Everyone and their mother is talking about the changes to Facebook’s algorithm that will impact news feeds everywhere. The basic goal is to make them more personal by prioritizing your friend’s and family’s content over pretty much everything else. If you have a business page (which we hope you do), then you’re probably wondering, ‘what the heck does this mean for me?’ Let us tell you.
Facebook, just like Google, is always changing how posts are displayed in your news feed. Google constantly makes updates to their ranking algorithms, changing what is displayed and where it’s located. Here’s an example: remember when paid ads used to be on the right-hand side of the page? Now they’re only at the top or very bottom of the page. Really, go search something.
Facebook evolves their displays in an effort to provide their users with what they want – to connect with people and see relevant content based on their friends, connections, and interests. Relevant info located at the top of news feeds makes users happy. But, Facebook also needs to turn a profit, which might be the main motivation behind these upcoming changes. Facebook has been a “pay to play” space for business pages for a long time now. The organic reach of posts may hit about 7% of your fans or followers, but when you boost posts (by paying money) or run Facebook Ads, (that also require money) you’re certain to be seen by more of your fans, and even potential new fans as well, depending on your targeting. You win and Facebook wins, but what about the actual users?
This is the heart of the struggle. Facebook wants happy users so they stay active on the platform, but if these users see too much irrelevant content or a steady stream of ads, they will likely get their social media fix somewhere else. Facebook has to have continued growth in users on their site and keep them happy – which is why they are making some of these changes. Still, on the flip side, Facebook needs to remain profitable, and they do it through product and service advertising on the site, but businesses don’t advertise unless there’s an active, viable audience there to consume the information. Do you see the connection?
- A smaller or less engaged audience = less advertiser opportunity
- An active and engaged audience = happier users AND more advertising opportunity (If you play by Facebook’s new rules)
- So, as a business, you want an active, growing user base on Facebook just as much as Facebook does. The key is to figure out how to stay in the game.
The upcoming changes are meant to help individuals connect more with each other, to share personal moments, and see the content they care about, but it’s certainly going to impact your business’ content strategy, AND paid social efforts. But all is not lost.
“Brands need to take quick action with their Facebook content strategies to dig into the data on “who” their fans are and what makes them tick so that brand content is synonymous with relevant content.” – Billy Boulia, DigitasLBi vice president and group director of social strategy via AdWeek
5 Takeaways for Your Business Facebook Page
Content is still king, but what you create needs to be relevant, valuable and form connections with your audiences. If you don’t understand them and you’re just spewing posts to get stuff out there, you’ll continue to see your reach go down.
2. It means that you must continue to improve the content that you create and share on Facebook. The more you provide information, images and info that has meaning and connection to your audiences, the more likely they are to engage with it (i.e. like it, share it, comment on it, etc).
3. You will need to include some sort of Facebook Advertising in your social marketing efforts. Facebook Ads allow you to create specific content and images to reach people who do not follow your page but may be in your area/region, have interests related to what you do, as well as target only current fans to reach them specifically. Boosted posts are included in this too and can be a quicker way to increase reach of a popular post that has good organic reach already.
4. Facebook Live Video and real-time engagement are going to continue to escalate in importance. Videos give you a way to share lots of content that keeps your fans engaged. Short, impactful videos tend to have higher engagement than posts that are just images or content alone.
5. And, of course, if you have employees, supporters, influencers, board members, and other partners, encourage them to seek out your page to like, share and comment on your posts. Don’t ask for the “like and share” in your Facebook post specifically (that is a no-no), but the more engagement your post receives, the higher up it rises in the news feeds of everyone.
Remember that whether you’re creating posts for Facebook, crafting a new article for your website or an email to send to your valuable subscribers, your message needs to be relevant to them and serve as a source of meaningful, useful information
If you’d like to get some help revising your content strategy or just some tips on how to continue to improve your social media marketing efforts, we’d be happy to talk with you. Or if you have a question – just email us – we’ll certainly take time to answer.