments. Facebook is now placing more importance on comments over likes or shares, so if you don’t receive a lot of those, expect your visibility to drop.
What is See First?
One way to make sure your followers / fans / clients see your page is to remind them to click “See First” when following you. This will make sure that your posts will be seen at the top of your followers’ feed. This is one of the few ways you can make sure your posts are seen. There are other ways that will be discussed by others, but this is the one everyone is agreed upon.
How do I set up See First?
To do this, log onto the page you’d like to “see first,” and hover over “Following.” You will then see this menu; click on “See First.” This will be implemented right away. I suggest you try it by experimenting on this page. (Mine!).
Things to keep in mind when using See First
Each account is limited to 30 page to See First, there is no way of knowing how many of your followers have opted to see your page first, and you can choose to See First both business and personal pages. Also, there’s no way to prioritize which See First page comes up first in your feed; they just come up at the top. More info on See First can be found here.
The change in Facebook’s algorithm will affect many of us who market our small businesses on the platform. One way to combat a drop in visibility is to encourage your readers to us the “See First” option for your business’s page. This will make sure your posts are viewed, which is no longer a given based on the new changes.
** There are a few ways around the default of using Facebook’s algorithm. You can either manually change the order, as seen in the image above, or use an browser add-on to change it (this applies to non-mobile devices like laptops). I found that when I used the default, I was missing posts from my friends, and businesses, and groups. By using an add-on to go back to “Most Recent,” I didn’t miss as much. The add-on I use is Social Fixer, and it’s available for Chrome and Opera (my two favorite browsers).