Unless it becomes obsolete or shuts down, any platform or marketing can work. It’s all about your perspective, strategy, and how you use it. There are still billions of daily users (all hours of the day) on Facebook. Where there are people, there’s opportunity to find customers and drive traffic to your business (service, product, program, storefront, etc.).
Here are some of the recent Facebook algorithm changes from late 2017 – early 2018:
- Decreased visibility of content from business pages in the newsfeed:
- “Because space in the 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.” – Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed
- Demotion of “engagement-bait” posts
- Posts that attempt to spark engagement by saying something like the following: “like this,” “share this,” “vote,” “comment,” “click like,” etc.
- Decreased visibility of content from business pages in the newsfeed:
With the algorithm changes, Facebook goes on to say they want to prioritize content from friends and family – their reasoning as to why reach, video watch time and referral traffic from business pages may decrease.
Who is Facebook to tell us what we want to see and hear? Have you seen some of the content from friends and family?
It’s wonderful to connect with friends and family but sometimes (many times) it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and I’d rather not see some of the items they’re posting.
Not sure if you knew this, but Facebook changes constantly (right under our noses) and has changed their algorithm many times over the years and I’d be willing to bet they’ll continue to do so.
So how can businesses continue to benefit from Facebook?
Here are 8 ways to beat Facebook at their own game:
1. Use multiple marketing methods.
This one should be a no brainer. Never put all your eggs in one basket when marketing your business. When you have multiple marketing methods, you’re not at the mercy of Facebook’s ever evolving changes (or any other social media platform). I have used Facebook for years and will continue to use it (at least for now), but I use multiple social media platforms and other online and offline sources to market my business. This continues to expand my visibility and reach and keeps my business from being paralyzed by using platforms I have no control over.
2. Engage with people and pages on Facebook.
Newsfeed visibility for business pages has been decreasing over time well before this big announcement. Take some time each day or a few times a week to visit other relevant Facebook pages (clients, referral partners, friends, products and services you like and use, etc.). Share, like and comment on posts that speak to you. The more you (authentically) give, you’ll start to organically receive. Check your own page for comments and messages and try to respond to them as quickly as possible.
Post what’s doing well and less of what’s not doing so well. Take a look at your Facebook insights (or your social media scheduler analytics – eClincher, Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.) and do your own assessment to find posts that had high organic (non-paid) reach and engagement. It makes sense to post the content that your audience has expressed interest in. Pages that have been posting loads of invaluable content to their audience (those who haven’t been doing well all along with the business page) could be the ones who see the greatest impact, but we’ll see!
I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure (Ha!) that Facebook wants you to pay to maximize the platform as a business. Even if you have a small budget, you can invest in Facebook ads or boost a few posts from your page each month to your current fans or a specific audience to drive traffic on or off Facebook.
5. Encourage current and new Facebook fans to follow your page.
Any time you post to your page, only a small percentage of your fans will see a given post (the majority of the time). This change took effect before the most recent over-haul of changes. Unless every person on your page thinks of you every time they log into Facebook, it’s hit or (mostly) miss as to whether they will see your content on a frequent basis.
Add a post once or twice a month showing fans how to follow your page as this isn’t a feature that stands out. Once they follow your page, they should get an update every time you post or at least hear from you more when you publish a post. Get creative and add these instructions to your email signature, your website, on hard copy marketing material, or any-where it makes sense! Here’s a short video on how to get fans to not only like but follow your page >>
6. Try different things.
Each Facebook business page is different along with the product, services, brand, and personality of the person or company running the page. What works for one page may not work for the next. Figure out what makes you unique and what captures your audience the most. If you find that there are types of content you’ve never done before, then give it a shot – Facebook live, text-only posts (short & long form), emojis, native video, link to your blog, different types of images (Facebook/Instagram style, Post-card style, Flyer style, etc.), animated images (Canva, Ripl app, Legend app), animated gifs, real-life/behind-the-scenes photos, etc. *If you’ve never posted a real life post, personal post or behind the scenes post, try it and see what happens. Sometimes the simplest human things can create organic engagement and reach without much effort at all.*
7. Tag people, companies, and pages in posts.
Always tag when the opportunity arises. By tagging others in your posts, they will get a notification that you mentioned or tagged them which increases the chances they will visit your page and even comment on the post.
Opportunities to tag:
- Event photos (conferences, workshops, networking & speaking events you attended)
- Curated content (content from other sources that you post to your page)
- Shared posts (post you share from other Facebook pages)
- Question (when you ask a relevant question to a specific person or group)
- Any other post you feel appropriate for the person or page you’re tagging
8. Invite your Facebook fans to join your email list.
One day Facebook could decide the fan page number is totally obsolete (more obsolete+ than what they already have) and remove it all together. The years you’ve invested into cultivating thousands of fans will have been flushed down the drain. Find ways to pull your fans off of Facebook by inviting them to join your email list, website/membership site, local club, etc. – Be vested in your own community outside of Facebook and you’ll never have to worry about what Facebook is doing.
If you’re someone who’s recently started with Facebook, don’t fret, give it a chance and follow some of the steps above to get the most out of your Facebook marketing efforts. Facebook hasn’t always been around, but the ability to market and make money has. There are real live people on Facebook and with some effort, you can still reach them.
I hope you were able to get some clarity on the new changes and a plan on how to move forward.
Are you using Facebook as a marketing tool for your business? If so, what do you think of the latest algorithm changes?
P.S. – If you’re still feeling frantic after reading this post, I’d love to do a social media audit on your Facebook business page. A social media audit will help you get clear on your goals and walk away with a plan for growth and improvement. Click the button below to learn more >>