At the beginning of the year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly announced that Facebook would be making big changes throughout 2018. The overarching goal is to make Facebook more about personal, meaningful interactions between people. While this is a worthy goal, it does pose significant challenges for anyone using the platform for marketing. It also makes it harder for loyal fans to see updates from their favorite brands. Zuckerberg stated, “As we roll this out, 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.”
In addition, Facebook has rolled out a new insights page where the calculation of organic reach is redefined. As a result, business pages will likely see a drop in organic reach. Organic reach previously reported by how many times a post was placed in a News Feed, regardless of whether it entered the user’s screen or not. Moving forward, organic reach will be measured the same way as reach in ads, only counting once it enters the user’s screen.
What does Facebook’s algorithm change mean for businesses? Organic reach for pages will likely continue dropping. On the bright side, if you continue to create high-quality, strategic content and keep up with the platform’s latest trends, your business can still be effective on Facebook. Here are 6 tactics to survive Facebook’s recent algorithm changes.
1) Utilize Paid Advertising
With organic reach continuing to drop, paying for Facebook promotion and boosting posts can be effective. Facebook is regularly working to improve their targeting methods for advertisers, which allows you to reach your target audience, even if your posts aren’t showing up organically in News Feeds.
Not everyone can run ads on Facebook, though, as many marketers in the outdoor and shooting sports industry have realized when trying to promote products or services associated with firearms, ammunition and components. The good news is it’s not a lost cause. There are still ways to effectively, organically reach your audience (Tactics 2 through 6 below).
2) Create Valuable and Engaging Content
Creating valuable content is always the goal, but it’s becoming even more important as a way to build reach, engagement and followers. As you plan your content calendar, keep your target market at the top of your mind and consider why they follow you and what you think they want to get from your page. Focus on providing value to your followers. Valuable content can be achieved through humor, topics of shared interest, helpful information and resources, and thought provocation. These elements presented creatively in a visually-appealing way can build engagement amongst your followers, increase shares and extend your reach.
3) Run Promotions
How about content with literal value? People love free things, and your Facebook fans are no exception. Hosting giveaways, contests and sweepstakes are a great way to drum up excitement and get people talking about your brand, and sharing your content. Running Facebook promotions regularly will encourage fans to keep coming back to your page to check for the next giveaway.
Consider collaborating with brands with products or services complimentary to yours to build a larger prize and have more impact. Your giveaway package will be more desirable, engaging and shareable and you can also reach more people when your partners share the contest on their pages. Also consider adding philanthropic elements to further entice users and followers to share your promotion and be helpful to a cause that aligns with your company’s and your followers’ core values.
4) Build a Strong Community
Facebook is taking steps to further prioritize posts with genuine interaction. Making posts that facilitate building a dedicated group of fans can allow your Facebook page and business to prosper. Think about posts that start conversations and encourage interaction with your fans.
You can take this community approach even further by creating a group for your page. In the new algorithm, groups will be given more priority in feeds. Facebook has given pages the ability to make and administer their own groups. However, it’s best to make sure this isn’t just a carbon copy of your page. Use your group as a way to encourage posts from members and give them a space to ask questions and share feedback. It should be a living, breathing community, not just a sales pitch.
5) Form One-on-One Interactions
One-on-one interaction through social media is on the rise, and it can be a valuable customer service tool. Consider ways you can encourage fans to message your company through Facebook’s Messenger to improve their customer service experience. When companies respond to Facebook users quickly and professionally, these one-on-one interactions build trust and a personal connection with your brand.
If you’re utilizing paid ads, Facebook now allows ads to run on the Messenger home page. You can also create Facebook ads that users can click to message you directly. In addition, you can run sponsored messages targeted to people who have had conversations with your brand through Messenger before. These ads can be effective in nurturing connections with users and your brand.
6) Produce Video and Go Live
When it comes to social media marketing, video has been continually topping the charts and it won’t be going away anytime soon. Facebook’s algorithm highly prioritizes video. Even better, live video, which can be produced very cost effectively and has proven to get very high engagement. On-the-spot, interactive live videos give your followers an inside-look into your company and brand, allow you to communicate your brand personality and tell your story, and can be a great type of engaging content that performs well.
If you can consistently post content that drives engagement, builds a strong community behind your brand, and facilitates real interaction, you can master the new Facebook algorithm, build your brand, drive growth and deliver a return on your investment.