RebelMouse Talk to Us
What the Latest Algorithm Change Means for Your Facebook Strategy

The dust is finally settling after Facebook's latest News Feed restructuring announcement. The initial shock has waned, and brands are now figuring out how to approach the unavoidable shift. And while it (still) may seem like the death of organic reach to many, there's more opportunity to be had than ever before.

Facebook has always had a leg up on other platforms. While users on most social platforms are typically passive in nature, Facebook's users have always been active contributors — whether it be by posting baby pictures, making a personal announcement, changing a relationship status, etc. But over time, the social giant started seeing a trend toward more passive, lazy content consumption. Video only exacerbated this laziness as users began scrolling through content without purpose, and certainly avoiding anything with a three-second pre-roll ad.


This made it harder for brands to get any kind of real loyalty from their audiences. Even when publishers saw a large spike in reach, chances are that their users engaged without taking the time to note who posted the content. This vicious cycle is what forced the social network to re-prioritize the way we consume content in the News Feed. But instead of cursing Facebook for it, it's time to focus on creating real, lasting loyalty that can withstand unexpected algorithm updates. Here's how:

Create Engagement

We must rethink how we engage with users moving forward. It's not enough to post and pray for engagement. You have to ask for it with every post. And not in a spammy way, but rather by posting thoughtful content that solicits organic reactions. Content that fosters conversation and creates a community of people you respect. Posts that generate meaningful comments and discussion are going to rank better in the News Feed than those that only receive reactions. Conversation is key.

Facebook invested heavily in its Group feature in 2017, and even rolled out new functionality that let brands and media companies create their own groups within Pages. We all know group discussions are engagement catalysts, so using Group is a no-brainer. It's an easy way to connect and boost engagement and control. Post algorithm update, brands should hone in on creating niche Facebook groups to build engagement with new and existing audiences.

In early 2018, Facebook introduced a version of WhatsApp for businesses, intended to make it easier for companies to connect with customers. The app, called WhatsApp Business, features smart messaging tools similar to Facebook's Messenger. Communication channels and tactics such as these are becoming more commonplace, and they're key to creating conversation, engagement, and loyal audiences.

Understand Organic Distribution

You can't buy fans anymore. The pay-to-play mentality won't get you the kind of organic reach you need to make it long term. You have to understand how to connect to likeminded Pages to create lasting communities. Dive into niche, relevant, and great-quality content that attracts new, loyal followers — and do so at scale and on a consistent basis. This is what will help you build a sustainable content model that drives repeat, direct visits.

Build Loyalty

If you aren't creating loyalty, your Facebook reach will decline quickly. Our CEO Paul Berry and Greylock's Josh Elman collaborated on a piece last year discussing how and why you must develop a front page audience. It's become more relevant now than ever. Facebook is forcing us, as creatives, to produce content that people want to return for. Content that has the same effect as Game of Thrones — the type that's worth enduring ads for.

To do this, your brand or media site has to feel personal, and its voice has to be crystal clear. Your audience wants a social experience where the content has both consistency and pattern. Scroll depth is the difference between whether you can monetize your content or not.

Axios is a perfect example. They continue to create reputable content in a format that mimics the social feeds, and the results they've experienced have been outstanding. They've figured out the key to organic loyalty, and people are now making Axios their home screen.

The importance of each individual particle within a given article is a content model we've been championing for quite a while. When we use the term "particle," we're referring to each individual component of your content — a tweet, an image, an infographic, etc. All of these individual pieces should be used to create engagement on their own. And when they're strung together, they create context and voice, which in turn creates loyalty.

Organic Loyalty, FTW

All of this boils down to the overarching theme of organic loyalty. Companies who banked on the pay-to-play model, abandoning the priority of building a loyal audience, are now up the creek without a paddle. To build an ambitious, sustainable business, it takes many shining moments to nurture your followers into a loyal partnership with your content.

For a thorough explanation on how to build organic loyalty, you can download our free white paper here.

What Is RebelMouse?
Request a Proposal
subscription model for publishers
Content Strategy

In 2022, Publishers Take Back Control With Subscription Success

Users are ready to pay for content that delivers

The Rise of the Mature User

It's been a long and winding path, but in 2022 the subscription model continues its upward trajectory as a top revenue strategy for publishers of all sizes. The tug of war between platforms and publishers reached its peak in the last few years of the previous decade, leaving users desperate for a modern user experience that's clear of any clutter from the duopoly that is Google and Facebook. This is why intelligent paywall models are a top choice for users looking to consume content right from the source. When done correctly, the strategy can work for any type of media. The New York Times, a frequent showpiece example of the power of paywalls, is constantly reporting record-busting subscription numbers, with 7.6 million digital subscriptions in 2021.

And it all makes perfect sense. The subscription model eliminates the middleman — such as the platforms — so readers get the experience and content they want, and publishers get the cash they need.

Keep reading... Show less
People on a train station
Rebel Insights

RebelMouse Q1 2021 Platform Updates

Speed, performance, and Core Web Vitals enhancements

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates!

At RebelMouse, we pour our souls into making sure that our platform is always the most modern, high-performance CMS on the market. In fact, we invested over $100,000 worth of hours into our platform in Q1 2021 alone. This has resulted in updates and performance enhancements that publishers would have to pay for on their own to make happen on any other platform, such as WordPress. We're proud to be at a level of scale where we can invest this way into our platform, and we will continue to invest at this rate every quarter moving forward just as we have in the past.

Here are the major updates that we've added to the platform in Q1.

Keep reading... Show less
Interested in a Free Website Health Check?Check Your
Website's Health
Get Your Free Analysis Now
The Subscription Model Is Taking off and Competition Has Never Been Steeper
Rebel Insights

The Subscription Model Is Taking off and Competition Has Never Been Steeper

The post-pandemic user landscape is still ripe for subscription revenue

You can get a subscription for everything these days. Whether it’s a cheese-of-the-month club or annual access to read your favorite content, the subscription-based model has continued to gain steam in recent years. In fact, the market for digital subscriptions is valued at $650 billion according to a new report from Lineup, a subscription management solution.

The power of the subscription model has been growing since even before the COVID-19 crisis began, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing as we enter a post-pandemic landscape. According to What’s New in Publishing, Gannett reported a 46% year-over-year increase in digital subscriptions in November 2021, putting them at 1.5M total subscribers. Hearst grew its digital subscriptions by 50% in 2021.

But subscriptions aren’t just for big name publishers. Users in 2022 are ready to pay up for legacy names and new media companies alike, as long as it’s for an experience that’s beneficial to them, reliable, and free of the clutter that can come from third-party platforms. Speaking of platforms, even TikTok and Instagram have started to gauge their audiences’ temperature on subscription experiences. So, the competition has never been steeper for publishers looking to build a subscriber base. Unfortunately, launching a simple paywall may not be enough.

Keep reading... Show less
Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty
Rebel Insights

Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty

New data from Chartbeat shows engagement time is increasing despite traffic dips

Getting users to your site is only half the battle. For publishers, it’s now become more critical to focus on how long those users stay on your site — and if they ever come back. Q1 2022 data analyzed by Chartbeat found that engagement is on the rise, even though metrics like pageviews and mobile traffic experienced a decline.

Chartbeat measures engaged time by the “amount of time that readers spend actively engaging with a page — scrolling, clicking, or moving their mouse.” With this in mind, their data showed that most regions in the world registered an average of 30 seconds of engaged time on site in Q1. Readers in Latin America led the results with an average of 34.7 seconds of engaged time.

Keep reading... Show less
Build on a Better PlatformReady to See More?
Request a Proposal