Three Ways You’re Killing Your Content (and not in a good way) with Heather Dopson

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Overview: Learn from social media expert Heather Dopson 3 ways you’re killing your content.

About the speaker: Heather Dopson in charge of brand and community growth at Astrella. She also goes through 4 components you can harness to help you Facebook content grow.

Hey there all of you out there in laptop land. I am Heather Dobson. And I am going to very quickly run through a few things that you might be doing to kill the performance of your content on Facebook. This applies both to organic content. As well as that money that you’re spending to promote that content that you’re spending a lot of time creating. We’re just going to run through this really quickly, we’ve got several pieces of things to cover here. 

Facebook’s Goals

The news feed algorithm. I hear a lot of times about people saying hack the algorithm or these tips and tricks and all of this kind of stuff. You know what, let’s really take what Facebook has given us, and work with it, not against it. 

Facebook has been very clear about some of their goals. And these are two of them that come specifically related to the content that you’re created, again, both paid and organic content. One is to better connect with people you care about. And to better connect to you with the posts you care about. And you’ll see how this applies as we go through this presentation here. 

While there are over 100,000 different components of the Facebook newsfeed algorithm. Formerly called edge rank back in the day, and no one is privy to all the little secrets and all the components of it. It is constantly updating from day to day and week to week. There are a few things that we can really pay attention to right now to help improve the performance of your content. 

Four Main Signals

There are four main ones, I want you to always think about inventory signals, predictions, and overall score. Inventory is simply the amount of content that’s out there in the newsfeed. And we all know that that is a ton of content that’s out there. 

Signals, we’re going to cover a little bit more in the next slide, it’s going to help you understand what really directly impacts your content. 

Predictions is really how Facebook is thinking you are going to react to or your users are going to react to different pieces of content based on your previous actions. 

And then there’s an overall score, given things like engagement, things like likes, or reactions, comments, shares, all of those kinds of things. 

The Main Signal- Sharing

But let’s talk very specifically about how signals are working right now on Facebook. The four signals that I really want you to think about are number one sharing. Really, you want to be engaging or creating content that is designed to create engagement. And number one sharing. If people are sharing your content, whether they’re sharing it on their own page, or their own profile, or they’re sharing it in messenger, that is a huge signal that indicates to Facebook that you’re creating this content that is in enticing engagement, multiple replies to a comment.  

No longer is it just Hey, we want one comment on our piece of content. We want to have comments within comments. Ever since Facebook introduced the capability to have inline comments, it has become a component of the newsfeed algorithm. It’s not just the number of comments you get. It’s also the number of comments your comments get.  

Also, engagements with a brand post shared by a friend. Let’s say for example, I share a post from a brand on my profile, let’s say Dr. Pepper. If I share a post from Dr Pepper on my profile or my page, and then people start interacting with that, that is a signal to Facebook that Dr. Pepper created something that is worthy of engagement and worthy of being shared. And then we always have the ever popular reactions. Those are the like the Wow, the sad, the angry face, all of those are considered reactions. 

Adam Mosseri, who back then was the head of Newsfeed, said page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in the newsfeed. We have to think about this: we are no longer creating content that is from us to them. We have to create the kind of content that creates engagement in the comments. Adam goes on to talk about how video, especially live video, has the highest rate of interaction and engagement. Really, we want to be empowering our community to connect with each other Not just connect with us or them, them with us or us with them. Think about how you’re going to create that piece of content so that it inspires engagement.

Things you Don’t Know About Impacting your Content

Alright, so here are the very specific things that are impacting your content that you might not even know about. Number one is negative feedback. When’s the last time you looked at your negative feedback score on your Facebook page? By the way, this only applies to your Facebook page and not a profile. 

A lot of people have a tendency to think that this angry react emoji is negative feedback, it is not, this is actually considered a reaction, which falls under that signal in the newsfeed algorithm, which gives a little boost to your post. This is not negative feedback.

What negative feedback is, if someone takes the time to choose one of these related to your posts. If they hide the post, they hide all posts. They mark it as spam, or they unlike the page. All four of these actions individually will have a very strong impact on the performance of the rest of the content on your page.

So much so that for every one piece of negative feedback. It negates 100 pieces of positive feedback or positive interaction and engagement. This is how important it is to really be looking at the negative feedback that people are putting on your posts. Not I’m not talking about negative comments. I’m talking about taking one of these four actions or taking all four of these actions.  

If you have a page with a large following, you’re going to get some of these from time to time. But as part of your weekly or monthly measurement check in. You really need to be looking at negative feedback. See how it’s impacting your content. And adjust your content creation to make sure that you are not getting a lot of negative feedback on that content that you’re creating.

Take a screenshot of this right here, this is exactly how you get to your negative feedback inside on the on the web. Desktop or laptop version. This is not the instructions on how to get to it from mobile. But from the web, you’re able to find this and actually download this and dive into it even deeper. If you’re not checking your negative feedback, and looking at how your content is being received. I highly encourage you to do that.  

Moving on number two, low quality and disruptive content. This is very specific language created by or offered up by Facebook, that is helping us understand how we can make sure we can create good content as defined by Facebook. First of all, withholding information. Now, this is a tactic that people still have a tendency to use. And whether you are using this from an organic standpoint, or in your paid social on Facebook, it is going to negatively impact you.

And whether you do it on one post, or you do it on 10 posts, it’s going to have a negative impact. Withholding information is this purposely withholding to entice people to click? And this is really difficult for people, especially marketers to understand because what Facebook is telling us is bad are things that inherently marketers do. You’ll see some more of this as we go through.

