Facebook’s latest algorithm change has struck fear in the hearts of marketers everywhere. While the social media giant is billing the rollout as a way to strengthen personal connections and make the time people spend on Facebook more meaningful, organizations that have used the network to engage with their target audience are concerned they will be cut off from the relationships they’ve worked so hard to build.
While the changes indicate that the old way of doing things is no longer going to cut it, they do not signal that it’s time to jump ship. Businesses are an important source of revenue for Facebook – which means that Facebook will continue to make itself indispensable to businesses.
At Albers, here are the things we are doing for our own Facebook feed, and recommending to our clients, to stay ahead of the curve.
- All content posted should be meaningful. In the past, the algorithm rewarded users who posted daily. This is still the case, but only if the content is meaningful and will get some engagement. Posting just for the sake of posting will probably cost you more than it helps.
- Don’t be shy about asking your audience to keep seeing you. Folks can choose to keep you in their news feed by selecting “See First” in their news feed preferences. It’s a good idea to remind them now, and periodically over time. They will probably be happy to do so (after all, if you’ve Liked a business in the first place, you probably want to see their content. Who are a bunch of coders in Menlo Park to say that you can’t?).
- Engagement is key. Likes are okay, but comments and shares are way better. And it’s important to always acknowledge and write back to any comments on your posts. One bit of good news to come out of all of this is that those engagement-baiting “Like if you agree, comment if you disagree,” type posts will all but disappear.
- Content should be about real people or shared experiences whenever possible. If you can tag individuals in your post, or post about a shared experience (e.g. a 10-second video of your office after a snowstorm that has impacted the whole town) you have a better chance of getting engagement.
- Encourage team members and friends of the company to engage with your page. Most people probably won’t engage with all of your company’s posts, but you can encourage them to Like and comment occasionally, and share positive company news in their own feed. (Of course, it’s important to have a social media policy in place to ensure everyone is representing your company in an appropriate light!).
- Pay to Play. There’s been no announcement that the algorithm changes are going to impact boosted or sponsored post, or ads, so it’s key to work these in to your social media budget.
- Utilize Facebook Live. Mark Zuckerberg has stated that live videos get six times as many interactions as regular videos on Facebook and that these videos will perform well under the new algorithm.
- Spend time in Facebook groups. Groups are all about engagement so they may be an even more effective way to get your message across than your page. Your organization can even start their own.
- Avoid third-party scheduling software. The almighty algorithm will not look favorably upon it. You can, however, use Facebook’s native scheduling software.
- Use multiple channels, but beware. If your social media strategy doesn’t include Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, etc., now may be the time to explore whether they’re a good complement to your Facebook efforts. Just know that as Facebook goes, so goes the rest of social media. These channels are also constantly changing their algorithms so it’s always important to keep up.
We know it’s a lot to absorb, but we honestly believe that the move away from a sheer numbers game and toward engagement will allow organizations that are able to effectively navigate the new system to develop better relationships than ever with their audiences. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help.