Published 24 January 2018 Category: Entrepreneurs, Startups, SMEs, Digital Marketing, Social Media

How to Overcome Facebook’s Latest Game-Changing Update

On January 11, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook algorithm that determines what gets seen in users’ news feeds was changing. And, as is typical with these types of announcements, the internet lost its sh!t. The question, of course, is whether or not small business owners like us should lose our sh!t too.

In other words, what does this change to the Facebook algorithm mean and how can online sellers adapt to the new reality. Let’s dive in.

The 2018 Facebook Algorithm Change: What the Hell Is Going On? So, what the hell is going on? Let’s take it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Here’s an excerpt from Facebook’s announcement that its key mathematical equation was changing.

    “(The Facebook algorithm will) 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.

    As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

The new Facebook algorithm will:
 A) emphasise posts that inspire conversations between friends and
B) de-emphasise posts from businesses that don’t.

What Should My Small Business Do?
Don’t worry. The sky isn’t falling. Experts say this is more likely to hurt publishers and click farms than actual brands. That said, here are a few tips for optimising your small business’s Facebook investment. If you want to share the types of content that are most reliable for that sort of thing, Facebook actually has some tips for you.
These are the types of content Facebook recommends for sparking conversations:

  • Live videos (which Facebook says average 6x as many interactions as regular videos)

  • Videos that explicitly prompt discussion (for example, by asking questions)

  • Posts in Facebook Groups

  • Posts especially relevant to local fans (for local businesses)

  • News that starts conversations regarding important, timely issues

Enlist Other Humans in Your Facebook Marketing Efforts - The Facebook algorithm change is aimed at pages, not profiles. (What’s the difference?) So, your personal profile is still a powerful tool for marketing your small business. You’re probably already posting to your profile. You might also consider joining some relevant Facebook groups. After all, groups were specifically mentioned in Zuckerberg’s announcement. Just don’t go overboard with sales-y posts at the expense of personal content. Level up by encouraging your employees and best customers to talk about your business as well. Nothing beats a legit social endorsement from an actual customer.

Go for Comments and Shares, but Avoid Blatant Engagement Baiting
Facebook wants to see authentic conversation and engagement on its platform. Give them what they want by stimulating thought and inspiring interaction with your posts. Keep your posts on brand and be mindful of what Facebook calls vote baiting, reaction baiting, share baiting, tag baiting, and comment baiting.

Pay to Play. Get Out Your Credit Card and Get Cozy with Advertising
Most social media marketing pros have long viewed Facebook as a pay-for-play platform. In other words, they’ve been investing cash in boosting and advertising to drive impressions, engagement, and clicks.

So break out your credit card. Facebook still wants to show your content to its users… especially if the price is right! You want to keep up with the changes? You’ve gotta get people clicking, sharing, and talking!