Due to recent legal issues, Facebook has been hard at work transforming its business model to better suit its users. A major part of this transformation includes showing less organic business-related content in viewers’ newsfeeds. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated earlier this year that Facebook’s algorithm would change to prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content” while de-prioritizing videos, photos, and posts shared by businesses and media outlets.
When Facebook made these announcements, the world of social media marketing was divided. One half of social media marketers ran for their lives believing that the sky was falling. The other half stood calmly and confidently, believing that this would not be the end for their business on Facebook’s organic platform.
Now that some time has passed, a lot of businesses have experienced a decrease in their organic posts’ overall Reach—resulting in a drop in engagement and conversions. Some brands, however, are managing just fine thanks to their strong Facebook following and ingenuity. So the question is: how are they able to keep their reach, engagement, and conversions up even with all of Facebook’s new algorithm changes?
Here are our top five tips for keeping your business alive and well on Facebook:
1. Be Human
Much of the grief Facebook has received over the last couple of years is due to the amount of “fake news” and clickbait found on its platform. It has always been easy for ill-intentioned people to create accounts and post any content they wanted, as long as it followed the platforms “guidelines.” This resulted in Facebook users losing trust in the platform and its monitoring system.
Facebook now aims to switch things back to the good ol’ days, where everything in your news feed is there because you want it to be. You’ve probably seen a decrease in the amount of clickbait articles taking up space in your news feed. When we really consider it, these changes aren’t bad. They are being done to improve the user experience—and because Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want any more legal trouble.
With that said, one of the most important things you can do as a company on Facebook is to be human. Avoid the click bait titles and start a conversation with your audience. Talk to them as you would talk to a person face to face. Think before you share. Does the content you want to share apply to your following? Or, are you just sharing it because you need to check the box that you posted for the day? Treat the relationship you have with your following the same way you would treat friends and family. No one likes it when aunt Cathy talks about her thirteen cats on Thanksgiving. Don’t be Aunt Cathy.
Being human and treating your audience like normal human beings will encourage people to engage with your posts. The more engaging your posts are, the more likely Facebook is to show them in other people’s news feed.
2. Share content that asks to be engaged with
There’s a funny thing about posts that ask people questions; they generally receive a response. People like turning to social media to learn more about brands. When they see that there is a company that actually cares to hear their opinion on something, they perk up. Remember: social media is a walkie-talkie, not a megaphone.
Hubspot, the marketing automation platform, weighed in on the matter by saying, “Fewer people seeing your Page’s organic posts on Facebook means fewer clicks, comments, and shares. And having fewer of those interactions means fewer conversions, leads, and customers. But this is only the case if your content doesn’t attract comments and shares to begin with.” If your audience wasn’t very engaged to begin with, you might really have your work cut out for you. Hubspot suggests adding a reminder to “Please Like and share” at the end of your posts.
3. Build a loyal following
We have a client whose audience is so loyal to them that the Facebook changes have not decreased their Reach and Engagement at all. In fact, their numbers are even up since the end of last year. So, how do they do it? By creating a very loyal following that knows they can get real time updates on Facebook before anywhere else. Here’s what this client does often:
- Introduces new products and product demonstrations with Facebook Live videos
- Hosts Q&As with Facebook Live videos
- Runs contests/giveaways often—asking people to tag and share with their friends who might be interested in the contest as well
- Highlights their followers with spotlight posts
- Uses Facebook as a customer service tool—using the platform to answer questions and talk with customers through messenger and comments
4. Inform your followers that they can update their notification settings
Your followers can be sure to see your notifications by simply visiting your page, clicking the dropdown box next to “Following,” and selecting “See First.” The main issue with this solution is that the average Facebook user doesn’t know that this option exists. When writing and scheduling social content, attach a small paragraph to the end of every few posts and invite people to receive notifications from your page. Be sure to include a short list of instructions on how to do it.
5. Use live video
In a past blog post, we taught how to best utilize Facebook’s Live video feature. The truth is, video is currently the medium dominating all social media channels—with live video leading the charge. There is something very appealing about a live, unfiltered, unedited video for all to see. The idea of a live video is right in alignment with Facebook’s recent transformation—keeping things real. Though you’ll want your videos to be well rehearsed and planned out, there aren’t any redos or time for editing. They are as raw as it gets. Live video is a great opportunity to show your audience behind the scenes of your company, reveal a new product line, host Q&As, and so much more.
As a social media marketer, keeping your audience happy should always be your top priority. The truth is, as frustrating as some of the new Facebook algorithm changes may seem, they’re all for the betterment of the user experience. Facebook is essentially demanding that we, as social media marketers and businesses, keep the organic social posting, well, organic. No more clickbait titles or fake news. In this day and age, the company that is the most real on Facebook will come out on top.