by Anthony Santillo
Since the announcement of the new Facebook news feed update last month, there have been many concerns from businesses about their organic reach and how it will be affected. Rest assured, there are ways to get around this update to ensure that your content is still being seen by the people who like and follow your page.
For those of you who haven’t heard, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in early January in a Facebook post that they will be changing their news feed algorithm. The reason for this change is to get back to why Facebook was created in the first place: to connect with each other on a personal level. The algorithm is now going to prioritize content posted from friends and families higher than content from business pages. The end goal being that they want more social interactions between friends and families and less “solicitation” type content in user’s news feeds.
Now, there is a chance that you may see a decrease in your organic reach, however, following these tips should help ensure it’s not detrimental. Reach and impressions will be more accurate since people will actually see your content as opposed to getting lost in their news feed somewhere. This isn’t the end of the world for businesses on Facebook by any means. What this does mean is you need to change how you market your Facebook Business Page. Start incorporating these tactics now to avoid your content being pushed out of newsfeeds.
Engage, engage, engage.
Have you ever heard the expression “less is more?” That’s how you should think of this update as it pertains to your organic reach. While fewer people will see the content you post, these people will be more valuable since they are the ones that engage with your business. In regard to how you manage your business page, adjustments will most likely need to be made. It’s imperative, now more than ever, to create content that people will want to engage and interact with instead of just something they scroll past while drinking their morning cup of coffee. Think quality over quantity.
Facebook discourages “bait” phrases such as, “Like this post if…” and “Comment with…” so you will need to create engaging content without baiting them into commenting or sharing your post. Find out what your followers like about your business and focus on pushing out that content. Are you responding to people when they mention your brand on social media? Respond to and engage with your followers to establish a social relationship. If Facebook wants more human interactions, you need to humanize your brand. It might be a business page, but there’s a human managing it.
Engaging with your consumers will not only help humanize the brand, but it also increases the social interactions Facebook wants, ultimately increasing brand loyalty. If you consistently engage with the people that follow your business on social media, they will continue to follow your business and more importantly, recommend your brand.
According to Nielsen, 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service when learning about it from friends or family. Engaging with your consumers is one of the easiest ways to get them to recommend your business to their friends and family. Not only will this help your business, but the more people that engage with your business, the higher your content will be placed in their newsfeeds. If there are consistent interactions occurring Facebook will want to continue that by moving your content up in newsfeeds. Engagement is key.
Video Content Over Basic Text and Links
Another form of content that will be prioritized in 2018 is video content. The simple reason being that it’s more convenient for people to watch a video than read a blog post or an article. I’m sure you probably think that you don’t have the time or resources to do this but it’s not as hard as you might think. There are a lot of great websites like Animoto or Wevideo that you can use to create videos for whatever topic you want. Include text in your videos in case your viewers don’t have the ability to listen to it. This is a great way to use content that people want to see and make it fun and convenient for your followers to receive.
Live videos gained popularity in 2017. Allowing users to “Go Live” on Facebook and Instagram have once again provided them another way to connect with friends, families, and businesses. Live videos allow followers to tune in live to whatever you are doing at that time. It also provides them with the ability to message you right in the video, so you can see what they’re saying and respond live. Live videos actually receive six times as many interactions as regular videos, which can help build your following and provide a service to consumers that you may not have been able to before.
For example, Realtors and Real Estate Agents having open houses. Instead of trying to find the perfect time for the open house that works for both the owner and the buyers, just live stream the open house and save the video so it can be watched again. This provides people the experience of the open house without having to move a single muscle. Another benefit of live videos is that they don’t need to be related to your business for the desired effect to work. For example, Buzzfeed, a global news organization, decided to live stream two of their employees experiment to make a watermelon explode.
Nothing news related, just thought that people might be interested in it. Over 800,000 viewers tuned in live to watch. Now, this is an extreme example, but it shows what a funny idea can turn into. I am not saying to try and make something explode in the office tomorrow in hopes you get 100,000 followers from it. But something fun that is happening around the office or an event might be worth live streaming and promoting. Video content will become increasingly popular this year so the sooner you start incorporating it into your marketing strategies the better off you’ll be.
Join and Be Active in Groups
Facebook groups have grown significantly over the last year and now they will become more important than ever. If your content isn’t going to be seen by users, you must find other outlets to get in front of them. Facebook groups are these outlets. Search Facebook for local and business-related groups and join them. These groups can help put you in front of people that might not see your content otherwise. Groups can help you meet prospective clients and partners that can help grow your business and your company’s following. Facebook will even show you recommended groups based on the people and pages you follow and where you are located.
Being involved and active in groups also establishes credibility and increases locality. The more people view your business page as a trusted thought leader, as opposed to a business just selling a product, the more likely they are to engage and refer you to others. If reading this is already giving you ideas about a group, go ahead and create your own group and start inviting people to join. You would be surprised at how many people will join and actively participate in these groups.
While Facebook was the main social media platform I discussed, these tips will also help your performance on other social media sites as well. It’s just as important on Instagram and Twitter to stay in touch and engage with your followers as it is on Facebook. LinkedIn focuses more on the business aspect but is another platform committed to the concept of connecting with others. So, remember to focus on engaging with your consumers and humanizing your brand and you’ll be able to establish the social interactions that Facebook is trying to achieve.