Facebook's latest algorithm update may require some business owners and marketers to adjust their social media strategy. As of January 2019, Facebook has reported that they have over 2.32 billion (yes, BILLION) active daily users. Regardless of the recent updates, Facebook still remains the top social media network and most significant social channel for marketing your business.
Based on what we have heard from Facebook, their users reported that they preferred a better mix of posts in the daily news feeds from friends, family and local community organizations, especially those people you connect with most frequently. With that said, the biggest change to Facebook's algorithm is exactly that - They are shifting emphasis on which posts they show in your news feed and how often you will see them.
Facebook made these changes in an effort to improve the news feed's user experience and increase engagement. To be clear, this isn't a death sentence for the relevancy of your business page. However, it does mean that you will probably see a drop in the percentage of page followers that actually see your business page posts on a consistent basis. Some reports have stated that the engagement rates have fallen below 2%. Which means if you have 100 followers, less than 2 people will actually see your social media content in their news feed. YIKES!
Another part of the update that may have a negative effect on the exposure of your business page is that Facebook changed where a company’s “friends” interaction are displayed. They have reduced the frequency of these interactions and pushed it further down the news feed. What this means is that if someone has interacted with your business page (liked it, made a comment, etc.,), a much lower percentage of his or her friends will see this interaction.
First, it's important to remember that nothing has changed with the way Facebook displays the ads from its advertising program. If you are doing any type of paid promotions on Facebook, your ads are still getting displayed in their normal format and frequency.
If you are trying to reach customers and clients via a organic Facebook strategy, you need to post and engage with your followers more frequently. You'll want to work harder on creating more engaging and useful content. Be mindful of posting content that Facebook may now flag as “click bait” or what they like to refer to it as “engagement bait”. To avoid this, make sure not to use terms in your posts asking users for comments, likes and tags. Instead, try to start discussions on Facebook about your products and services by posing relevant questions potential customers may have about your business.
Creating and posting video is another great way to increase the value and engagement of your Facebook posts. Recent data shows that social media posts with videos substantially increased user engagement…. By 68% in some cases. Don't be concerned if you're not a professional video producer. There are simple ways to incorporate video into your page posts. One way is to search for other customers that have already created how-to videos on YouTube for using your products or services. Simply share the best of these videos via your business page and you'll see an increase in social engagement.
Another way to quickly create entertaining and engaging video content is by using the Boomerang App (owned by Facebook). This app is a great tool for creating short video loops using your own smartphone. These types of video clips can be perfect for showcasing your own products and services, rolling out a product launch or teasing something new. And if you want to get more in-depth on what to do with your video content, check out these great tips and tricks.
It's been well documented over the years that Facebook prefers content that keeps users on their own platform. What this means is that they prefer to display content that has less or no outbound links to other websites. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn't post any outbound links in your posts. However, you need to be careful about the total number of and frequency at which you include outbound links in your Facebook content. Work to include some form of visual element to your posts such as photos, memes, infographics or videos. In fact, try to change up your posts up with a balanced mix of visual media.
Since Facebook has shifted the content of user's news feeds to more posts from your closest friends and family, it makes sense to be more aggressive in getting your employees and/or brand advocates more involved in sharing business content on their personal social media pages. In fact, data shows that people are 16x more likely to engage with a post from a friend or family member over one that is posted by a business page they follow. Legally, you cannot mandate that your employees engage with your brand or company via social media. However, through a concerted team building strategy, always try to motivate your team members to occasionally post fun content about your company and tag your business appropriately in their posts.
There are two other ways that will help you optimize engagement with your business posts – scheduling and planning. First, try spreading out your posts no more than once per day if possible, and between the hours of 9am and 3pm. Data shows that posts get the highest percentage of engagement during these times. Also, try narrowing the target audience by creating targeted posts for specific sub-categories of interest within your page's followers. An example would be making a gender specific post and sharing it with users of that gender within your followers. Useful tools like Sprout Social can also help you strategically schedule and play your social media content across all platforms. Doing these two things will help you make strides at increasing your engagement on Facebook.
As long as you remember to use video, change up your posts and encourage your team and brand advocates to share business related posts, you will see an improvement in exposure and user engagement. We hope this information has helped you better understand Facebook's latest algorithm updates. If you're interesting in having us assist with any of your social media marketing needs, simply click here to request a consultation or call us direct at 480-305-2017.