How to deal with Facebook News Feed Changes

How to deal with Facebook News Feed changes

Nikki ParkinsonLife 87 Comments

I would pull on my cranky pants right now but I think I would be only wasting valuable energy.

And in a week when that energy has been in short supply, it’s best I don’t. For all concerned.

Why the cranky pants thoughts?

In a word: Facebook.

It’s just not what it used to be.

I’m not talking about the time back in 2007 when we all wrote our status updates with our name as the first part of the sentence. Like someone else was talking about us on our behalf.

Here’s one of my gem’s from back in the day: is at home

Yep, riveting.

What will also possibly amuse you – or make you vomit – is that when I started on Facebook, I started as a couple. Yes, I registered with my name and my husband’s in the one profile. I KNOW.

In my (very weak) defence, this was back in the day of a one-computer house – a desktop PC – no smartphones, no tablets, no laptops, hell, no wireless internet. It saved us time if I did all the updating and sharing on our behalf.

But when I started this blog, I started a business Facebook page and realised that it wasn’t really all that professional to have a cutsie double-barrelled couple name as admin on the page. The final straw was when Mr SY became a fan of Mc Lovin. We had to split.

So from that moment on, I plugged away at my little Facebook page, building a community that has become an extension of the community that hangs out here on the blog.

How to deal with Facebook News Feed changes

Conversely, I hang out there because so many of my readers do too (Facebook sends the most people to my blog after Google).

But lately it’s been pretty quiet over on that page. I show up for the party every day and night but very few people are actually getting the invite.

Things got worse about four weeks ago. And in the last couple of weeks other page admins have started to notice it too.

The algorithm that Facebook uses to determine what goes into a person’s News Feed has changed.


Based on stats of the last few weeks, about 10% of the people who actually like my page are seeing my Facebook posts in their New Feed. That’s not so good, is it?

I’m not stupid though. I know we get Facebook for free, that it’s a publicly listed company and they need to make money to keep their shareholders happy … but it’s a little bit disappointing that as page owners we’re pretty much being corralled into paying to promote our posts … to the very people who have chosen to like our page.

Paying to promote your posts does work. To a point. Yes, you’ll get into the News Feeds of more people (you get to specify and pay for how many) but it can take three days for that to happen.

Now, I don’t know about you, but from where I see it, the reason why social media has taken off in the last five years is because of the immediacy of how people can share information.

Three-day old news is, well, OLD.

What about the stuff you WANT to see in your News Feed?

To counteract these changes, yes, I’ll have to get more savvy in other areas of my blog marketing (see below) but, as a Facebook user, what really gets up my social media goat is that if I’ve liked a page, it may surprise Facebook to know that I actually want to know what that page is sharing.

Umm … that’s why I hit the like button in the first place.

I WANT to be informed about a special offer from a favourite store. I WANT to watch a teaser from a favourite TV show. I WANT to contribute to the conversation around a current event of the day.

But I won’t necessarily get to do that because Facebook is telling me what I WANT by deciding what flows into my News Feed.

It’s a different story on my other social media networks.

If I jump on Twitter, or Pinterest or Instagram, the feed is current. What I see at that time is what I get. I can flick, stop, comment, retweet and repin to my social media heart’s content.

And that’s the way I like it.

How to deal with Facebook News Feed Changes

How I’m dealing with Facebook News Feed changes

1. I’m experimenting with promoted posts. I’m avoiding time-specific posts and concentrating on ones related to a blog post from which I receive income (so I can offset advertising costs) or a post like my multi-draw competitions that help build my email subscriber database.

2. I’m only promoting posts to people who like my page. I’m doing this in the hope that my promoted posts are not seen as spammy. I figure just because someone is a friend of a liker, doesn’t mean they’ll like my page. I’ve grown my Facebook community organically and that’s the way I like to keep it.

