Facebook reach down? Here’s a guide for what works, what doesn’t.

Feed it: In this 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discusses the Facebook News Feed at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Feed it: In this 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discusses the Facebook News Feed at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Just as with Google, everything that shows in a user’s Facebook News Feed is dictated by a complex algorithm that is constantly evolving. If you manage a Facebook page for your news brand, you almost certainly noticed a dramatic decline in organic page reach over the past month due to some recent tweaks to this algorithm.

So what happened? Why is reach down?
Here’s a sound explanation from Ivan Lajara, life editor of the Daily Freeman.

And here’s an explainer from Facebook about why these changes are important.

What can we can do?
Ivan took this conversation to a recent installment of #DFMChat, which he hosts every Wed. at 12 p.m. ET. His intent was to capture best practices and resources that can help journalists re-think their approach to Facebook pages. So, he presented the group with this collaborative Hackpad document designed to capture and flesh out the best points and links tweeted during the #DFMChat (and after).

Here it is: The Facebook for newsrooms guide

Anything to add? The Hackpad is open for collaboration, so edit in your own findings and suggested resources.

In something of a twist, Facebook announced another change to the algorithm yesterday, which has implications for some of the best practices laid out on the guide just a week ago. According to Chris Turitzin, FB’s News Feed product manager, posts with links and previews will now rank better for pages, while text-only posts will rank better for individual users. So it’s important that journalists managing pages keep an eye on their reach and insights and continue to experiment with what works and what doesn’t.

Ivan, and hopefully others, will keep the Facebook for newsrooms guide up-to-date well into the foreseeable future. If you have any questions for Ivan, try him on Twitter or Facebook.

Tweets from #DFMChat, Jan. 15, 2014:

Chris March

By Chris March

Chris March is the community engagement manager for Digital First Media and the editor of Inside Thunderdome. Contact him by email at cmarch@digitalfirstmedia.com or follow his shenanigans on Twitter: @marchmcfly.

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