How Changes To Facebook's Newsfeed Algorithm Can Impact Small Business Pages (And What You Can Do About It)
When Facebook hands you lemons, make lemonade!
When Facebook hands you lemons, make lemonade! On January 11, Mark Zuckerberg announced some pretty big changes to the Facebook news feed algorithm. The changes will prioritize content from FRIENDS, FAMILY, and GROUPS. According to Zuckerberg, “you’ll see LESS public content from BUSINESSES, BRANDS, and MEDIA.”
So what does this mean for us small businesses? Unfortunately organic reach is likely to decrease even more. Yikes! This is frightening considering how organic reach has plummeted over the past six years.
According to a study performed by Edgerank Checker, organic reach for the average Facebook Page dropped from 16% to 6.5% between February 2012 and March 2014. (Source: HubSpot Blog)
In real numbers, this means that if your business page has 1,000 fans, you can expect only 65 of them to see your posts. Double yikes!
So back to the 2018 updates to the news feed algorithm. What can a small business do to keep their Facebook Page alive?
In Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement, he warned that “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution.” On the flip-side, “Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
Again, when Facebook hands you lemons, make lemonade!
Now’s the time to start squeezing those lemons and get creative. Here are a few tips for enhancing your 2018 Facebook strategy in order to stay in front of your fans and followers.
1. Remain active and relevant.
Plan your Facebook posts in advance and be methodical. (Pro tip: putting together an actual social media calendar can be especially helpful in planning out your posts.) The content you post should be relevant to your business and engage your fans. Ask yourself this question each time before you hit Publish: “Will this post get my fans talking and/or reacting?” If the answer is no, then either toss it or tweak it to make it engaging.
Some additional food for thought … According to Buzzsumo, “Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.” (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
Videos are also a great way to boost engagement so put them to work for your business page!
2. Encourage your customers to select the See First option.
The Following tab on a Facebook Business Page allows a user to manage their viewing preferences for posts made by that page. By selecting See First, a follower of your page can elect to have your posts appear first in their newsfeed. This setting will override the Facebook algorithm and prioritize your content. (Source: Katie Wagner Social Media)
If you’re constantly posting valuable content, your followers will most likely want to filter out the noise and get your posts to the top of their feed. So don’t be shy about encouraging them to do so.
3. Participate in the conversation.
After you post content that’s engaging and sparking conversation, be sure to follow along and comment on what your fans are saying. Mention them in replies and keep the dialogue flowing. This will show your fans you’re paying attention to them and can potentially ignite even more comments and reactions to the post.
4. Use the Facebook Ad Manager to your advantage.
The truth is, organic reach just isn’t cutting it anymore. So if you want to add fuel to your Facebook marketing efforts, you will have to spend a little money.
Here at LMG, we advocate for the Inbound Marketing Methodology. That’s why we’re proponents of the Facebook Ad Manager. When you simply boost a Facebook post from your page, you have zero control over who it ends up in front of. However, by taking the time to prepare an ad using Facebook’s Ad Manager (and optionally boost that ad from the Ad Manager), you have much “more control over who sees your ad and the cost effectiveness of your spend.” (Source: HubSpot)
With the Ad Manager, you can:
Choose a specific goal of the ad such as clicks to your website, offer claims, website conversions, page likes, etc.
Include a call-to-action button
Target a very specific audience using demographics like location, age, gender, interests, etc.
The list goes on. The infographic here was put together by Reload Media and does an awesome job of explaining the differences between boosting content directly from your page vs. using the Ad Manager.
5. Stop being camera shy.
Does the thought of going Live on Facebook completely terrify you? Please … we beg you ... try to overcome this fear! According to Facebook data compiled by MediaKix, “Facebook Live Videos are watched 3x longer than videos that aren’t live anymore.” And going back to that whole importance of user engagement thing … “users comment on Facebook Live Videos at 10x the rate of regular videos.
Judging by what Mark Zuckerberg said in his recent announcement, it’s pretty safe to assume Live Videos will perform very well under the new algorithm.
6. Start a Facebook Group.
A recent blog post by Moz highlights the value of the Facebook Group:
“Facebook pages and personal posts rely completely on the newsfeed algorithm for organic exposure. Facebook Groups send users a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, thus driving traffic to each post. Facebook gives users the option to silence these notifications. However, if your Group consistently adds value, they won’t.”
We recently started a Facebook Group called Little Marketing Ladies. It’s sole purpose is to connect fellow women in business. And from what we’ve seen so far, posts we make to the Group Page are seeing more activity than those same posts on our Business Page. We’re going to continue experimenting with our new Group and hopefully publish a blog post on our findings once we’ve collected enough data.
For some really good information on Facebook Groups and how to start one, check out Moz’s article: How [and Why] to Build a Booming Facebook Group.
Facebook will always be making changes to the way they operate. So it’s our job to stay informed and, if needed, make changes to the way we operate on social media. Don’t look at this algorithm change as a frustration but rather as a new opportunity for your business to shine on social!
Thanks for reading! :)