One of the goals of social media marketing is to increase brand awareness by getting people to see the content you post. This goal has become harder to accomplish over the years, as many social platforms limit the reach of posts from businesses and marketers. On Facebook, some marketers have resorted to using the comment section to boost the range of their brand marketing. Last week, Facebook announced new rules that would reduce the reach of comments that were engaged in click-baiting practices.
Earlier this year, Facebook made significant changes to the way the News Feed algorithm works. The result of the change was a decline in the reach of posts from Facebook Business Pages. To combat the decline, some marketers moved their content to the comment sections of content that is more popular. Most businesses on social media have seen this tactic used when they get a comment saying they can buy likes and fans.
Facebook doesn’t like it when brands use this tactic because it hurts the quality of the experience for other Facebook users. To address the issue, Facebook introduced new rules to better define what is comment spam and the practices that Facebook doesn’t want marketers to use.
As Justine Shen, a product manager at Facebook, explained in a blog post, “We’re always working to ensure that people’s time on Facebook is well spent. One way we do this is through ranking, which promotes meaningful conversations by showing people the posts and comments most relevant to them. Today we’re making an update to improve comment ranking on public posts, and we want to explain how this works and how Pages and people can control their own comment ranking settings.”
Just as Facebook grades the quality of content and limits the reach of poor-quality posts, the same will be done for comments. When deciding which comment to display prominently when a user is on a Facebook post, the company has outlined the criteria they will use to judge comments.
Facebook will use integrity signals to help determine the quality of comments. Besides removing comments that violate the Community Standards, Facebook will also consider other signals, like "engagement-bait, to address the integrity of information and improve the quality of comments people see."
The changes Facebook is implementing are partially based on surveys they conducted with users. These tests showed the company what people wanted to see in comments, and Facebook has adjusted their comment sorting algorithm accordingly: Similarly, Facebook includes signals from the way people interacted with the comment to judge its usefulness. These signals include whether people like, react to, or reply to a comment.
Comment ranking is turned on by default, which ensures more people have a better experience when they are on Facebook. However, some people prefer the chronological list of all of the comments they received. Since people often leave comments in response to another comment, you may need to see everything in chronological order to make sense of the conversation. Facebook has given users to turn off comment ranking if they don’t want their comments filtered by Facebook.
For more recent news about updates and changes to Facebook, read this article on new rules that affect advertisers on Facebook.