Our Social Media Marketing Experts at WSI Ottawa wants to give you an overview of the latest news feed changes that have happened on Facebook, but most importantly share some tips on how you can conquer them.
On January 11th, Facebook said that it is making changes to its News Feed algorithm in an effort to make the site better for people’s “well-being”. In his statement, Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook “feels a responsibility to make sure their services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being, and when we use social media to connect with people we care about, we feel better about the time we spend on a social site.”
In a nutshell, the algorithm is being tweaked to prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. It will, as a result, prioritize posts from friends and family over public content from businesses or publishers. Although Zuckerberg said the changes will take time to roll out, users immediately start noticing they see fewer posts from publishers and businesses and more content from their friends and family
Why the algorithm update?
The change is intended to clean up the News Feed. Facebook wants to return to its original mission: to help people connect. In many ways, it’s similar to the way Google Panda and Google Penguin worked to clean up the search results. And we think in the long run, we’re going to find this latest update to be positive. Like Panda and Penguin, it’s going to force businesses to produce better content, and more importantly, engage with their fans and followers.
Facebook is a business, and if its users don’t enjoy the time they spend on the site, they’re going to go somewhere else. And if users aren’t on the platform, it’s not as enticing to advertisers. So, to protect its business, Facebook is making changes to provide a better user experience. Again, doesn’t this sound a lot like Google Panda and Penguin?
The Panda and Penguin updates from Google ushered in the era of content marketing. It was no longer enough to buy a bunch of links and write up a bit of crummy content. You had to have a strategy and provide content your audience was interested in, go deep into your content and help your users. Google rewarded sites that focused on content. And I think we’re going to see similar results on Facebook.
I know some have dubbed this update the “Facebook Apocalypse,” but that feels overly dramatic. Facebook hasn’t said they’ll stop showing your business page’s content. They’ve said they’re focusing on content that inspires meaningful conversations and engages users.
Facebook told us if you’re publishing content that’s getting no engagement, it’s not going to be shown and won’t work. Let’s face it — if you’re distributing content today that’s not getting any engagement, your strategy wasn’t working anyway. Readers, we’ve adjusted to Google Panda and Penguin, we can adjust to this!
Facebook is NOT blocking pages from the news feed altogether. No, headlines like the above are dumb.
This change has been in the works over the last year, Facebook is just more upfront about it happening. In fact, if you went back and took a look at your monthly organic traffic from Facebook over the last year, you may see that it has been already trending down. Equally you may see the same thing if you were to take a look at your Facebook post reach as well. Businesses across all industries have been seeing the same decline in metrics.
So now that we are all a little more aware of these change and the impact they are having, it’s time to relook what we are doing in Facebook.
So to help you out, we have put together 5 tips for conquering the Facebook’s News Feed changes, that I believe all businesses, big or small, local or global can look at implementing
#1– Encourage Customers to Follow Your Facebook Page and Turn on the “See First” Option
Regardless of what the news feed changes bring, you do not want to give up on a community you built. Continue to post and engage your active Facebook fans. Let them be your bridge to their networks. Just because your post reach may be impact a little bit, doesn’t mean you should abandon post altogether. It equally doesn’t mean you should give up on building your Facebook community either. In fact, with the news feed changes you want to work on building a even more loyal Facebook following. And that means asking your customers to first follow you and then ask them to select your page to be See First.
Another idea is to warn your followers of the changes and ask them to click the “see posts first in news feed” on your page, especially if they worry about missing something from you.
REFOCUS on community development and stop worrying about the big numbers. Get to know the locals, the people interacting with your page and develop a relationship with them, they could become your brand promoters and help you develop fans for you
#2- Continue Posting Engaging, Quality Content That Prompts Conversations WITHIN Facebook
Like we mentioned, you don’t want to stop posting on Facebook, but you do want to ensure that whatever you are posting is quality content that will engage with your followers an prompt them to start conversations around your post. Ask yourself: Are you helpful with your post content?
Focus on sparking conversations between users
- Try including questions in your posts, or write about timely, relevant topics that users are sure to have an opinion on and may share with their friends
Focus on sparking conversation within Facebook
- Instead of sharing a link to your video on YouTube, try uploading it directly to Facebook (or use FB Live)
Create specific niches as part of your content strategy
- Easier to find a “tribe” of people collectively obsessed about a certain topic when you have a narrowly defined focus to talk about
Bring your community closer together with Facebook groups
- Start participating in groups to build your own authority or start your own
As we’ve said before, link dropping is no longer going to cut it. Remember, Facebook likes to keep people on their platform, that’s why videos uploaded directly to Facebook show up more often than YouTube videos, and also why link shares usually get crazy low organic reach.
