Facebook has recently changed their algorithm. Basically, your news feed will show more posts from friends, and fewer from business pages.
This is great for keeping up with the lives of your friends and family.
It may be horrible for your business. Since posts from Facebook business pages will be shown less often, and as a result of having quicker access to what friends post, Facebook also expects people to actually spend less time on their site, put both of these together and you can expect an even bigger, potentially negative, impact on how many people see posts from your Facebook business page.
Combine this with the fact that recently, you’re lucky if 2% of the people who have liked your Facebook business page would see an organic post, and you can quickly calculate what this may mean for your business.
Don’t think social media is very important for your business?
Don’t brush this change off as unimportant. If you have a website, and you use your website for promoting your business, generating interest, and even more so if you have an ecommerce component, this is news to pay attention to.
If you have a website, you want to be found when people search Google, which is exponentially the largest search engine around. Google’s search algorithm takes into account how many people visit your website from social media platforms (all of them, including Facebook), such as by visiting a link that you have posted. If less people are even seeing your posts from your business on Facebook, that means less people are visiting your website from Facebook, which will also have a negative impact on how you appear in a Google search.
There are a few easy ways to strengthen your Facebook now.
Having a solid plan for Facebook now is important, not just to counteract these current changes, but we’ve also read of some additional changes Facebook is testing in other countries for some users, including having posts from individuals you have friended in one tab, and posts (unpaid posts) from businesses in a completely separate tab. This would reduce your ability to be seen in your prospects’ feed to almost non-existant without spending advertising dollars. While this project may never be released for the global Facebook community, it’s just another reason why you want to develop a solid strategy for using Facebook for marketing in 2018.
Here are the strategies that work best:
It just makes sense. Let’s look at easy, round numbers.
Assume you have 100 people who have liked your Facebook business page. And you make one post this week.
With the way Facebook currently works, you could expect 2 people to see this post (there are additional ways to bump this number, but this is assuming it’s just a regular post, nothing exciting or viral, and you haven’t enacted any additional strategies).
If Facebook is showing posts from friends more, you could expect that number to drop. To one. Or maybe zero.
So this week, you have between zero and two people seeing your post.
Now, bump your posting frequency to daily. This week you have seven posts. Potentially, each post could be seen by 2 different people each time, which would increase your potential reach to 14 people.
Plus, there is the concept that it takes 11 times for a prospect to see your message before they remember your name. Increasing your posting consistency can also help with this psychology. If you’re posting once per week, it could take 11 weeks for someone to remember you. If you’re posting once per day, it could take 11 days.
Consistency is a long-term strategy that is important to your social media marketing.
But even consistency doesn’t have to be time consuming. You can check out our Social Media Guru program for a simple solution.
You don’t have to make new content each time
Curating or re-sharing your content can be a great way to increase the amount of content you have on your business page.
Choosing some of your best content that some prospects have already responded to, and reposting that content can be a great way to stretch the number of posts you get out of each individual piece. This can be easy to do with a few platforms out there such as Buffer, HootSuite, or MeetEdgar. It can even be done easily on a WordPress site with some plugins.
You can also share other people’s content. This keeps informative content in front of your prospects, and can help keep your page filled with valuable content. Just be sure that this isn’t your only strategy, as you want to make sure you are including links to your own website content.
Use best practices for your content
The length of text in your post can make a difference.
Whether or not you use an image can make a difference in the reach of your content.
Choosing which day or time to post, based upon your own viewers, can make a difference.
Whether or not you have a call to action on the post can make a difference.
Having a link in the post can make a difference (especially with links to your own website, since this can tie into SEO).
All of these tactics can increase the likes and shares on your post, which will increase the likelihood that Facebook shows it to more people.
Another strategy I often recommend is making sure you share posts from your Facebook business page to your personal timeline (and not the other way around). This automatically gives you one share, which will also increase the chances of the post being seen by others, and puts it on your personal timeline, and with Facebook’s newest algorithm will also put this personal post in your friends’ newsfeed. Just make sure that your personal timeline isn’t only “sales” messages.
