By now, you have heard about the sweeping changes coming to the Facebook algorithm. If you are not aware, on Thursday, January 10, Facebook announced changes to its algorithm to increase engagement by showing more content from friends and family members and less from publishers and businesses.
Translation: We can expect Facebook to almost completely stop showing posts from brands, news outlets, and businesses. While this seems extreme, it is actually a continuation of changes we have seen in recent years. The changes have already gone into effect. so what does it mean to you?
If you have a business page, these changes will reduce your page traffic and reach.
Ok, so that sounds pretty dire but the sky isn’t falling.It will be painful but you do have options. Essentially, in order for your content to be seen by your fans, you will need to be more human, more responsive, more interactive, and engaging. And yes, you will need to advertise. So how do you do all of that? Here are a few things to incorporate into your weekly Facebook routine:
- You, or someone you know, must share a post on your personal timeline – Facebook has always had a wall between content from people and content from business pages. They are simply making the wall taller. If you want your content to be shown on the other side of the wall, you may need to push it over with shares, not just likes.
- Your post must have “meaningful dialogue” in the comments. Post a question in the comments, and ask others to respond. Your objective is to get your audience to interact so ask for opinions and suggestions.
- Increase human interest stories and tag individuals within posts or encourage them to tag themselves. Take photos and share more slice of life, behind the scenes views of your business.
- Embrace video. This has been building for awhile. It is time to jump on the bandwagon. Content including live videos and original content videos that are less than 15 seconds will be given preferential treatment. So get over being camera shy. It is time for your close up. Live videos, don’t need to be perfect, they simply need to be genuine. And new tools allow you to create short videos using stock video.
- Pictures, pictures, pictures. Basically, posts without images will not be shown to followers. While original photography is best, invest in a few great stock images to add life to every post.
- Boost posts. It is time to face facts. The days of huge organic reach are over. Facebook is an advertising platform. You need to be prepared to advertise.
- Drive customers to your email newsletter. At the end of the day, you need to own your community. Facebook is a great way to reach new prospects, but then you need to drive them to your website and your email list so you can define the terms of your communication going forward.
The bottom line. The Facebook algorithm is going to change again and again. You need to stay informed and be ready to flex your marketing program to meet your objectives, not theirs.