In January of 2018, Facebook announced yet another algorithm update that puts more of a focus on person to person interaction, not person to page interaction. In a nutshell, when you log onto your Facebook feed, you should see more of the content from your friends and family at the top of your feed as this is the type of content you’re more likely to interact with. For the end user, this is great. From a business standpoint, not so much. Here’s a short dive into how the Facebook algorithm changes have affected businesses so far, and how you can take action to ensure you still reach those most important to you.
Comments are Gold, But Don’t Ask for Them
Facebook’s new algorithm change really puts the focus on active engagement over passive engagement. Active engagement can be defined by the actions that you go out of your way to take – such as commenting, liking, and sharing. On the other hand, passive engagements can be defined by the actions you take without putting much thought into, such as stopping to watch a few seconds of a video or clicking on a post to see more. The more active engagement you can get on your posts, the more likely your posts will be shown in your followers’ news feeds.
The jackpot of all the forms of engagement you can get is a comment. Back in the day, comments were easy to get – simply ask your followers a question and ask them to put their answers in the comments below. However, with Facebook’s new algorithm changes, asking your followers to like and comment will actually hurt your reach, not improve it. Facebook is looking for true engagement, not manufactured. So make sure you’re writing engaging posts that entice people to share their opinion without directly asking them to.
Quality Over Quantity
You don’t need to look back too far in the “best practices” guides to find notes about the importance of posting frequently to your Facebook page. Over the years, this seemed to become an even more important strategy for businesses as post reach continued to decline. With the smaller reach, you’d need to post more often to get your content in front of the same number of eyes. However, with the new Facebook timeline updates, you should really be focusing your attention on the quality of your content, not the quantity.
Gone are the days of posting just to post. When you log onto your business page, make sure you have something interesting to share. Not only should the topic be interesting, but how you post it should also be. Have 10 minutes to do a fun live video? Great! Do it. Have a few minutes to create a custom share image that will grab attention better than a stock photo? Why wouldn’t you make one? By taking the few extra minutes to create engaging content, you will ensure you’re doing everything you can to get people to engage with you and keep your page’s reach up.
It’s Time to Open Your Purse Strings
At the end of the day, even with hard work, determination, and following all the best practices out there, you just might not be able to get your followers to engage with you enough to keep your organic reach up. Hey, not everyone is the Buzzfeed in their industry, and that’s ok. However, if you know your potential customers are on Facebook, it’s time to open your wallet and put a little money behind Facebook ads.
Utilizing Facebook ads allows you a relatively cheap way to get in front of potential customers on their newsfeeds, even without them following you. Depending on your product or service, you can target broad, large audiences or narrow, highly targeted audiences. With Facebook ads, you can get your content seen by exactly the people you want without having to struggle with Facebook’s new algorithm woes.
As Facebook’s new “people first” policy continues to decrease business pages’ organic reach, businesses will need to start being very strategic with the quality and type of content they’re sharing in order to generate the greatest amount of active engagement. This, coupled with a solid Facebook ad plan can help you get past the new hurdles business pages face in the new people-first Facebook landscape.
With a passion for helping, both consumers and businesses, I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to create engaging social posts and interactions that start a prospect on their inbound journey. As the Inbound Social Lead, I utilize my social media and interpersonal skills to develop and nurture one-on-one relationships between a business and their customers. When I'm not at the office, I enjoy spending time outdoors (fishing and floating on a tube are my favorite) or crafting on my kitchen table.