I hope the answer isn’t yes. I really do. While it is never smart to count on one media as a marketing source for your business, social media has always been a strong focus for many. It was easy to get organic reach and a nice free marketing platform. With this last update from Facebook it has now officially become pay to play.
What does this mean for you? First off, hopefully you’ll start seeing more posts from your friends. You might be able to participate again in lively political debates and see what they ate for lunch. I’m sure you are just as excited as I am. All kidding aside, Facebook gave us clues on how to work around this. You as a small business, influencer or company can still get organic reach!
Facebook’s goal first and foremost, is to connect friends and family. Yet in the same sentence they also understand that uncle Joe who posts nothing put alien propaganda and provides no value to your daily life, needs to somehow be silenced. So, they implemented the “snooze” button. You tell FB that you don’t want to see any of uncle Joe’s alien posts for the next 30 days. They are giving us more power over our feed. This is a good thing!
“Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed.”
Facebook’s latest update in their own words “With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to—whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion.
We will also prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, consistent with our News Feed values.”
And for pages “Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.
As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”
This means, that if you interact with a post, you are more likely to see it again. If you participate in a conversation sparked from a post, you should see this content again. For a business owner, creating content that sparks debate, questions or any other conversation is vital. Pages (which is what your business is categorized by Facebook) got demoted. Facebook ran out of space. They are trying to fix it, with showing the user content that they are interested in. They measure that interest with their communication and interaction with posts.
Passive content will kill your reach
Here’s how you go around this. You need to create content that is not a passive post or video. An example of a passive post would be a photo of your product with the text “Come in today and receive 15% off”. This also goes with the theory that people hate to be sold to. This type of marketing hasn’t worked for a long time. You need to step it up.
A creative content, such as a video or a photo with helpful content is the way to go. You build trust, you gain their confidence and then lastly, you gain a customer. This is today’s funnel. Helpful content can be educational, humorous, informational etc. Let’s say you are a nutritionist. Passive post for you would be posting a photo of what you are eating every day with a quote “This salad is so yummy”. You made a statement, with a photo, that’s it. You aren’t encouraging interaction, or any other type of engagement. A much better approach would be a video of you making the salad, talking about each ingredient and their health benefits. Then title it “I am making my favorite lunch salad with my secret ingredient. Tell me about your favorite ingredient” Not only are you creating value and curiosity to the viewer, you also have a call to action. You are asking them to comment.
Building helpful informative and visual content will keep you on top
Video and visual content just became even more important. Visually pleasing content will grab the viewers attention, your valuable content will keep them engaged, and give you a nice organic reach on Facebook. I for one refuse to let FB beat me down, I will put on my creative hat and think outside of the box.
Now before you go all fired up ready to create content that creates conversation, I must warn you about click bait posts. Bait tactics have been used by a lot of pages. Media companies even fell into this trap. Facebook didn’t like it, so they demoted those posts. Examples are: “Comment YES if you love dogs” or “Tag a friend who loves purple” or (something I’ve seen news media use) “Click dislike if you didn’t like Trump’s last speech, click love if you liked it”. Bait methods are passive posts with no helpful content purely made to create engagement. Facebook is smart, they will knock you down if you do this. Learn more about click bait here
You might ask, why is a photographer writing an article on social media optimization. My purpose is to educate you that social media isn’t dead, you simply must get smarter about how you use it. This path as been long coming and Facebook has been giving us clues what is to come for a long time. Look at high performing influencers, they have been using this method consistently. They are also using personal branding to their advantage. They use visual content to bring value to their audience, and in return, make millions. I hope your answer to “Did latest Facebook change destroy your business?” is no!
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