3. I’ve created a series of  Facebook “Interests” lists. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for some time. This week I went through all the pages that I’ve liked and grouped them into different “Interests”. For instance, I created a list called Blog Roll and put in it all the blog pages that I like on Facebook. (If you’re not on the list … leave a link to your FB page in the comments below and I’ll add you x)

You’ll find the Interests category in the left-hand side bar on your News Feed page. Simply click on Add Interests and it will prompt you through the rest. Then you can click on your Interest list and see a news feed for that Interest List. I’ve only been tracking it for a couple of days but it seems as if you see all the posts from those pages you’ve added to the list.

You can make the list public, friends-only or private. If public or friends-only, other people can subscribe to your lists.

Facebook interests

4. I’m grateful that I have an email database. If you blog and you haven’t started one, please do. Truly, so many people do still want access to your blog via their inbox.

5. Get your head around SEO. Search engines are your blog’s friend. I’m still getting my head around this after more than four years. I don’t ever want to get bogged down in it but it’s worth doing a bit of research on how understanding SEO can help you. If you’re on WordPress, I’ve found the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin really good for holding your hand through the SEO process on each post.

6. Explore another social media network – or two.  Pinterest is starting to send more and more visitors to my blog. And for some people it surpasses Facebook for blog referrals. Instagram is another where I like to hang out. It’s not as trackable (unless I include a direct link) as to whether people are coming to my blog via it but the community on my IG page is like the Facebook of old. I like it. Twitter still has its fun moments – particularly at night time when you can join in a conversation around something that’s on TV or something topical from the day. I’m not great with Google+ – have been on it from the start but not on it if you know what I mean? Zoey from Shake Media has written a post that is one of the best around in helping you understand G+ and whether you should jump on board.

The way I see it, we can get our knickers in a cranky knot over changes on other people’s social media platforms but when it comes down to it, it is their platform to do with what they like.

You have your own platform, your blog.

Keep building writing and producing great content on that platform and your readers will want to share.

What are you thoughts on the changes to the Facebook News Feed? As a page admin? As a Facebook user?


Share your blogging know-how

Thanks so much to everyone who plays along with my Saturday blogging linky. Sharing your blogging knowledge with other bloggers and potential bloggers really is how this blogging world best goes round. It’s a bit like having a mini online conference here every week.

Remember if you want to join in, just add your link below. The link needs to be to a post ABOUT BLOGGING (all others will be deleted). Please fill in the box where it says “name” like this: BLOG NAME: Blog post title. That way your blog gets a plug and if you include the title of your post, you’ll attract readers interested in the topic.

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Comments 87

  1. Thank you for the tips. I have not been keeping up with Facebook much lately and its definitely nice to be able to read someone who has been.

  2. What a fantastic post! I’ve been feeling the same frustration with Facebook over the past month. One of my Facebook pages has just increased its reach by 5500% per cent and yet the number of people seeing my posts is tiny. Thank you for offering some practical tips for dealing with the constantly changing landscape. Would love it if you’d add my page to your blogroll:

  3. I always thought that email newsletters were dead and that nobody read them anymore but I think it’s something that I really should of jumped on board with sooner. Facebook used to bring some great traffic to my website but now my posts don’t get seen unless I promote them. What I often do is promote one post then post more regularly on over the following 3 days. As a find that even those posts benifits from more views that they would otherwise receive

    But to be honest I think that if you’re unwilling to promote posts these days Facebook is a waste of time. I’m therefore turning my efforts to other social media platforms, namely Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon (yes it’s amazing) and Google plus (still not much idea what I’n doing in this front but it’s gotta be good for SEO right?!

    1. Hi Joey, yes, it’s a common misconception that email marketing is dead. It’s usually us – the people using other social media so frequently – who think it. But the reality is not everybody is as savvy using social media for their info and still choose an inbox email as a way to keep in touch with the brands they know and love.

      And totally agree re the working the other platforms.

  4. We have started promoting posts too and have found that those promoted from a Thursday over a weekend have far greater reach than those just promoted during the week. Have you found this too? Thanks for the blog posting on this – very useful!

