Facebook recently announced changes to its news feed algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family, especially those with high engagement. As a result, small businesses are worried about how they will continue to stand out and connect with prospects on Facebook if their posts reach an even smaller percentage of their followers than before.
In a press release, Adam Mosseri of Facebook explains, “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.”
How can you then ensure your content is engaging? I’ve outlined some steps you can take to put your best foot forward in your Facebook business posts.
Use Facebook Live (and make them long)
For many of us, jumping on Facebook Live means stepping out of our comfort zones. My best advice is to think of Live as a webinar. Or, if you have a more outgoing individual in your marketing team, put them in charge of being the face of your Facebook page.
In the past, videos that were only a few minutes long were OK to post on Facebook, and it was fair to expect that they would receive engagement. In 2018, however, Facebook recommends that videos be 10 minutes long. You can even stay Live for up to four hours. By staying live longer, you are creating more opportunities to capture the attention of your followers. And to boost engagement, try saying hello to new followers and asking for listeners to leave comments and ask questions. The more frequently you run these longer Facebook Lives, the more your followers will engage with your brand online.
Unfortunately, one way to increase your brand’s views online is to spend money on advertisements. Rather than just clicking to boost a post, we’ve seen lower costs and more engagement stem from utilizing Ads Manager. One of the benefits of this is the fact that you have more control over the target audience.
Additionally, now that you are running more frequent Facebook Lives, try boosting one that has already received decent engagement. If people are already liking what you are talking about, you can be fairly certain that the ad will provide engagement as well. As a bonus, within the ad, place a link back to your website or a call to action.
Focus on quality over quantity
By now you should be focusing on quality in all aspects of your digital marketing, but this is just a friendly reminder that you need to be conscientious about every piece of content you produce.
Engage with complementary businesses and influencers
Facebook’s goal is to create a community. We recommend emphasizing this in your own marketing strategy and reaching out to complementary businesses and influencers to help support one other. It’s the old, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” philosophy. We all want our content to be viewed by our followers, so take the time to comment, like and share content from other pages that your target market will enjoy. After you’ve done this a few times, reach out to the page owners and ask if they would feel comfortable doing the same for you and your business.
Consider a Facebook group
Now, I don’t recommend deleting your page and only having a Facebook group, but groups tend to have more engagement between members. Additionally, your members will receive better notifications when you post. I like to view groups more as forums, especially for B2B businesses. This is a place where you can provide software updates, answer questions and engage your prospects.
From the perspective of an average user on Facebook, these new changes may seem welcome. When you sign on, you will see top posts and not be bombarded with self-promotion from businesses. How do the changes to the news feed make you feel for your business?
(Article written by Caitlin McDonald)