If you are a business who uses Facebook to promote your products or services, you may have heard about a recent change that Facebook is going to implement to its news feed. If you haven’t heard about the change let me get you caught up. On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg released this statement:
One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
It’s easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there’s more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what’s in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do — help us connect with each other.
Zuckerberg also stated:
As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media, and the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.
So what does this all mean? Well, Facebook is going to change its News Feed algorithm to include more posts from your friends and family than from businesses that are advertising their wares. Smaller businesses that don’t have large advertising budgets will get hit the hardest because Facebook will give the limited space reserved for advertising to the big hitters. Which means, as a business, you’re going to have to do things a little differently to get noticed on Facebook. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Not really. Ultimately these changes can be very positive for both your business and your customers if you follow a few rules when creating your content.
Create Better Content
One of the best things that we all can get out of this change is the need to create better content. Many have grown lax in their postings, settling for throwing just anything out there on the social media platform to ‘have a presence’ and regular postings. While technically that really doesn’t work to begin with, it most definitely won’t work once the Facebook changes kick in. Content is not King! Great content is King!
The Facebook changes mean several things are going to happen, the first of which is that only the most engaging content will make it to your followers’ news feed. Pages with posts that get very few comments, likes, and shares will mostly likely go unseen. Facebook’s new algorithm is looking for how engaging and well-liked posts are. Therefore it is of utmost importance that your posts make your audience react positively by commenting, liking, and sharing.
- Create meaningful content: Meaningful content is engaging content. This is the type of content that offers your followers information, solutions, and advice that they really need and want. This is the type of content that your followers are craving and it’s up to you more than ever now to deliver it to them. Businesses that do not create meaningful content will be left wondering why their Facebook engagement is so low. People are going to be spending less time on Facebook, according to Zuckerberg, so it is up to you to grab their attention with the content that they really want and you have to do it in less time.
- Create high quality content: This one goes hand in hand with meaningful content. Not only does your content need to offer your followers information, solutions, and advice that they want, it also has to make sure that information speaks of quality. Sure, you could throw a few tips up on your Facebook page that people have been asking for but if you do it in a way that looks and sounds unprofessional they just are not going to believe that you are the expert they should be listening to. Remember, they are spending less time on Facebook so they are going to be more discerning about what content they consume. Make them thirst and hunger for your content. Show them what quality and professionalism looks like every time you post.
- Add value: Make sure the content you are putting out on Facebook adds value to your followers lives. Make sure that after they consume your information, solutions, and advice that they walk away with some actionable items that they can use right now. Solve one of their problems for them, give them advice and solutions that they can immediately use. This is how you engage your followers. Show them that you care about them and want to be the expert they come to again and again for results.
- Avoid click and engagement bait: We have all seen these types of posts and fell for them. They say things like ‘You Won’t Believe What Happens Next’ or some equivalent. Not only are these types of tricks frustrating and annoying they are also very deceiving. They waste people’s time, making them read articles that do not give them the information they thought they were going to get, and Facebook is cracking down on these types of posts. Facebook’s new algorithm is looking for posts like this and they will punish publishers if a headline withholds any information necessary to understand the article or if the headline is misleading. What seemed at one time like a great way to get eyeballs to your content, is now a great way to get your page blocked by Facebook. Do not do it.
- Use Videos/Facebook Live: Using Videos and Facebook Live is a great way to create meaningful, high quality, engaging content that your followers will get excited about. it gives them a chance to see how your business runs, who you are, what your business is about, and so much more. Things like this help to create a feeling of community and develops relationships between your business and its followers.
Create A Community
And speaking of community and relationships, creating better content, as mentioned above, will automatically start the process of creating a community. However, communities require a little more work to succeed. In a community, you need to openly engage with your followers and encourage meaningful conversations and you do this by asking open ended questions on a range of subjects that are important to them and you. These can be questions that refer to a product or service you offer or even just asking your followers for their opinion on something. It can even be a question that has nothing to do with your products or services such as “Do you prefer to save up for a big purchase or buy it on credit and pay it off?” or “Where are you planning to go on your next vacation?”.
Keep the questions professional but fun and engaging. Ultimately, people love to talk about themselves and give their opinions. Use that knowledge to get your followers to start a conversation with you and you will find you’ve created a community around your business or brand.
Create A Facebook Group
Creating a Facebook Group around your business or brand is an excellent way to get your followers excited and engaged. Think of the type of group you would like to create. It can be about anything but for a business I would suggest you keeping it somewhat related to your brand and its mission. If you are a trailer dealership, perhaps create a Facebook group around traveling or the RV lifestyle. If you are a bookstore, perhaps create a group that discusses a book of the month. Keep in mind the things that your followers are interested in and create a group around those things.
Once you set up a group make sure that you let your Facebook followers know about it as well as your customers when they purchase your services or products. Create exclusive content, questions, and offers for people who join the group and have contests from time to time in the group to reward those group members that engage the most. Make it a fun place to be and you will find that your followers start to tell everyone they know about you and your business. This is because they will start to feel like they really know you and have a relationship with you and your business.
Ask Your Followers For Help
Everyone has knows the saying “Ask and you shall receive”. Heed that advice and just ask your followers for their help. You do this by asking what types of content they would like to see, what subjects or solutions they would like addressed and then giving them that content. Not only will you be delivering targeted content to your followers that they want, you will also be building trust and rapport with your following because they will see that you care about them and want to give them what they need. Nothing goes further than showing your followers that you are listening to them and delivering on their requests.
Another way to get help from your followers is to ask them to update their news feed preferences by using Facebook’s ‘see first’ feature with your page. This feature allows followers to choose which pages they want to see first in their news feed and makes it more likely they will see your content regularly. To adjust these preferences ask them to navigate to your page, click on “Following”, and then click on “See First”. It’s as simple as that!
Share Facebook Posts In Other Places
This is one that you should be doing anyway but it bears repeating. Once you post content on your Facebook page don’t let it die there. Spread the word. Publish the Facebook link on your website or blog, Twitter, Instagram with a nice picture, all your social media sites, and email it to your e-mail list. The more you can push traffic to your Facebook page the easier it will be to get a favorable nod from Facebook so you end up in more people’s news feeds.
The Positive Take Away
The positive take away from the Facebook news feed change is this – if you step up and respond to this latest challenge by following the advice mentioned above, you and your business will become a stronger and more trusted resource to customers and followers. You will have mastered meaningful, high-quality content that really adds value to your followers lives and by doing that your business will be looked upon as the experts in your industry. As a result, Facebook will have no recourse but to promote your content by allowing it in more people’s news feeds.
Remember, this new change is an opportunity for you and your business to be better at what you do. It is a call to action to stop settling for good and instead to become great! Don’t leave your followers waiting for an expert to help them. Be that expert now!
Still feeling overwhelmed by these changes? Take a deep breath and give NetSource Technologies a call today (800) 709-3240! We have social media experts who are eagerly waiting to help you achieve your goals.