On January 11th, 2018 Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement on Facebook that sent the social media world, and businesses across the globe into a frenzy.
He stated that Facebook would be changing the news feed algorithm to prioritize content from “friends, family, and groups.”
However, what concerned the business world was the comment that as they roll out these changes “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Understandably, many business owners are concerned that their overall organic reach will decline and that they won’t have the ability to effectively reach their audiences.
Let’s break down what is happening and what is not.
What Is Not True About the Facebook’s Algorithm Update
While it’s true that many businesses most likely will see some form of a decline in their organic reach, it doesn’t mean that they should abandon Facebook altogether. Organic reach has been declining for many businesses for years but that is simply a byproduct of the fact that competition in the newsfeed has steadily increased over the years. There’s nothing new about this.
Facebook talked about this back in 2014 and the issue has only
gotten worse since then. “There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.”
Publishers and businesses will need to become more creative in creating engaging posts and focus on building communities around their brands. The mistake many businesses have made and are continuing to make is pushing stale content or content that is overly promotional to their fans. In an age where inventory space on Facebook is so competitive, where businesses are competing with new baby announcements and wedding photos, businesses who just simply put out content that is just promotional will not survive let alone thrive on Facebook.
Facebook has a general direction of how they will be moving forward but even they don’t know exactly how that’s going to look over the next few months or years.
So How Should We Respond? How Do We Fix This?
The answer is not to radically change your strategy (unless your strategy sucks) or utilize new gimmicks/algorithm-tricking tactics. Trying to trick the system is what prompted these changes in the first place.
More and more businesses are realizing the effectiveness of having an active Facebook profile and creating regular content. The problem for most businesses is that they are either not producing engaging content at all (they are just repurposing content from other media platforms and using it on Facebook) or they are creating click-bait headlines and content that is not engagement-worthy and is providing a worse user experience for Facebook users overall.
The best way to beat the algorithm is to join it. Ask yourself these questions, “What is the end goal for the algorithm? What is it trying to do?” Mark Zuckerberg has stated many times, along with many of the top officials at Facebook that their number one goal is to have Facebook “help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.”
So here are some ways to matter to your audience:
1. Tell an engaging, consistent story
Have you done a good job in telling your company’s story so that your audience wants to see more posts from your company? Are you sharing stories in an authentic, engaging way that matters to them? Are you just posting for posting’s sake? Go back through your company’s Facebook posts and see which one resonated with your audience and find ways to continue to tell those stories.
The number one rule of creating any kind of social media following applies here… diversify! Make sure you have a following on various platforms that make sense to your business i.e. email, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat. Don’t try to be all things to all people but focus on the two to three channels that you feel will be the most beneficial to your business.
3. Create a Facebook Group
Business pages would be wise to start Facebook groups as groups have high visibility in the newsfeed and notifications. Again, the focus is on the user and when you create a Facebook group make sure you are creating a group that people will want to join and one that adds value to the members within the group.
4. Visually interact with your audience
When trying to engage with your audience, find mediums that will best accomplish your overall goal. For example, if you are wanting to ask a question to your viewers, think about doing a Facebook Live or creating a graphical poll. Don’t just simply ask the question as a status update on your page.
5. Be timely
Timeliness when it comes to social media is important in engaging WITH your audience on topics that they are currently engaging in. By creating branded content that is timely, you can add value to your fans while having them interact with your business.
In short, while Facebook’s algorithm will be different in the coming months, it shouldn’t change the overall strategies that businesses have in utilizing Facebook. By focusing on your long-term goals and finding ways to matter to your customers, businesses can create engaging communities that add value to their customers while strengthening the company’s brand and image.
Need a hand with making social media matter to your customers? Contact us or call us to talk about what your current social media needs are. Located in Draper, Utah, Epic Marketing can help your business. (801)657-4383