Video has a great response on Facebook, so you want to add videos to your strategy. You don’t need professional, polished, costly or viral videos – you just need great information.
Plan your strategy to add videos. There are a couple of ways you can add video to your marketing strategy relatively easily.
One way is to plan a whole series of videos to showcase your products or services, and we have an easy 6-step process to help you make your plan.
Another way is to curate your existing content, whether that is blog posts or social media posts. You can take past content, and repurpose it in a new way, such as taking a blog post you have written and present the information in a video.
If you’re scared of video, don’t be. You don’t always have to be on camera. Explainer videos, whiteboard videos, animated videos can all work.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth several thousand.
Choose your page type well when it’s initially set up
Facebook Groups have their posts seen more regularly than pages. But groups aren’t always the best option. They are good if you don’t need full control over the page. And if you don’t worry want to worry about insights or learning how your prospects are interacting with your page. Plus, posts on groups cannot be boosted and have the possibility of reaching people who are not connected to your page.
Facebook Groups are great when you want to do an information exchange and encourage your prospects to be interacting with one another, but not as much just strictly for your business. It can be a good strategy to use a group in conjunction with your Facebook business page (not in place of it) in some circumstances.
Add marketing on a social media account on a different platform
You want to make sure you only add something new that you can manage. And which one you choose to add can be affected by many factors. For example, Instagram traditionally isn’t directly related to sales, but can be perfect to increase awareness, especially visually. LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing, and these posts actually generate better interaction as text only, without images.
I have a brief training that can help you strategize what and how to add a new social media account. The 3 by 3 Marketing Matrix is a quick and easy way to prioritize when you expand your marketing efforts.
Choose a complementary strategy
One of the most effective strategies I am seeing clients implement right now is Facebook Messenger Chat Bots. While these updated algorithms may impact the posts that are being seen from your Facebook page, messenger chats are not. At least, not at this time.
These chat bots provide a few very basic benefits, including providing an immediate response to your client or prospect (and clients often think you personally responded, even when it is clearly marked that it is an automated chat bot). It helps the clients feel like they are immediately assisted. It can help you collect some required information that will allow you to have great topics for conversation when you are able to respond personally. It can provide basic information or answers to FAQs. It can automate recurring information, such as sharing your latest blog post (in a spot where your prospects are more likely to see it).
They can even get MUCH more complicated. I’ve drafted a mini course inside of my own to give you a quick idea of possibilities – check out my mini social media 101 training inside Facebook Messenger. It’s still a work in progress, but was designed to let you see it in action.
We can help you set up your messenger chat bots for a low cost – hop on a free marketing strategy call for more information. And in most cases, we can make it happen with no monthly fee. This service is also available through our new Guru Marketing Solutions platform which will be announced this Spring.
What you don’t want to do
Some Facebook users attempt to navigate around having a Facebook business page by making a second “personal” profile for their business (setting it up like an individual profile) rather than using a business page.
This is actually against Facebook’s terms of service, and if they find out they will remove that business account that is pretending to be an individual. When this happens, you will lose everything that you have built, possibly without warning.
I would assume that Facebook is concerned that more people will be taking this tactic, which also means they will more likely be more closely monitoring these accounts and taking action when they are found.
What are your concerns with Facebook’s new algorithm?
Add your comments or questions below.
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Vicky is the CEO and Chief Creative Strategist of Vicky Wu Marketing. She draws from 30 years of experience at the CMO level, the CEO level, marketing for Fortune 500 companies and multi-million and multi-billion-dollar organizations, PLUS strategies learned helping startups and nonprofits with limited budgets … now focusing on providing SMBs with effective and efficient marketing strategies – giving them access to the same level of expertise as the really big guys with deep pockets, that they may not otherwise be able to access.