Check out the latest “Political Social Media Grab Bag” e-newsletter from regular Epolitics.com contributor and friend-of-the-site Beth Becker. We missed her November issue in middle of the election frenzy, but the December issue’s out and I’ve excerpted a couple of choice items below. Definitely check out the whole December issue archived right here, an Epolitics.com online exclusive. The Grab Bag is monthly for now, and it’s already a hit with social media advocacy and politics crowd. Sign up now to get the next Political Social Grab Bag delivered straight to your inbox.
What’s new to think about?
Facebook Algorithm…friend or foe?
Hardly a month goes by that we don’t see some kind of tweak made by Facebook to its news feed algorithm. Each time they make a change, social media managers throw their hands up in disgust, and instead of figuring out how to make the change work for them, spend their time bashing the change and bashing Facebook and proclaiming “Facebook is killing itself”.
I couldn’t disagree more. In the big picture, the reality is that every change Facebook makes is based on the data they are seeing about what kinds of content people across Facebook are engaging with in an attempt to make the news feed something people want to check frequently, instead of avoiding or skipping when they log in.
For us as advocacy organizations or electoral campaigns who want people to engage with us, these tweaks actually make it more likely our engaged audiences will see our content.
Yep I said that. Let’s look at the most recent change for an example of this. Within the last few weeks Facebook announced that posts that are overly promotional will get reduced placement in newsfeeds, or punished with few impressions. Immediately I saw people upset about how this was going to kill advocacy on Facebook.
Let’s look at the kinds of posts Facebook is actually going to be “punishing”…they offered this one as an example:
Now look at that post carefully. How often do you see advocacy post content that’s similar to that? Rarely, if ever. IMHO, if you’re posting content that’s self promotional like that you’ve already failed Social Media 101.
The bottom line is that by showing people less content like that and more actually interesting and engaging content, we all win.
Drew Bernard of Action Sprout and I are hoping to lead a discussion that digs into this deeper at Rootscamp. If you’d like to join us, please upvote our session on Rootscamp’s Session Voting Page here…scroll down to the one titled “The Facebook Algorithm Isn’t the Enemy”.
Don’t try this at home!
Lesson #1: If you set up a campaign with automated social posts like the New England Patriots did…make sure you have a system in place for human moderation before anything actually posts.
Lesson #2: If you ask a question on the internet or ask people to do something, just like in a courtroom, make sure you’ve thought it all the way through from every angle possible…which Bill Cosby obviously didn't do.