If you work in marketing, it is common knowledge that it’s now a challenge to become friends with Facebook’s algorithm and reach your audience.
This is due to many reasons, but mainly because of the constant algorithm changes on the platform and the increase in content output.
So, if you want to cut through the generic noise and make an impact in your market, it seems like the way to do this is through creating divisive and disruptive content. This comes from a new investigation from Vice into how Fox News has dominated its competitors on Facebook.
“In the Trump era, Fox News has cemented itself as the most dominant news publisher on Facebook as measured by engagement, a crucial metric for Facebook’s ranking system and a rough gauge of attention on the platform, topping news organizations like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Over the past three years, CrowdTangle estimates that Fox News’ main Facebook page, with 17 million followers, has racked up 80% more reactions, comments, and shares than CNN, which has 31 million followers.”
According to a former producer from Fox News, the company purposely made argumentative, divisive content a key strategic focus.
They had said: ‘“We would intentionally post content that would be divisive and elicit a lot of comments – high-engagement posts would inform programming decisions on TV. Fox was all about a numbers game.”
Why Does This Work?
Facebook’s algorithm looks for indicators of popularity. This is how it decides which posts to promote organically in the feed. If a post is sparking conversation and controversy, that is arguably the best indicator.
One of the key concerns with the algorithm is that by showing people more of what they like, and are likely to engage with, and less of what they don’t, it leads to an entirely unbalanced diet of news consumption, which further separates both sides of each argument.
This was best illustrated by The Wall Street Journals’ ‘Blue Feed, Red Feed’ experiment.
What’s The Lesson?
We all know we shouldn’t argue with the figures, and in this case, the figures are speaking volumes. So, if you want to be disruptive and make the most of your time on social media, consider switching up your strategy.