The sky is falling. In other news Facebook is changing again.

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The sky is falling. In other news Facebook is changing again.

Facebook Algorithm Change What Alberta Businesses Can Do

“If you are getting all your information off algorithms being sent through a phone … it is just reinforcing whatever biases you have.” – President Barack Obama

Facebook followed through on what we’ve long-suspected they would – limit business page content on the News Feed, to show more from friends, family and groups.

Here is an excerpt from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post: “We’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

He continued to say, “by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.” 

Do Not Panic.

via GIPHY

What does this mean for businesses and brands who use Facebook? 

Not more. Just Better. Make sure you’re sharing good stuff. Before you do anything else, you need to evaluate what’s currently happening on your business page. Look at your insights – what do people engage in the most? What do they ignore? Instead of putting out more content, put out better content. Be invaluable.

Test. And Test More. We talk about testing a lot because the same tactics don’t work forever. Through testing, you’ll learn what works best for your unique following. Do they like to follow links? Do they watch video? Do they like being asked questions?

Stop Being Lazy. The online world is saturated and it’s challenging to make a mark. While it may be easy to regurgitate what’s been done before, cut your own path. Set aside time each week (you only need 30-60 minutes) to brainstorm new content ideas. If you can’t commit to that, try it out once per month.

Don’t Ignore Comments. Comments are the golden ticket. Comments may tell Facebook that you’re bringing value and meaning to an interaction. Do you know how much effort it takes to get people to comment online these days? Back in 2014 the average person had around 1500 possible stories on the news feed, which got boiled down to around 300 per day. Imagine was it is now!

Create A Real Community. Don’t make it all about you. Encourage your people to talk to one another in the comments. This happens often during LIVE shows – people get familiar with one-another and soon enough, they’re carrying on their own conversations – you can help keep it going!

Enable See First Feature. Make sure you’ve enabled the ‘See First’ feature and notifications feature for pages you want to continue to see. In case you missed it, a couple years ago Facebook gave you the opportunity to choose what you see first in your news feed. Also – make sure to remind people who follow your page to do the same (if they wish, of course!)

Be Visible. Be Valuable. Be Vertical. The only way you can continue to stay out in front is to be visible, valuable and vertical. That means you need to create visibility for your business (organic, paid, rented, collaborative); you need to continue offering valuable stuff and you to be vertical means knowing how your people visit you (e.g.: mobile) and make the experience a good one for them!

Should we be using our personal pages for business?

Excellent question. Using your personal page for business is technically frowned upon by Facebook. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with talking about what’s happening in your business, while also tagging the business. This is also where company brand ambassadors come in handy. (*Don’t share every single post.)

Do I need to start running Facebook Ads?

If you’re serious about using social media for your business, you should have an integrated approach of paid, earned and owned regardless of algorithm changes. However, ads won’t save your bacon if you don’t understand the essentials when it comes to building community and personal connections.

Also worth noting is the fact that Facebook only has so much ad inventory (e.g.: only so many eyes the ads can be served up to.) With people theoretically spending less time on Facebook due to this change, there will be fewer opportunities to get in front of them. Two things to watch will be the cost of your ads based on the business objectives and the availability.

This is an opportunity to review your business goals for social media, make changes where necessary and allocate resources appropriately.

But I’m a small business! 

If you’re a small, local business you may be at an advantage. When you read through Mark’s post, he is very clear that the purpose is a focus on positivity and meaningful interactions. If you’re a small business who has been working hard to connect with your audience, chances are you’re going to be better off than the bigger brands who completely ignore their audience (e.g.: don’t respond to comments, don’t engage and just broadcast.)

Should I just start a Facebook group? 

Starting a group and keeping the momentum going requires work – so if you’re looking for shortcuts, that ain’t one of them. Also, keep in mind that with the growing popularity of groups Facebook probably won’t turn its back on the opportunity to monetize.

Is Organic Reach Dead?

No. But it has definitely seen a major decline in the last several years. Remember, it all goes back to community, relationships and value. We want to spend our time with people in places that matter to us – make your Facebook Business Page matter!

 

If you’re wondering what to do next and need some help, give me a buzz!

 

Other Blogs:

Get Started With Social Media Management
What is a social media competitive analysis and why does my small business need one?
How should businesses create a plan for social media and how will they track their success?
Social media training: where to start

Do you need help with social media? Give me a buzz!  🙂

 

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data and insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.