Mark Zuckerberg recently announced in his 2018 “State of Facebook” address that Facebook users will soon see even less content from brand pages in favor of posts from friends and family, stating a desire to ensure we are using Facebook primarily as a place for connecting with each other.
“We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you will see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups.
As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. Moreover, the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
What Does This Mean for Small Business and Non-profit Marketing?
Well, that depends. Facebook has increasingly been shifting from being a “free” social media channel to a paid media channel, despite recent protests from Facebook that it is not a media channel at all, a statement more likely stemming from the scrutiny following the 2016 U.S. elections.
We have been counseling our clients to include some form of paid posting in their Facebook content plans since that 2014 change, so, thankfully, our clients are ready for this new paradigm. That is not to say we have ruled out posts that rely on organic reach, either. Admittedly, organic post reach is nowhere near what it used to be, but results vary depending on the size of a page’s audience and the quality of the content.
Create Meaningful Content
What does “meaningful content” mean to Facebook? That is a moving target. So, don’t try to please Facebook in this regard. Work on pleasing your audience by providing information that is helpful and engaging. Make them laugh. Help them solve a problem. Use your content to build the “know, like, and trust” factors of the consumer journey.
Don’t create posts that use “engagement bait” as a means to gain more “likes” such as emoji reaction posts or posts asking for a “like” or a “share.” Facebook is increasingly penalizing these posts:
“…over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed. Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update.”
Let your page followers know that they can choose to see all your posts first in their newsfeeds. Share this JPG in your own Facebook posts and email newsletters.
Increase use of Facebook Live – Facebook claims that Facebook Live broadcasts reach 6x more people than uploaded videos. Facebook Live is a tremendous way to make a customer feel as if they know you before they walk in the door or click “buy.” They’ll begin to rely on you as a trusted advisor. It’s well worth your time.
Start a Facebook Group. It depends on the type of business you have, but using Facebook Groups ensures your page fans will hear from you and works to create community.
Listen to your audience. Find out what subjects they’re interested in. How? Social Listening. Search Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for your company’s keywords or questions your customers might have to see what information your target audience is seeking.
So, now that you’re ready to conquer this new Facebook landscape, go get ‘em! If you need help, we are here for you, ready to provide advice or work with you to tell your story as effectively as possible.