facebook update changes small business marketing

What Does the Facebook Update Really Mean for Small Businesses?

What does the Facebook update really mean for small businesses?

Facebook made a big announcement on January 11 about changes to its news feed.  Both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri communicated that Facebook’s 2018 focus would be connecting people with meaningful posts.  Zuckerberg also announced that news feeds would show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.

First, this announcement isn’t a total surprise.

Facebook already made the move last year to reduce the presence of company posts in organic news feeds when it stopped showing business posts that were not generating engagement.  And, when it added the option for people to show business pages in their news feed first or just to follow and not see the businesses posts at all.

What Zuckerberg’s announcement does do, however, is tell business owners that they must do more to generate sincere, personal interactions and discussions with followers if they want their posts to reach consumers.  

But what does this actually mean?  We’ve broken down some of the specific things you can do to help keep your posts in consumers’ news feeds.

 

DO:

  • Post personal content that shows images of you, your team, and customers interacting with your business.

    • Post images and content that will generate likes, shares, and comments from your audience.

  • Comment on post comments.  

    • When followers like, share, or comment on your post, reply back.  Keep the conversation going.  Facebook communicated very clearly that it wants to see these interactions and discussions.

  • Tag people, places, and businesses in your posts.  

    • If you post a photo of a customer, make sure that you tag any people in your photo.  “Tagging” expands your post reach, which should, in turn, generate more likes, shares, and comments.

  • Increase your followers by asking your customers to like and follow your page. 

    • Your customers know your business and will be the most engaged in your posts and most likely to comment and interact.

  • Continue utilizing video as a marketing tool, but focus on Facebook Live.  

    • Again, Facebook wants to see real-time interactions rather than pre-scheduled, pre-designed media.  Seek out opportunities to show a live video from your business.

  • Invest in Facebook advertising.  

    • Paid ads will most definitely become the norm for businesses that want to continue building their social presence.  In fact, the immediate impact of Facebook’s announcement is that paid ads have already begun to show up more and more frequently in news feeds.  Scroll through your personal Facebook news feed and you will see an increase in “sponsored” posts.
      • Boost your “designed, branded” posts with a call-to-action.  
      • Invest in Facebook PPC campaigns for specific services you want to promote

 

DON’T:

  • Don’t post random, generic, “educational” content that gets no interaction.  

    • These types of posts will negatively impact your business on Facebook.

  • Don’t ask for responses, shares, likes, or comments.

    • Facebook considers “engagement baiting” and will penalize your page for doing it.

  • Don’t post so frequently.

    • Many companies post multiple times per day.  Facebook sees these continuous posts as intrusive and will penalize your page.  

  • Don’t schedule your posts through a third-party resource such as HootSuite.

    • Facebook wants to see that your posts are real, organic, and timely. If you must schedule, try scheduling directly on Facebook.

 

Overall, don’t make huge changes to your content strategy overnight.  If you are already posting content that is resulting in comments, shares, and engagement, keep doing what you are doing.  Keep a close eye on your analytics and track if your engagement stays the same, declines, or increases.  Then, make changes to your content strategy based on what is happening on your page.

And, take a deep breath.  This will not be the last update Facebook makes in 2018.  It is only January and there will surely be more changes to come. If your strategy is true to your brand and is founded on creating real, authentic interactions with your followers, then you will weather these storms.  
We promise to keep you updated on all social trends and announcements in 2018.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@whiteboard-mktg.com with any questions.

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