Facebook is making far-reaching changes to the way businesses and brands appear in users’ feeds, which means that your posts will likely lose some visibility over the coming weeks.
Watch as our trade marketing director Rob Carter summarises what’s happening – and reveals how you can ensure that your business is not negatively impacted by the changes.
In January Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithms to give priority to “family, friends, and groups”. What the social platform is seeking to encourage is more meaningful interactions between connected people. This means that you’ll see more snaps of your friends’ children than glib listacles and, crucially, business posts.
Facebook is well known for pulling the rug from under people’s feet, especially those who have built strategies around their platform, but this is the most seismic update yet. As the changes take effect – and also to the Facebook-owned Instagram before the end of 2018 – businesses will likely see a big drop-off in organic reach.
So this new update will fundamentally change how and when potential customers see your business posts on Facebook. Thankfully there are some crucial steps you can take to minimise the disruption.
Increase your ad budget
Organic reach has always been a highly-tuned skill that only the most confident online marketers have achieved success with, but the truth is that organic reach has been declining for years. This means that investing in paid-for content and ads on Facebook is now more important than ever, along with the expertise to ensure you’re targeting the right audiences.
Start posting engaging content
We mean the sort of winning content that gets people commenting. Zuckerberg wants “meaningful interactions” which means conversations and commentary. Expanding on this he wrote: “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
This means businesses should focus on conversation between users and customers. Questions could help here obviously but don’t fall into the trap of ‘engagement bait’. We advise not to ask your audience to COMMENT directly as this approach is disingenuous and users typically don’t like it. More importantly Facebook doesn’t view it as meaningful interaction and will continue to demote these kinds of posts.
Encourage customers to ‘see you first’
There are lots of changes to Facebook but thankfully it’s not changing the ability for users to set their personal preferences, so you can still see posts from pages by using the “Prioritise who to see first” option in news feed preferences.
Not all users may know about this feature so you should definitely point it out and encourage them to select your page.
Spend time in Facebook Groups
You should look into new ways to engage customers with Facebook Groups, alongside your page and paid-for advertising. Groups are all about engagement and you could perhaps even create a sub-channel conversation group relating to a particular aspect of your market.
Facebook is all about reactions, so it will be interesting to see how businesses respond to these news feed changes. Will it be a thumbs up or an angry frown, or something in-between? In reality you shouldn’t be too worried so long as you’re prepared to invest the time – and potentially money – in engaging customers on a more personal and meaningful level.
However, if you’re concerned about how all this is going to affect your business then please contact us. We have a team of social media experts who can help you get the most out of Facebook and other social platforms.