The 2018 Facebook newsfeed updates prioritise news from friends and family at the expense of public content, and content from business pages and publishers. This could have the potential to ruin the success of your business page on Facebook. Unless you adapt and remember that being on social media is all about engaging and connecting with your audience, not just selling to them. I’ve done some research and have the lowdown on these changes and what you need to do to ensure continued marketing success.
2018 started with an astounding bang for many business owners with Facebook announcing some major changes to newsfeeds on January 11th. Read the full announcement here. As Facebook has evolved, the focus on people connecting and interacting has been lost to some extent. Newsfeed content includes more business pages and advertising, and users consume more ‘passive’ content rather than communicating with people they care about.
Social media analysts and commentators flew into panic mode and many called it ‘Facebook Zero,’ ‘Facebook Armageddon’ and ‘the end of Facebook for business’. Why? Because the changes included limiting the content shown in people’s news feed from business pages and restricting content delivery where there is limited authentic engagement from Facebook users. I’ve been digesting what a lot of thought leaders in the industry are saying. Here is an analysis of the changes and some suggestions on how to combat to ‘Facebook Zero’.
The 3 key changes:
Less public content will be shown (videos and posts from publishers and businesses)
Reach, video watch time and referral traffic from Pages will decrease
Posts will be ranked differently, giving priority to ‘posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.’
What does this mean for your business?
ENTERTAIN, ENGAGE & EDUCATE
- Don’t just sell your products and services.
- Be AUTHENTIC, go behind the scenes and tell stories about your business and its people.
- Create value with the 3E’s (entertain, engage and educate).
- Less is more. Quality over quantity.
- Reply, comment and ENGAGE with your audience.
YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY FOR ADVERTISING
- Less free reach on your posts mean you’ll need to pay for ads to reach your target market (if you haven't been doing this already).
- Drive traffic to your website from your ads.
- Targeted ad campaigns can be very successful if you correctly target your ideal customers.
- Utilise retargeting methods such as Facebook pixel to promote ads to people that visit your website.
- Facebook advertising is still extremely cost effective compared to other forms of advertising.
AVOID POSTING ENGAGEMENT BAIT
- Engagement bait is getting reactions from people by asking them to vote, like, share, comment and tag others.
- Posts from people and pages that do this will not be promoted by the Facebook algorithm.
- Facebook wants AUTHENTIC engagement so try to post meaningful content and you’ll get meaningful engagement.
GET FACEBOOK SAVVY
- Utilise Facebook tools to get more engagement and reach.
- Facebook Live – gets excellent engagement because it is timely.
- Messenger Bots - usage is increasing. Get on board!
- Facebook groups can be a great way to encourage conversations with your target market.
- ‘See First’ requests – ask your followers to click ‘See First’ so that they are delivered your posts in their news feed.
ADD MORE TOOLS TO YOUR TOOLBOX
- Consider your whole marketing strategy.
- Your website is your most important tool – give it some LOVE and ensure content and SEO are all up to date.
- Utilise other social media platforms.
- Google Adwords – be found where people are searching.
- Email marketing – nurture leads with the 3E’s.
- Offline marketing tactics are still relevant.
In my opinion, this is a wake-up call to all of us that use Facebook for business. Remember that being on social media is a way to engage with our followers, rather than simply sell to them. Business pages that already have good engagement and reach and have a loyal following are unlikely to be affected too much. This is likely because they are already doing a lot of the above suggestions.
Social media companies are in a league of their own and can change the rules at anytime. We are playing in Mark Zuckerberg’s sandbox here people!
- You don’t get FREE marketing anywhere else so let’s consider ourselves lucky that we could ride the Facebook business wave for free for so long.
- You can’t just rely on one marketing medium to promote your business. The best marketing strategies encompass a range of marketing tools.
- Adapt or die. Ok this is a bit grim, but the nature of social media is for it to evolve all the time and we have to adapt with it!
- And lastly, remember that the whole point of social media is to be SOCIAL.
So get to it people – be real, be authentic and be social 😊.