  5. Lightbulb moment! “it is their platform to do with what they like.” That’s exactly why we (Melinda and myself of are so proactive with all social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, our e-newsletter…We have to be. You never know where your next reader will find you. Such a great post Nikki, thank you! x

  6. Aargh thanks so much for articulating so beautifully the thoughts about Facebook I have in my head! It almost does my head in a little that I am just like you, after Google Facebook sends the most traffic to my website – so I need to keep persisting with it. I don’t mind promoting my important posts but as you say, it means that there isnt any point promoting anything time sensitive!

    The other thing I find annoying at the moment is that I don’t know if someone mentionsany of my pages any more – nothing comes up in my feed – so I can’t thank them. Are you finding this as well?

  7. As a person who doesn’t own a page but likes heaps I’ve found that to have pages show in my news I need to ” tick” that I want them in my feed. It also helps to interact with the page you like – comment & like heaps of things! That’s really important, especially if it’s a new page.
    I see all your stuff Nikki 🙂

  8. This is a great post Nikki, thanks a lot. I didn’t realise that about the interests lists either. All this social media stuff is so TIME CONSUMING. Not just doing it, but keeping up with the changes. Sometimes I get so saturated and rebel by not going near any of it for a day or two. It’s hard to switch off from it all. Having had that whinge, I love it too, and can’t imagine life without it now. Lx

    1. It is Leigh – I’m lucky that it’s my full time job but the changes reinforce how much you need to just keep focussing on your own platforms – your blog and email list – because if there are changes there, they are your changes!

  9. Just commented on my FB page the other day how FB ain’t the same anymore with all this hoolpa including old feeds coming through ahead of new ones (?!?!), some missing completely on the day they are posted, then appearing days later, promoted posts (icky) and ‘friends you may know’….
    I’ve dodged all these issues via the ‘interest’ list/group. It provides here and now feeds without all the unsolicited rubbish.
    BUT I too am thinking I just won’t bother with FB in the future as are many friends.
    It’s meant to be your little online community but it’s like hanging out with a group of girlfriends at a hip bar/intimate dinner and then some boofhead of a bloke, who thinks he is god’s gift pulling up a seat and ruining the whole intention of the evening… hanging with just your ‘friends’.

  10. Ever since they went on the stock market they’ve become worse than ever, and I think it will lead to people leaving when the next big thing comes along. I heard not long ago they closed about 6 million dead accounts and pages etc that were not being used. So, looks like they may be pushing users away instead of reeling them in.

  11. You took the words right out of my mouth Nikki! My girlfriends and I were only discussing this very topic last week. It feels like we just get used to a change that Facebook have made and they introduce something new again! Our blog and website, Eco Brides Magazine, get a lot of traffic from Pinterest and like you I have been on Google+ since the beginning but I haven’t really used it. I will be heading over and reading Shake Medias take on Google+ now. Thank you so much for blogging about this topic! 🙂

  12. Hi Nikki, I have a blog, and a retail business, both with fb pages. Although with my blog hat on or retail business hat on it is frustrating that my posts clearly aren’t reaching my likers, I get such a massive pair of cranky pants on because I am not personally getting the posts on pages I like!!! Like you, I liked the page becuase i am interested and I WANT their posts!!! I will say no more as I am getting cranky just writting this. Love your blog btw

    1. LOL – thanks for liking my page and getting your cranky pants on. My suggestion – make an interest list of the pages you don’t want to miss – that will help a bit but not on the flipside of getting people to yours!

  13. Hi Nikki, Agreed! if people like your page then they should be able to see it! I’ve been using the sponsored posts for a Facebook page I manage since August and have taken a different view on it now.

    Originally I was miffed at having to shell out dough, but then I realised that it could be an advantage. Facebook is now promising me that it will put my content at the top of the pile instead of just part of the noise of the feed. I’ve aligned sponsored posts with sponsored likes timing wise and have seen a 100% increase in new likes. My highest sponsored post reached over 100,000 people and had high engagement.

