Yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted about changes to the way your news feed will look in the near future. A blog post by Adam Mosseri, Head of Facebook News Feed, then followed that up explaining in a little more detail the upcoming changes.
Simply put, it's BAD NEWS for Facebook Business Pages.
It's a change marketers saw coming. I touched on this in a blog post back on June 25th.
So what's the bad news? If you have a business page, your content, which already is getting a low organic reach due to Facebook algorithms, is going to get an even lower priority in news feeds in the coming weeks.
Here's a quote from Mosseri:
Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed.
With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed.
And now his comments about how it will affect Business Pages:
Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.
I'm seeing a lot of marketers freaking out about the upcoming changes. Sure, it's not good news, but as businesses, there are a few ways we can combat this. The sky is not falling.
1) See First in News Feed - Tell your followers to click the See First in News Feed Preferences and they won't miss any posts from you. Here's a screenshot on how people can select that on your page:
2) Diversify - It's important to diversify your Social Media presence. If you don't have a Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., it's probably time to create that account.
3) Build your e-mail list - If you don't have an e-mail list, start. If you have an e-mail list, create content for your subscribers that's valuable. Build trust and loyalty. It will lead to conversions over time. If you have any questions about building e-mail lists, let me know.
4) There is always paid reach - I can't stress how effective (and cheap) Facebook ads are right now. It's time to build digital advertising into your budget as print advertising has become less effective (and expensive), while digital advertising remains relatively inexpensive. Did you know you can tell Facebook to target certain age ranges, genders, occupations, and locations for your ads?
5) Live video - If you read the blog post, it says that posts that have interaction between people will be favored on news feeds. Live video continues to produce good interaction between brand and consumer. But, with the update it will be important for the followers/consumers to interact together. Consider using live video on your page.
6) Do Not Use Engagement Bait - It specifically says this in the Facebook blog post:
Using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.
Be genuine. Post meaningful content.
7) Create a Group - Facebook Groups are becoming more popular. Depending on your brand or your niche, a Facebook Group may be something to consider. Facebook groups seem more personal and you can more get interaction from group members.
Content has always been important, and now it's even more important to build quality content. The bombshell announcement by Facebook yesterday will change the strategy of marketers. It's a change that we knew was eventually coming, but in my opinion there are always ways we can adapt. It's time to build relationships with your customers.
Hey, at least this time they warned us the changes are coming.