In this in this case, you see the example of a post that’s linking out to an article it says it’s a miracle she didn’t break anything. Amazing. You know, it’s not really informative. It’s not really telling you anything. It is really a form of clickbait and Facebook really hates clickbait. 

Alright, moving on sensationalized language. This is really using those exaggerated headlines or trying to get a reaction out of people. You know, like, Oh my god, you’ll never believe what’s behind this door, which is actually an example of sensationalized language and withholding information. Again, whether you are doing this organically or paid it is going to negatively impact how your content shows up in the algorithm. 

Next is specifically engagement bait. This is where you are asking people to like or to love or to comment or to share. If you are using any of that language in the copy of your posts, or in the headlines on your articles or your ads. You are going to get suppressed. Your content is going to get suppressed in the newsfeed of Facebook. If you’re using it in ads, your ads are not going to get approved. And you run the risk of your ads account getting shut down. Because you’re violating the terms of service of Facebook. Make sure you’re not engaging in engaging bait. 

Here are some other examples here. Facebook demotes the posts that go against one of their key newsfeed values, and that’s authenticity. Any of these that you might be doing now, vote baiting, react, baiting, or share baiting, these are really going to get suppressed in the news feed, which then can have a negative impact not only on your content, your organic content, but also your paid content as well.  If you’re using things like, “if you like rocky road ice cream, click the like emoji, if you like chocolate ice cream, use the love emoji. If you…” you get the idea, right?  

The same is react baiting. You also can’t say, you know, “share with 10 friends for a chance to win a convertible.” You can do it, but it’s going to negatively impact your content. We also have the tag baiting in the comment baiting. Asking people to tag their friends, or asking them to comment below, these have a directly negative impact on your content. I still see a lot of people doing this, and they don’t even realize that this is something that is so negative and so detrimental not only to that piece of content, but to every piece of content that they post across their Facebook, whether it’s organic or paid.  

Now, you might think, okay, cool, I will just write my post, and put my link. And then in the comments, I will ask people to do the thing that I want them to do. Well, Facebook has very clearly stated that they will demote comments that contain engagement bait. Not only is Facebook looking at what you’re posting, they’re also looking at what you are writing in your comments. All of that kind of stuff, you just have to come up with better and creative ways not to use the engagement bait.  

Now, something big happened in 2019, where we had all this engagement bait policy that was specifically for content, both paid and organic. But, in 2019, Facebook also said, hey, guess what, not only can you [not] put it in text, but you can’t include it in videos as well. You can’t put it in the comments, and you can’t use it in a video, you can’t say things like share this video tag people comment below, or any of those calls to action that we as marketers are accustomed to using, you have to get really creative with this.  

What you should be doing

And the best advice I can give you is that you have to be creating true authentic content that people actually want to engage with, or they actually want to share, as opposed to directing them. And I know this goes against everything you may know from a marketing capacity. But all of these words, and all of these policies are coming directly from Facebook. 

The Unknown Algorithm

All right, number three, the unknown algorithm. We talk a lot about the newsfeed algorithm, but I don’t hear too many people talking about the comment algorithm. The quality of comments actually has an impact on how your content performs again, whether it’s organic or paid. Here are a few of the components of the comments, algorithm integrity signals. How authentic are the comments, user indicated preferences.  

You may have noticed over the past couple of years, Facebook has spent a lot of time conducting surveys inside the app, asking people what do they want to see? What do they hate? What do they wish Facebook would do more or less of? This is where Facebook is getting a lot of that information, user interaction signals. How are people interacting with comments and it’s including signals like whether they’re reacting to their liking or they’re replying to a comment and then moderation signals. 

As a page owner, you have the capability to moderate your comments. This is turned on by default. But only pages with large followings can actually turn off comment ranking. This is something that I think a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to. But actually using those moderation tools, especially if you have a page of over 10,000 followers can be really powerful. Keep in mind that it’s not only the content, it’s also the comments, you really have to look at your comments as an additional form of content. What Facebook rewards from the comments are the comments that have interactions from the page or the person who originally posted.  

Now, if you’ve had any person who has told you over the course of time. That you should take time to respond to comments. Now more than ever, I have always been a proponent of responding and interacting with people who take the time to comment whether it’s on a page or a profile. And especially if it’s a page that you’re trying to conduct business from. People are taking the time to leave you a comment. The least you can do is go in and interact and engage with them. What Facebook has said to us is that if you’re interacting and engaging with those with those comments. Your posts are going to show up higher in the newsfeed.  

Second, is the comments or reactions are from friends of the person who posted. If it’s something that I posted on my profile publicly, people Facebook is looking at, okay, is this being seen by my friends? Or is this being interacted on by people outside of my circle? Or is it something that I’m really posting just to try to attract additional intention? Am I using any of those engagement bait tactics in my comments? Really, what this means for you is, when you’re creating your content, you need to focus on engagement. What can you do to drive meaningful conversations?  

This applies not only to your written content, but also your video content. You have to come up with creative ways to get people inspired to take action without telling them specifically to take action. This is very challenging for some people. Especially people who get really stuck in that marketer’s mindset of I have to have a call to action. I have to tell them what I want them to do and what I want them to do it. You still need to have calls to action. But you have to be creative as opposed to asking people to like comment. Or share if you don’t want your content to get penalized in the newsfeed.  

Be Human

In short, my message is always this: be human. In a world where we have automation tools for almost everything that we do. I think that we sometimes forget that what we’re actually doing is creating content that is for human beings. And for people to consume. And you want to be informative. You want to, in the words of the great Ann Handley, share information, solve problems, stop selling.  

I will leave you with this quote from one of my favorite people in the world, Seth Godin. And I wish you lots of prosperity, health and success and hope that this has been beneficial to you. Thank you have a great day.v