What Marketers Need to Do About Facebook’s New Changes

January 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

(AP Photo/Manu Fernadez)

Facebook announced significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will make it harder for pages to be seen in news feeds. Translation:  Organic reach will drop.

How low is it already? Currently Digiday reports organic reach for Facebook pages with fewer than 10,000 fans has hovered around 10 percent for some time.  That means that for every 700 people who liked a business page, for example, roughly 70 people would see a post in their news feeds organically without the company having to pay for the post to appear. The latest change drags that reach down to virtually zero, bringing it more in line with what larger brands have contended with for years.

So what are marketers to do?  Here are some suggestions from my Women in Digital peers, media experts and even Facebook.

Advertise.  Of course.  Currently only about 4% of businesses on Facebook advertise. That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?  But Facebook is still currently a low cost alternative to other forms of advertising.  Use Facebook advertising for awareness and promotions.

Get users to mark you as ‘see first’.  Okay, this is a bit of a stretch and a type of double opt-in but if you can get users to do it, it will help your content appear in their news feed.  Ask your users to choose See First in their news feed preferences to make sure they will see your posts.
Create better content that invokes engagement.  Facebook’s change effectively means that posts that receive more comments carry more weight than ever, reducing likes and shares to vanity metrics.  So the quality of content and ways to create conversation become important.  When explaining these changes, Social Media Examiner asked for people to comment on their post so more people would see it.  And it seems that long comments are more important than a short comment.
Use Facebook Live more.  Videos usually elicit comments, so creating weekly Facebook Live events will help.  Facebook said Live videos are totaling six times the interactions of non-Live videos. Episodic videos will help as well.  Think storytelling for your brand.
Set up a Group.  Facebook groups usually inspire lots of meaningful content.  Is there a way to create a group around your product?
Start using Instagram more, and/or use influencers.  For the present, Instagram and influencers may offer an assist for brands.  Influencers are not currently penalized as businesses and may be a window of opportunity.  It’s time to experiment with other social sites.
“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his post about the changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

 

 

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