So Facebook is changing – again. There were 15 significant changes last year so a change should not be a surprise. This one however IS significant to business pages! Facebook is changing the algorithm to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. That’s your page. Your Business page. These updates will result in fewer public posts from pages landing in users news feeds. Expect your organic reach of your Facebook page to drop (even more.)
What prompted this? Social Media Examiner Founder Mike Stelzner speculated in Boss Magazine:
“(Mark) Zuckerberg wants people to feel good about using Facebook. This sentiment most likely comes from how the News Feed evolved during the election, people were tuning it out. There’s a competitive threat from other platforms. But no guy on the planet has more data on these types of interactions. Zuckerberg and his team noticed a pattern change and knew something had to shift.”
The sky is not falling though. We have had to deal with other significant changes to Facebook. We can deal with this one. After all, as Stelzner explained:
“As long as there are two billion people using Facebook, there will be value for businesses. They just have to figure out how they fit in.”
We have some ideas. We offer 10 directions to take with your Facebook and marketing strategies:
- Keep Posting. Again, the sky is not falling! Zuckerberg hasn’t completely shut off Facebook for pages. Some people that like your page will still see your posts. Besides, should anyone go to your page, you want to have recent posts to show you’re current, active and haven’t gone out of business.
- Post What Works. Review your reports. See what got the most engagement the past year or two and produce more of that. Notice a style of post that doesn’t get any engagement? Stop with those posts.
- Survey Your Customers and those that like your page and ask them what they want from your page.
- Inspire Conversations. Draft posts that spark and inspire conversations and meaningful interactions among people. Those posts will be prioritized over public content after this update. Examples include posts that seek advice or recommendations, news articles or videos that prompt people to discuss and interact, and posts that drive comments – especially longer comments. (Comments are more valuable than likes.) And if they comment, be, be sure to reward them with a ‘like.’ Start monitoring your pages and posts daily. Reply to comments. Like comments. Engage with those that are engaging. Too many ‘post and run.’
- Produce Videos that Educate while Entertaining. Begin doing a lot more story-telling with videos and content. Think the History or Discovery channels. This episodic content. People have an appetite for this type of content, and it could drive interaction.
- Invest in Live Video. There’s value in going to your ‘tribe’ and having a conversation. Doing a live show could further that conversation. Facebook makes it easy to go live.
- See First. Users can still choose See First in their news feed preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite pages. Show your followers how to become “see first” fans of your page’s content.
- Spend Money. There it is. We and many others have been suggesting for quite some time that businesses need to start investing in Facebook ads and boosting posts. It’s still a very inexpensive media buy. $5-10 can garner a few thousand impressions. Try getting that reach with traditional media.
- Diversify. Have you only had a Facebook account for your business? Perhaps now is the time to consider utilizing Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.
- Use Facebook to Drive Other Marketing Outlets. Email marketing has long shown a strong ROI – $44 to 1. Use Facebook to get people to sign up for your email newsletter (although don’t call it a “newsletter!”) That database of email addresses is probably the second most valuable marketing tool. Increase subscribers. Drop valuable content into their inboxes. Make them fans of your emails. Then no matter what change comes next to Facebook, you will still be able to market to your fans.