By now, you’ve heard about the change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. You may have seen it on Bloomberg.com, USA Today, or even Fortune. Maybe you were like us and it started blowing up your breaking news apps on your phone, then you got home and couldn’t find an outlet NOT talking about Mark Zuckerberg’s decision. Everyone was giving the headlines, but no one was really saying what it means for you and your Business Page.
A brief recap, before we dive into a few tips to ensure your content is still featured in your followers’ News Feeds. On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg said, “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. 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.” Basically, Facebook wants to get back to its roots of showing content from an individual’s family, friends, and groups before businesses and news outlets. So, how can you make sure you’re staying in your customer’s News Feeds?
Post Live Videos
Within Facebook’s official press release they explain that live videos average 6x as many interactions as regular videos. There are so many different routes you can take with live videos. You could have a staff member tell your followers about a new product that just arrived to the store. Share behind-the-scenes content – a day in the life of your employees, for example. You can even create how-to videos that promote your business as a subject matter expert. Live videos are engaging for your Facebook followers and fun for your staff.
By creating Facebook events you’re killing two birds with one proverbial stone. Customers are often expecting an “experience” from their favorite local businesses. They want their favorite restaurant to provide cooking classes or themed nights giving back to a local charity. They expect their favorite brewery to host fun trivia nights or even their local hardware store to hold DIY classes. By creating events to promote these “experiences” you’re engaging with your customers. Hopefully they are then sharing these events with their friends, leading to your Page gaining new followers and paying customers. By creating more events on Facebook you’re providing memorable experiences, increasing engagement, and growing customer loyalty.
Focus on Connections
Facebook has said they want the platform to build the human connection; create content that does just that. The first step is to use Facebook Insights to find the best time of day for your posts. Next, the content you create needs to be valuable to your consumers. Don’t solely post about sales or products you’re trying to move. Share relevant articles or other content from your city that matters to your customers. Ask your followers’ questions. You can then use their answers to curate more meaningful content (and engaging content) moving forward.
Ask Customers to Utilize “See First”
There is a sure-fire way to make sure your content stays in front of your most loyal customers. When a customer hovers their mouse over the “follow” button a few options appear, ask them to put a check beside “See First” under the “In Your News Feed” option. The team at Hubspot explains how you can utilize this feature. They even have a graphic you can use to show your consumers how to set their News Feed preference. Heck, you could even make a live video showing your consumers how to do it!
Do NOT Attempt Engagement-Baiting
Facebook already demotes posts constantly asking for likes, shares, and comments. You’ve seen them before, the posts that say, “Like if you’re a Sagittarius!” The Facebook algorithm recognizes these engagement baiters and pushes them to the bottom of the list of content appearing on an individual’s News Feed. Inauthentic likes, comments, tags and/or shares will end up hurting your Page as a whole. Once Facebook deems that a Page utilizes these engagement-baiting practices often enough, all content from said Page is demoted, whether it contains engagement-baiting verbiage or not.
As a small business owner you know how to take a lemon and make some lemonade. That's all you need to do with the new Facebook News Feed algorithm. It's certainly not the end of the world, simply use these tips to help build an authentic and engaging community for your business's Facebook Followers.