    It is working for Facebook, they are actually earning an income and it is working for what I do. It has meant that I’ve had to think harder about the kind of content I will pay to post, but like you said, its their platform.

    The only tweak I would like to see with sponsored posts are better targeting 1st time around so that you can really fine tune so the content is reaching the right audience.

    1. I totally agree the advertising can work Steve. And it has worked for posts that I’ve promoted. I’m concerned now that 1.) I’m spamming people who haven’t liked my page (so only promoting to people who do) 2.) That even when I promote a post, it takes days to reach the number of people I’m paying for. Running an ad is a different thing again. And for businesses I think they really need to find a budget to do this – the power of being able to target your recipients is unlike other advertising.

  14. Fabulous Post. Where do I start. My facebook page is This post is soapbox territory for me, definitely. Firstly, when it comes to Facebook Newsfeed changes, yes it is a free platform and yes, Zuck is trying to get us to pay to promote posts, but I agree with you: I like the pages I like to get their posts. Not to then have the page owner have to pay for them to reach me. I want them to reach me. And even if they do pay, they may not reach me. It sucks. Period. And yes, they are trying to please the shareholders (and let’s face it, the only way is up for them) so we may have to suck it up. However, I think you are totally right Nikki – we need to focus on integrating all the social media platforms with the thing that really matters, our blog (or platform, as you so correctly put it). I am still a rookie, but even I can see that a mix of Twitter (where I have found some great connections!), Pinterest, Google Plus (for it’s SEO magic via my embedded google plus link in my blog bio if nothing else – I just post blog posts there mainly) and Instagram, and don’t forget YouTube are all just as powerful for reaching people where they hang out. That being said, I agree with restricting promoted posts to those that really matter, but Zuck had also better look at what he is doing with Ads. I have been doing a lot of ads quite successful with clients and the recent dashboard changes are just insane. I had to dig really deep, work out how to untick a thousand boxes in order to create a targeted sponsored story post. I talked to Amy Porterfield about it this morning and she was as frustrated as I was. If they want people to advertise their posts and pages, they had better really look at how easy they are making it for us all. I have seen people throwing money away in CPM campaigns because they can’t work out how to get CPC. So from now on any products, training programs etc that I produce will not be focused mainly on FB. I agree with you 100% Nikki and the interest lists are awesome. I saw one come through the other day and made a mental note to go back and follow some of yours as it will save me going through my likes ha ha. :o)

    1. Love your comment Donna – lots there for others to take on board too. You’re on my Bloggie Tools list (my resources for Blogging!) I too have played with the advertising and yes, it has worked but the targetting is tricky and not immediate. And for some silly reason Facebook has my time zone as Perth’s so it takes longer for campaigns to start. So I’ve brought it back to promoted posts to my page likers – but only on certain posts that have some added benefit on reaching more people. Hats off to people like you who have to keep on top of these things to consult with and teach others!

      1. Thanks for listing me – that’s cool! I will definitely be setting up my lists and encouraging others to. I will pass on this post to Amy too as she will love this (just not the changes). As for the ads, I have worked it out, but I still begrudge the way they do things. I have had a few campaigns start immediately lately, so we shall see! I wish everything could be organic…….sigh. Long live blogs I say! lol…

  15. I’ve linked up an oldie but one of my faves today. Hope that’s okay. Also, thank you so much for the info on interest lists – I had NO idea about this. I knew that FB was mucking about with news feeds but didn’t know how to combat. Please let us know how you go with the promoted post thing.

    1. Love your oldie goodies, Al. Perfectly ok. I’d known about the lists but hadn’t got around to allocating time for them. Really glad I have now as I’m going to them instead of the main News Feed to get updates from those who I follow. With the promoted posts – I’m just going to do what I’ve said above. Only on key posts that are specific to a certain day. Probably no more than one a week.

