Have you heard the big news? In early January, Facebook announced that it will be making some pretty important changes to its News Feed algorithm. The social media giant said that the algorithm is being changed to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” and to “prioritize posts from friends and family over public content.”
In theory, that sounds super helpful for your own use, but what about the advertisers? Without large media budgets or thousands of engaged followers constantly looking to you for content, fewer people are going to see your strategically-crafted messaging. If you want to stay ahead of the game, your brand will need to update its strategy moving forward.
We’ve gathered 6 ways your business pages can withstand these changes and continue to reach your target audience on Facebook.
1. Turn your engagements into meaningful ones
Before you start panicking, this new algorithm doesn’t necessarily block out brands. While we think of colleagues, family and maybe the one friend from high school that only posts about her breakups as “meaningful,” branded content can be meaningful, too. It’s up to you and your team to find what is and what isn’t meaningful to your audience. It feels like we’ve been saying this forever, but seriously – what does your audience want?
Maybe this also means publishing less content via your Facebook page and focusing more energy on finding what really engages your target audience. Take a look at your analytics and/or social media insights to see what has worked for your page in the past. Use that information to guide your future messaging. Remember, now more than ever, it’s all about quality over quantity!
2. Ask your fans and followers to use the see first feature
Your business page is going to take the biggest hit when it comes to engagement. Ask your dedicated followers, loyalists and brand advocates to use the “see first” feature. This feature on Facebook will let your most engaged users continue to see your posts and content because by indicating to Facebook that they would like to prioritize your page’s content. But, what about your target that isn’t necessarily as plugged into your content as you would like?
3. You need more video
Did you know that over half a billion users (yes, that’s with a “B”), watch video on Facebook every day? With video engagement surpassing image media engagement on Facebook and Instagram, it might be time to start utilizing videos in your strategy if you haven’t already. And, because you’re likely to see a higher engagement with video content, when promotions are executed effectively you will also likely see your cost-per-engagement decrease.
4. Use groups more often
Groups may be even more popular now with the constant increase of Facebook’s monthly active users. While leveraging groups isn’t applicable to all brands, it can do wonders for pages it makes sense for. If you’re looking to reach an audience who is already familiar with your brand or product, consider utilizing the group feature. Within private Facebook groups, you can interact with like-minded individuals who are more likely to engage with and be advocates for your brand. Here, you can share articles, advice, promotions and even gain more support by talking directly to your loyalists.
5. Use Messenger to initiate one-on-one conversations
Facebook Messenger has taken off in the last few months, especially with the launch of Messenger Ads. It doesn’t get more intimate than this. Not only do Messenger conversations allow you to connect with your target audience, but it allows for a DIRECT connection via instant messaging. This feature is a place for your audience to discuss concerns and ask questions while you can give them the information they need without even having to compete with the News Feed clutter.
6. Facebook ads = awareness and promotions
You’ll probably have to say goodbye to your current paid media strategy for Facebook once the News Feed changes are in effect. While you can use Facebook advertising for a variety of objectives, the awareness objective is going to get your greater results than the others. This means using awareness ads instead of focusing on likes/followers (engagement objectives), website traffic campaigns and the like. The way you analyze benchmarks and the metrics you deem important will need to make a shift as well once you understand Facebook’s new goal and how your page fits into this new strategy.
Overall, the goal of these changes is to help with the overpopulation of publishers and focus more on “meaningful” engagements between people. Your brand needs to discover where you fit into this conversation and how you can be “meaningful” to your audience.
Maybe the most important thing: these changes haven’t gone into effect yet, so everything is up to speculation. Don’t worry – your target audience is still on social media, that will not change. However, to reach them successfully, your strategy will have to adapt to ensure that you continue to reach them.
Caledon Virtual’s social media team works diligently to stay up-to-date on the ever-changing trends in social media and can help your brand come out on top with Facebook’s new environment. Contact us today for a free social media marketing quote.