If you’re one of the 2 billion individuals on Facebook, you may have noticed some changes sweeping across your newsfeed. More photos of old friends, less click-bait articles. Increased status updates from your mum, less Buzzfeed quizzes. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has made these changes in a bid to “create more meaningful interactions” and higher quality content. From a more personal perspective, you might be silently cheering to yourself about these changes. However, have you thought about what this could mean for your small business’s social media marketing strategy?
If you rely on social media posts to promote your business, you’re likely to see a drop in your organic reach. In other words – if you don’t pay for it (i.e. advertising), your followers are less likely to see it. Moreover, Zuckerberg has explained that with these changes, he’s expecting people to spend less time on Facebook. Less time spent on Facebook could mean less exposure for your business.
Whilst organic posts will be effected, these changes don’t apply to paid Facebook advertising. However, retaining a strong presence doesn’t have to mean over-spending on Facebook advertising.
To ensure your customers still see your content, there are various other tactics you can implement:
There’s one major way your business’s Facebook posts can stay prominent amongst your users’ feeds – the “See First” tool. First and foremost, it’s important that you get your customers and audience to follow your Facebook page. By adding a Facebook widget to your website, or linking your business’s Facebook page in your email signature, you could draw more attention to your Facebook page. As a result, this could increase your following. Once they’ve followed your page, your followers have the option to prioritise your posts in their newsfeed. Let your audience know about this option because, if a follower chooses “See First”, your organic posts will remain at the top of their Feed.
Promote high quality interactions
As a small business owner, you probably know better than most how important it is to use your time wisely. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg agrees. The new changes aim to “make the time you spend on Facebook more valuable”. To do so, posts with greater engagement will be prioritised on people’s newsfeeds. This means the more likes, comments and shares your business’s content attracts, the more likely it is to show up on your customers’ newsfeed. Engagement creates conversation, and in turn Facebook sees this a higher quality experience which is of greater value to users.
You might already be conjuring up alternative ways to get more likes, comments and shares, however, avoid directly asking customers to “Like if you agree”. If you already do this on your posts, it’s best to change your style going forward, as engagement baiting will likely see your posts demoted on followers’ newsfeeds. While quality and exposure is driven by interactions, these interactions need to be authentic – not prompted – in order to positively boost your posts’ position.
If you haven’t read our recent post about the benefits of using video to promote your small business, it’s worth the read. Videos are becoming an increasingly important tool for social media marketing. Not only do they promote engagement better than text does, videos can help you combat Facebook’s changes. In particular, Live videos encourage more interaction than regular videos – six times more, in fact. They lead to discussion among viewers, sparking conversation and engagement.
While these changes could see your Facebook social media reach fall, there are other cost-effective strategies that you could employ instead. Engage with alternative social media platforms or create effective content. You could also focus on creating stronger customer relationships, both on and off social media. With the demand for Live Chat features on business websites growing 8.3% in 2017, employing this tool is one great way to ensure you keep up your customer interactions – outside of social media. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to stay aware of these changes to Facebook and be sure to adapt your social media marketing strategy accordingly.