Loud Canvas Media has had a number of individuals and businesses – clients and otherwise – reach out to us regarding the Facebook changes for 2018 that were made public in January. The changes are significant to its News Feed algorithm, prioritizing person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages – seemingly very much a ‘’throwback” of sorts to the true social networking origins of the platform. In turn, it is anticipated that users will see fewer public posts from pages as well as potentially fewer videos within the News Feed.
We’ve heard concern for how this affects the News Feed, frustration in how it may potentially affect marketing, wonder at why the changes are being made at all, and hysteria at the thought that this could very well be a digital marketer’s worst nightmare.
And with all of this – truth be told, we had an idea that changes were coming all along.
In fact, it was only a few years ago that Facebook was known to begin limiting the organic reach of businesses. Our staff has reviewed the data, studied the changes (many of which haven’t been fully rolled out yet), and is constantly striving to educate ourselves on best practices in this ‘new marketing landscape’ that the News Feed update leaves us with. In the end – content is, was, and always will be king. Your business’ content HAS to matter. Make your content, brand, and business continue to stand out with these tips:
1) Create content to generate engagement
Of course, your Facebook posts always want to create interaction, but now more than ever you must focus on a push for likes, shares, and comments. Consider your audience – what they want to see, who they are – and then create and publish content that those individuals will react to, discuss, and engage on. You are not going to generate a one-off funny meme that goes viral – you need to have substance, something that sparks conversation and communication. A tactic that we often utilize with clients of ours, is to produce content that shares customer testimonials and feedback. Sharing a feel-good story allows for conversation with the customer, which creates a ripple effect of sorts – the content ends up in the News Feed of friends and family, users are tagged to share the news, and, because the customer is happy with the service or product, they will share your post freely (very much doing your digital marketing for you!).
2) Utilize Facebook LIVE
We’ve talked in the past about how important it is for a business and brand to go live with live-streaming. With the News Feed changes Facebook Live will be a key component to your marketing strategies. On the platform you can simply “go live” with video anytime, anywhere. Facebook has openly stated that pre-recorded video will likely be shown less, and they specifically note that going live will generate more interactions. With that, you guessed it, more value in the revamped News Feed. When you go live your page fans are notified and what’s more, the live video components of Facebook still seem to be very much underused in today’s social strategies – now could be a tremendous opportunity to stake your ground in the feeds of your followers. Not sure what do focus on for going live? Try a Q&A, show something behind-the-scenes, or maybe do an interview of a client or employee.
3) Create and Publish More Native Video
Even with the changes, Facebook will still reward native video content, and so publishing more video content will, in turn, give your business page a much larger reach. Of course, larger reach equals the opportunity for more engagement (bringing us back to #1). This will then help you get more conversations and conversations started, propelling you to reap the rewards of a more visible page. Native video on Facebook – complete with the settings that you can adjust to maximize your visibility – is designed to capitalize on video engagement as well as distribution.
4) Encourage Clients of Past, Present, and Future to Share!
Aside from the News Feed changes, businesses and brands should always work to engage customers (and fans on social pages) to share information about you on their own social accounts. Always keep this in mind when it comes to social media marketing: the reach of a personal page will outperform a business page when it comes to reach and visibility. And as previously noted, this Facebook change will more than ever focus on user-to-user interaction and engagement. Continue to develop a high quantity of high quality posts, and engage with customers on and off the platform to achieve the highest levels of customer engagement. The simple ‘ask’ of customers to share your content and your story – whether via email, at the bottom of your signature, during a meeting, whenever and wherever it may occur – when the person shares your information via their personal page, their reach within their own social circles will outpace what you could have achieved as a business page.
Facebook’s new algorithm updates are really reminding us of the key in social media marketing: if you create and publish engaging content then your business and brand will be in the news feed. Again – your content MUST matter. Put out terrific content that an audience cannot help but share and engage with. Will marketing and advertisers have to adjust when it comes to this change? Of course. But no matter what, Loud Canvas Media is always up to the challenge, helping our clients win the attention game in the always noisy social media climate!