The Facebook algorithm is changing… again.
What does this mean for you and your business? What does this mean for the platform in general? What can you do moving forward, despite all the moving and shaking in the social media world? Read on, my friend.
Early this month, Mark Zuckerberg announced that his annual “personal challenge” for 2018 would be to make sure that time on Facebook is “well spent.” A week later, he shared that part of the focus would be to change the News Feed algorithm once again to prioritize friends’ and family members’ posts instead of Pages.
Loosely translated: If you’re a business, your Facebook page’s post reach is about to drop.
Fortune estimated four days later that Facebook had already lost over three billion dollars. Businesses went to Facebook – specifically to Zuckerberg himself – to voice their concerns.
The fact of the matter is though, we can’t change Zuckerberg’s mind. He’s pledged to donate 99 percent of his Facebook shares over his lifetime, so losing money is ultimately not his greatest concern.
So, what CAN you as a business owner or social media marketer do?
Take a good look at your content
If you’re not already, make sure your Facebook content is engaging and relationally-focused. Facebook has shared that Page posts that tend to generate discussion will have a higher priority in News Feeds. What does this look like? Ask your fans questions. Create and share community events. Share new trends from within your industry. Feature your staff and fans and any other type of content your audience has been prone to engage with in the past. Make sure you actually take time to respond to comments on your posts and keep looking for other ways to engage with your fans in an authentic way, such as through Facebook Groups. Also make use of Facebook Live if you haven’t already – fans can opt to get a notification when you go live, and it’s been proven to be highly engaging, too.
NOTE: Creating engaging content does NOT mean using “engagement bait” – Facebook made an announcement in December that these kinds of posts will be devalued in News Feeds.
Focus on other avenues of digital marketing
Spend more time on other social platforms and other forms of digital marketing. Yes, Facebook’s user base is significantly larger than any other platform, but depending on your target audience, other platforms may prove to be just as effective, if not more. Platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are extremely popular with millennials and Gen-Ys, while Pinterest’s user base is made up of mostly women. Because of these specific demographics, you can create specific content to reach these audiences without much extra effort. You should also invest in search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search marketing to reach those who are cruising the internet looking for a business just like yours.
Throw some money at it
Last, but not least, use Facebook’s paid advertising. Boosting posts and using ad campaigns through Ad Manager are extremely effective in reaching users and will continue to be effective through these changes. You can target specific demographics based on age, gender, location and even interests. Be sure to audit your campaigns regularly to make sure you’re getting a return on investment and making changes as needed.
The reality is your post reach will drop a little, but it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as you think. It can be easy to panic in these situations, but by keeping your head up and thinking outside the box, you can minimize the negative effects and perhaps even create a Page that your fans will love more than ever.
Rachel Pheasant, Social Media Marketing Manager
Plaid Swan Inc. is a female owned and operated marketing communications firm with multiple offices located in the Midwest. Looking to make your company’s blog stand out? Need a social media overhaul? Contact email@example.com or call 563-556-1633 x2 to see how we can bring your brand to a new stellar level!