Just 11 days in to 2018 and Facebook is changing the game again for business Pages. In a recent post, Mark Zuckerberg announced that we will see another change to our News Feed.
Facebook was built “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.” But the public content such as posts from businesses, brands and media “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
Over the last several years we’ve seen this shift in balance and public content has taken over our News Feeds. Facebook is stepping in to change their goal from “helping you find relevant content” to “helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
Facebook started making changes to focus on the personal connection last year. It will take months for this new direction to make its way through all products. The first place you’ll see these changes is in your News Feed. Expect to start seeing more posts from your family, friends and groups, and less from businesses, brands, and media.
Business Pages will begin to see less reach, video watch times will drop, and referral traffic will decrease. Pages making posts that don’t get reaction (Comments, Likes, Shares) will see the biggest drop in distribution.
So what does this mean for to your business?
The days of simply posting about your product or service, sharing other people’s content, or automating publishing is over! Posts on your business page need to encourage meaningful interactions. They need to be well thought out and have a goal of creating conversation. Using engagement-bait to goad people into Commenting, Liking or Sharing your posts will be detected and squashed.
What can you do to stay relevant?
Educate your fans, let them know how they can set their preferences to make sure they see your content first. Instruct them to go to their Home screen, then select News Feed > Edit Preferences. In the popup window select Prioritize who to see first then from the drop down menu select Pages Only. Then they just click on your Page’s profile photo and click Done.
Live video has been proven to generate more interaction than an uploaded video. Sometimes it’s difficult to get people to watch video live, but the few who do are certainly more engaged and that is a signal to Facebook to show your content in the News Feed.
Posts about timely topics is a great way to encourage comments and conversation. Make sure the Post is relevant to your brand and be careful of creating controversy for the sake of interaction.
Consider starting a Facebook Group about a topic related to your business. Groups are intended to be a place for conversation. New posts often show up in your member’s News Feed and Notifications. Be careful not to try and directly sell in the group. Use it as a place to share your knowledge and build you or your business as a subject expert.
Be active and monitor your Page’s comments and messages. Then respond quickly and add value to the conversations. Make sure the person managing your Facebook Page is an expert in your business and has the knowledge to contribute. If they don’t, find someone in your company who does and have them monitor the Page.
Being responsive, sharing your knowledge and showing that your care about your Facebook community is the best way to stay connected with them. There is no magic button here, it’s just good old-fashioned hard work!