SO, think about what Facebook is asking for… they’re asking for you to start generating more discussion and conversation. AND they’d like for you to do that while keeping people on Facebook.
#3- Don’t Fall Into The “Engagement-Bait” Trap
Engagement needs to be authentic and not manufactured so stay away from “Engagement-bait” type posts. You’ve all seen them:
- The vote baiting – Having people vote using reactions, or by commenting or sharing will also be considered engagement bait posts. Facebook does not want you to bait people into voting using their reactions when the reaction doesn’t align with the voting subject (for example, the angry grilled cheese option) so don’t use them in your images.
- React baiting – Facebook Reactions were created for us as a way to portray how a post makes us feel but Facebook doesn’t want you to force people to comment with a specific reaction on a post. Keep the reactions out of your posts as Facebook wants people to use them as they were intended.
- Share baiting – Asking your friends and followers to share a post so they can win a contest or receive some type of reward is considered engagement baiting. It’s fine to ask your audience to share content that is related to your business and provides value to further educate others but do not include any sort of giveaway in your Call to Action.
- Tag baiting – Tagging is a Facebook feature that is meant to tag a person who is actually physically in the image/photo you are posting. It is not meant for tagging 47 of your friends on a post so that they can see it and comment. Asking people to tag their friends in the post message or in the comments is a big No-No. Facebook is including these types of posts as engagement bait because of the negative feedback collected from users that were tagged and in no way connected to the content of the post.
- Comment bating – Facebook says, “Asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis)” is engagement bait because it is spammy in nature. People often feel that you are only asking them to comment so that you can increase your visibility on Facebook without providing any value in return and the Facebook community does not care to be used simply for your business’ gain.
#4- Increase Your Facebook Ad Activities
Facebook isn’t just about posting content in your News Feed. Let’s not forget the fact that it also has a huge advertising platform built within it as well. Let’s be honest, Facebook isn’t looking to make these changes to make less money. On the contrary, they are looking to up the advertising spend that happens in the platform as marketers maximize their visibility and reach on the site.
So if you aren’t doing any form of Facebook advertising right now, consider it. There is still huge opportunity there – of the 60 million businesses with FB pages, only 4 million advertise! In comparison to other saturated ad channels like PPC, FB can still be quite cost effective, especially since it has remarketing elements built into it that allow you to retarget your audience based on whether they converted or not.
5-Target Your FB Ads Across the Buying Cycle
So it’s time for us all to go back to the basic marketing principles of taking customers through a purchase funnel – from awareness and consideration through to conversion and sale. Facebook has a wide range of tools available to make that journey work, including a good offering of campaign objectives to choose from that will help you focus your efforts on what you want to do.
Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service.
Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.
Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.
BONUS TIP: Don’t Overlook Instagram!
Instagram – second largest social media network in the world, also owned by Facebook – 150 million people watch Instagram stories (short-form 15 sec video content). Instagram is on fire! Industry experts haven’t seen another social site grow as fast with Marketers
Use Instagram as a photo blog
Share content with swipe ups
Take-overs on your account with other relevant influencers
Live stories, shoppable tags, multiple photos and videos in one post
Instagram is all about beautiful pictures and photography
85% of marketers are using visuals in their marketing
41% of marketers claim visuals are more important form of content, more than blogging (for the first time), video and podcasting.
- Show what you do in a visually way
- High quality pictures/videos that share your culture, how-to’s
- Try Instagram Stories
- Capture and share more raw, as it happens content
- Take customers behind-the-scene (#BTS)
- Show how your product is made, or brainstormed ideas
Encourage Customer to Follow Your Facebook Page and Turn on the “See First” Option
- Continue Posting Engaging, Quality Content That Prompts Conversations WITHIN Facebook
- Don’t Fall Into The “Engagement-bait” Trap
- Increase Your Facebook Ad Activities
- Get on board with VIDEO!
- BONUS – Don’t Overlook Instagram
If you feel your Facebook Marketing is not generating the return it should, contact us today, I promise, we can help!
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