  16. this is a really good perspective on something that i suspect is only to get people more and more annoyed with FB, it was only this morning that i read zoey’s article on google+ and it made more sense that any of FB’s trick’s do – so i’m going to try and implement some of the new actions suggested by zoey about google+ for my little blog

    but on the flip-side, i love FB and love receiving the feeds of pages i have “liked” it is getting quite frustrating ‘missing’ out on their news feeds because i can’t spend every minute on there

    my FB link is

    but you can find me on google+ as well


    1. Thanks so much – have added you to my FB Interests Blog Roll! And yes, I’m going to spend more time on G+ too … the big over-riding thing to remember is that all the social network’s own their own platforms and can do with them what they want. We need to work on our own – blog and email subscriptions – to keep us a little immune from each time they make changes!

  17. Hi Nikki, I’m really disappointed by this as a lot of my traffic was coming from my FB page. I went on a bit of a promoted post blitz but most of my new ‘likers’ arrived from Turkey or India and I cannot possibly see how they’d relate to what I’m writing about lol. I’m going to take your advice and encourage everyone to subscribe by email. My FB page is
    Thanks a million,
    Liz N

  18. Thanks for this post Nikki! I’m not seeing all your activity in my feeds nor that of others. It’s very annoying. I’m missing stuff 🙁 Strangely, I’m seeing posts in my news feed from pages that I haven’t liked – so I’m guessing they have paid to have them appear? Also – what is it with the ad’s that now appear on our pages? Facebook is the main publicity for my blog. If my likers are not seeing what I post on my page then I’m a little bit cranky pants too! I know its all free so I guess I shouldn’t complain…but I don’t really want to have to dig into my pockets just so my likers can see what I post! I’m still learning Twitter and it’s good to connect with other bloggers but most of my friends and many of those that have liked my page are not on Twitter. Pinterest hasn’t really brought any readers to my blog yet but I’m still working out how to make that work for me. Instagram is fun but not sure if it brings any readers to my blog.

  19. I have had the interest lists for some time and up until the last few weeks, I thought it meant I saw all posts from those pages but NO it doesn’t, unless you are on every couple of hours and your feed is refreshed. If you don’t go on for a longer period of time, it ‘shortens’ your feed and the algorithm kicks in there too, at least that’s what I have experienced a couple of times now.
    I am loving instagram for the ‘community’ feel but not sure how much it brings people to my blog and Pinterest is my main referrer. I understand fb needs to make money but it all seems such a drastic drop in interaction and I’m fast getting fed up with it, I’m yet to venture to twitter but this just might make me do it!

    1. Ah, good to know Stacey-Lee … I’ve been checking in throughout the day so they work for me that way. Yes, it’s more difficult to track IG’s influence on your blog but the community and branding there for me has been good. And it value adds to content on my blog as the widget I’ve got with the latest IG photos gets some of the post click throughs every day here! Twitter has always been a great networker for me (no. 2 referrer as well).

  20. Excellent, rational post – thanks for being the voice of reason! And thanks especially for the tips. I have noticed my fb reach drop by a lot, and it is frustrating but I haven’t been able to find a better option. As a fb user I get very annoyed seeing sponsored posts from pages I haven’t liked.
    Do you think everyone will start migrating to Google+? It’s making me wonder…

    1. Not sure about that but easy to waste energy on things we can’t change. And yes, I agree, it would be annoying to see sponsored posts from pages you haven’t liked – particularly at the expense of posts from FB pages you have liked but are not seeing! And re G+, I’ve updated the blog to include a link to a great post that Zoey (Shake Media) did for Swish Designs last month. I’m on it but not really on it … not sure what will happen there. x

  21. Thanks for sharing this Nikki, and as usual it’s full of helpful information. I guess it’s inevitable that FB and other free social media platforms will push us towards the paying options as time goes by – as you say, shareholders demand their divi’s – so the parameters will probably keep changing and we’ll be kept wondering. I guess we could all revolt, but that’s unlikely! I think, as you say, the smart thing is to remain as independent as possible and grow an email list.

  22. Great, great, great!! Love this. I wanted to ask questions all day long at the social media platforms session at ProBlogger. So this satisfies that curiosity for a while.

