Are you panicking about the recent Facebook changes? Are you wondering how this is going to affect your business?
In this article, we will take a look at the announcement in more detail, discuss how it MAY affect your business and how you can overcome the effects.
First of all, let’s break down the blog written by Andrew Mosseri, Head of News Feed at Facebook on 11th January.
What Do the Facebook Changes Mean For My Business?
“Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about. Mark outlined this in a post today.”
Basically, Facebook want to prioritise posts from family and friends. Going back to the roots shall we say. When Facebook was first launched it was all about connecting friends and family online. This is nothing surprising and taking into consideration the flack they have received over the last 2 years regarding Trump election scandals, fake news and health reports saying that mindlessly scrolling through posts is bad for your well-being, who can blame them?
Facebook have been warning that this is going to happen for a long time and we have seen organic reach dropping significantly over the last couple of years. The signs have been there for a long time that if you want to reach potential customers on Facebook, you need to ‘Pay To Play’ and why should this be any different to any other marketing activity?
“With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.”
Focus will be on people having meaningful conversations with other people, rather than one off comments to a page post. Again, nothing scary here. When you are marketing ethically, your focus should always be about giving great value content and invoking conversations.
Because space in 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.
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.
As I said previously, the average business page has only seen an organic reach of up to 1% in 2017 anyway so if they are not getting engagement its only another 1% maximum they would lose. If your business page is achieving much higher than this, it will be because you are successfully sparking conversation and therefore, your page is less likely to be affected from the changes.
Can people still see posts from the Pages they follow at the top of News Feed?
Yes. People who want to see more posts from Pages they follow can choose See First in News Feed Preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite Pages
This means you have the opportunity to ask followers to select this option on your page to ensure they continue to see your posts.
Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook
So, if you are getting interaction during or after a LIVE video broadcast on Facebook your content will reach a higher number of people. Again, this has been the way we have been recommending business owners to spend more time. Nothing new once again.
Using “engagement-bait” to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.
This was already announced in December that there was going to be a crackdown on ‘Engagement bait’ which is where businesses ask you to select the different reactions to select an option of images or like the post to be put in a draw for a free campervan. Again, this is not an ethical way to gain reach and, in my opinion, is a great move from Facebook.
When you break the message down, you quickly realise that this is not a huge shift for Facebook and is likely to have little impact on your business page. If you are not getting the reach at the moment, you still won’t. If you are, you won’t see much effect.
It merely means that you need to concentrate on putting the followers first and delivering good value content that sparks conversations, an ethical approach all businesses should be taking anyway.
Should I Stop Posting Using Facebook For My Business?
No! Facebook is still the largest of all the social media platforms and we all know that Social Media has become the modern Customer Service solution. This will still be the place that people check out your business, from the content you share to highlight your expertise, to the way you talk to your followers and the reviews that your customers leave.
Besides, Facebook has one of the best laser targeting demographics of any medium out there and you must have a business page to be able to take advantage of this with Facebook Ads. In addition, there is a huge focus on Facebook groups to build communities and you now have the option to create a group direct from your page, giving you added exposure in a more private chat area and let’s not forget the SEO benefits of an active Facebook page in the Google listings.
What Should I Do Now?
First of all, DON’T PANIC! I recommend still posting at least once a day with great value content but think more carefully about what you are posting. Ask questions and try to invoke conversations.
I also recommend creating a short intro video using screen share software which you can find free or with a free one-month trial. In the video you can welcome people to your page and show how they can set the news feed preferences to ‘See First’ to ensure they don’t miss your content.
Get your happy customers to post reviews on your business page so that when people are ‘checking you out’ they can see what a great service you provide.
When someone comments on your page RESPOND! It’s called social media for a reason, be social! I also recommend trying to answer as your personal profile than the page and see how this effects the ‘person to person’ connection. Who knows, this may work.
Use Facebook Ads to reach your ideal audience. You can start with a very small budget and reach your ideal audience much more cost effectively than other mediums. If you’re not sure if they are right for you, check out our blog ‘6 Reasons Why Facebook Ads Are The Smart Option’
Create a group from your page. Find a topic where you/your business can shine as an expert and help others. Want to join our Facebook group established to help ethical business owners with their marketing obstacles? Come join us here: Ethical Marketing for Business Owners.
Start taking a look into how you can use Messenger more effectively for your business. This is the next revolution of business use for Facebook and getting in early could be the jumpstart you are looking for on your competitors.
So that is my opinion about the recent Facebook changes. What are your thoughts? We would love to hear in the comments below.