3 Ways To Avoid Death By Algorithm

The buzz on the street is Facebook.

Once again they have changed their algorithms and it has people all a flutter.

For little bloggers like you and me, this change matters.  The numbers you were seeing in your reach statistics may be squewed and that can be disheartening.  Whether you are a new or a seasoned blogger, we all like to see that our efforts are being seen and appreciated by someone, anyone.

If you read the articles flying around on the net you can find out How Facebook is Killing the Small Business Fanpage (that’s us) or that Facebook Wants Us To Buy Ads to get more followers on our pages (like that’s ever gonna happen) and it starts to make your head spin.

So what do you do?

Well, there are options.  By the looks of my title, there are three of them.

Death by Algorithm

1.   Change Your Tactics

When an army is on the battlefield and it isn’t quite going their way, the head cheese (aka General-In-Charge) changes the battle plan.  He switches it up and uses different tactics to get different results.  In mom/grandma-speak we call this having granola bars AND fruit leather in  your bag at any one time, just in case someone on your team throws a fit about one or the other.  (An extra bag of goldfish never hurt either.)

So, in this situation it means that you can follow the rules and change the way and the content you have been posting, per Facebook’s suggestion, and see if that helps.  More articles, less memes.  More serious, less fun.  More content based, less visually attractive. Ok, this might be my personal bias showing through, but that’s what it sounds like to me.

Or you can just pay Facebook to show your stuff to the people who followed you because they want to see what you have to say but can’t because it’s being held hostage.  If you want to be one of those countries that negotiates with terrorists, go right ahead.  I feel like I’m dangerously close to getting off topic.  Does it feel that way to you?

Anyway, you get my point.  Go ahead, find some articles that teach you how to keep your readers by posting differently and which credit card is best to use when you pay for your second cousin twice removed to see your latest cat video.

OR

2.  Diversify

If you’ve been around for more than 10 minutes you’ve probably heard or read the advice that you need to be socially diversified.  Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket (read here: Facebook) and make sure you are posting different content to all these audiences.  Yeah right.  If I were a super-fancy marketing manager for a big company, I could see this as being a reality.  But I’m a mom, with laundry, piano lessons and dinners to make.

But before we both discount this, take a look at what Darren Rowse wrote about the diversity of his audience?  It does give me pause, how about you?  The readers on these platforms can be interested in your content for very different readers.  As you grow, it might be worth keeping that in the back of your mind.

One way to send out different messages easily is to use Hootsuite.  And don’t forget to use engaging content to get your readers to respond and respond back.  I think that’s called building relationships.  Ah, yes, that’s it.  I may have talked about that here once or twice. (wink wink)

I say if you are going to pick one trait for using social media, it should be: consistency.  Be as consistent as you can possibly be, understanding that this may look different for you than it does for me.  Do what works for you and reap the corresponding benefits.

Post more = get more followers and likes.  Post less = have a life and get what you get.  (I’m just sayin’.)

OR

3. Cheat Build Your Own Community

For the record, I do not condone cheating.  However, there is actually a best case scenario here when trying to avoid death by algorithm.  It’s something that I’ve tried and it actually works.

Before I tell you what it is, let’s look at how it currently works when you share content on Facebook:

1.  You have a Facebook page and you post on it but no one sees it, or only 16% of your audience sees it.  If you’ve got 200 followers that would be 32 people.  Whoo!  You’re hot now.

2.  You get 3 new readers who follow your page but who knows when they are actually going to be apart of your 16%.  If they never see your stuff, why would they interact with you?

3.  You interact with your audience, via your page, but that 16% is always changing.  What one person sees today another misses and then tomorrow it’s a whole new ball game, again.

Well, this sounds like fun. NOT.

Here’s the alternative

If you are a small blogger with a limited, but growing audience I suggest that you build your own community.  This will guarantee that your audience sees your posts.  Whether they click through or not is another story, but at least you can get your content out there in front of them to actually make that choice – as opposed to leaving it up to Facebook to choose the 32 people it wants to show it to.

Build your community around your blog and around what you write about.  Is it crafting?  Is it recipes? Is it homeschooling or faith?

It really doesn’t matter what it is.  Start your own group on Facebook or a community on Google+ (this is my first choice) and invite your readers to join you there.  Then actively populate it with your ideas, blog posts and questions for your audience so that they interact with you.

What do you have to lose?

As your audience grows you can use your blog and social media to invite the new readers to join your community.  Everybody loves to be invited to a party.  Make your group or community the party.  Then go have fun getting to know your party goers / readers.

Remember, you want deep.  Deep is good.  Wide is fine and it looks good on paper, all those numbers and all.  But deep is where it’s at – relationship!

Listen, if you want to avoid death by algorithm, you are going to have to change a little.  Make some adjustments, try something new.  Think outside the box – if you are small you might consider starting a page with 1 or 2 other small bloggers in your niche.  That would be cool.

Ok, go make it happen.  Remember, you have something to say so be open to finding new ways to say it.

You can do this!

 

–>  Pay Facebook to show your stuff to the people who followed you because they want to see what you have to say but can’t because it’s being held hostage.

–>  If you are going to pick one thing for using social media, it should be: consistency.

–>  Avoid death by algorithm. Build your own community and make it like a party!

Comments (6)

  1. Reply Aprille {beautifulinhistime.co

    Great stuff here. I jumped onto google plus (after your coffee shop post) and have been trying to build a following there but a lot of my readers just aren’t there yet. So…I feel sort of stuck. I get super excited when I see 1 hit a day from google plus.

    Anyway, I’m there but I think it will just take a lot of time to see the fruit from that, but I’m consistently sharing my stuff over there!

    Any other tips you have to build community in other ways would be much appreciated!

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      Aprille: Good on ya sister. Way to jump right in. I’ve invited you to my Varsity Blog Squad community (check G+) to learn more about G+ and how to use it as a blogger. Remember – G+ is for way more than just your current blog audience. Think outside the box and go follow people that you respect and admire – then start interacting with them and you may see you start to get a whole new audience.

      1. Reply Aprille {beautifulinhistime.co

        Oh yes! I’ve had great success with building a whole new audience over there! So it’s very exciting to be on G+. What I meant to say is that a lot of the current readers who would normally use Facebook aren’t really into other networks so it’s them I worry about. I did set it up so people can subscribe to public posts on my personal profile but I’m not horribly crazy about that idea and so far no one has subscribed.

        1. Reply Debi Stangeland

          Gotcha. I think that is why it is important to keep talking to your audience on FB. And that is also why you might consider making a group on FB. So that you can REALLY interact with them and they will SEE all of the things you post.

  2. Reply Kim Hall

    I’ve been reading about this and have experienced a drop as well. Thanks for the strategies!

    1. Reply Debi Stangeland

      You are super welcome my friend. Way to be ahead of the game and start thinking about new ways to reach your audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.