    On my blog’s page I have just under 1100 likes and a talking about of over 400 and I work at that all the time. Too often perhaps. BUT it’s kept me pretty insulated from the changes happening. Not completely though. I wish I could figure that algorithm out!

    I have promoted two posts, too bad I didn’t know then about the lag time. One of them was for an eBay Auction that was practically over by the time the post got to everyone. Hindsight, right? But I view the promote function like paying for the upgrade in a free program I love.

    Thanks again for a timely post. I’m off to make myself some interest lists!

        1. To be honest, I have scrolled straight past anything on my personal news feed that is ‘sponsored post’ even as far as to hide some of them to tell fb I don’t want to see things like it (not sure if that works lol). It was the name that caught my eye! But if I was in the market for a camera, it may have made me click over to check it out, it’s a fine line…

          1. Yeah, I’m a bit the same myself. Thanks for the feedback Stacey-Lee I appreciate it. Maybe that sort of thing I’ll promote from my personal account rather than Suger and if my friends hide me, well, their loss. 😉

    1. That “people talking about you” figure is gold Mel – whatever you’re doing is working. My actually talking about % is the same as before but individual posts are not getting into as many news feeds as they used to. PS. Love how on your FB page you’ve got your newsletter subscription tab. I need to copy you. Stat.

      1. Thank you. I’m pretty proud of it. I watched the individual posts thing for a while but it did my head in, why some but not others, why this time but not that. My sort of analytical mind was in overdrive trying to figure it out. So now I do my thing and watch the talking about figure and hope for the best. Haha.

        I copied that from someone else, so help yourself. 😉

  23. I have my cranky pants on too. It drives me nuts when I see how many people have seen my post. I don’t earn enough to pay to promote yet but I think it’s a great idea to promote to your likers. Great tips. I love your Saturday posts. Rachel x

  24. Recently my FB reach is down by 90%. I often wonder if the brands who work with bloggers know this, as they seem to put so much store in how many likes a page has. Here’s my page for inclusion by the way. Thanks.

    My biggest drivers from social media are twitter and pinterest. But I am paranoid about the potential copyright issues around pinterest. I think that story is yet to play out, accordingly I only pin my own shots.

    Twitter is amazing and can increase my page views by up to 10 % on the days I hang out there. I love the way it grows quickly. It’s also a great way to show a new audience your archive.

    As instagram is FB owned, it will probably start to change to generate an income stream for them as well in the near future.

    I love your Saturday blogging inspiration. You are a wonderful sharer and it is appreciated.


    1. If brands working with bloggers are asking the right questions, they’ll will get a true picture of a Facebook reach – the “talking about this” figure is public so hopefully they’re looking at that too. And yes, I am worried about what Facebook will do with IG 🙁 Have added you to my roll.

  25. Thanks so much for this post NiKiki I had been feeling a bit down at the mouth about the drop off in my work facebook page and the change in my newsfeed. I think I will look at Twitter. I am too nervous to start a blog as I don’t think I write well. The Facebook page is just to direct people to the website I manage. It lists all parenting courses in Sydney.

  26. I have noticed these changes too, not that my page has many likers! (I find best results through Twitter). I have also seen the topics of conversation in some FB groups I belong too. You have great suggestions Nikki, and as you say, getting all uptight about it isn’t going to do much. Hopefully though, the FB powers that be cotton on to the upset and readjust things.

  27. Hi Nikki thanks for sharing these tips – I like tat you’ve suggested alternatives to FB too. Twitter and Instagram are what I use already but I need to Pintrest more.
    Do you know if/why promoting on Google Plus attracts so much spam though – the other day I got over 100 spam comments and someone said its G+’s doing.

    1. Pinterest is working really well for a lot of bloggers – it’s my no. 3 social media referrer so could be better. G+ is still an enigma to me. I + things and respond to people but don’t really spend time in there. Am trying to find Zoey from Good Googs’ really good post about it to share here.

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