First order of priority is to remain calm. The new Facebook algorithm isn’t all bad news! We’re going to take it apart into bite size pieces and provide useful tips on how to adjust your marketing strategy in light of the recent news. There are also a few examples from brands that are absolutely owning their social media presence in light of the new changes.
With all the social media updates and changes, small businesses in particular have to adjust and equip themselves in order to remain relevant in this virtual space. Many small business owners panicked a little after Mark Zuckerberg’s message but have no fear, Crello is here. Instead of working around the system, we’re going to show you how to adapt your strategy to work with the system instead.
What’s all the fuss about?
You can see Mark Zuckerberg’s full message about the change in Facebook’s algorithm here. If you’re short on time, we’ll summarise it in chunks. Mark Zuckerberg made 3 things very clear. Here are extracts from his full message:
1. New priorities
“…we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
Take note, that the priorities have shifted. Facebook will be focusing on relevancy as well as prioritizing social interactions.
2. Relevant posts from friends and family first
“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’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”
Another big adjustment is that people will notice the difference in their News Feeds, where they will see more posts from their close ones.
3. It’s all about meaningful interactions
“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 paragraph is perhaps the most important one, which is a nice way of saying that that if your business creates content that nobody cares for much or interacts with, it won’t be shown to people in the news feed.
What to do with this information:
Focus on quality and value
The new Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts with genuine engagement. What was meant by “meaningful interaction” is posts that get comments, ones that spark a discussion thereby being relevant to people.
It’s easy to say that small businesses should ‘create quality content’ and it is much harder to implement this. What you actually need to do is some market research on what topics can be aligned with your brand. The key here is including posts with questions that are relevant topics users have an opinion on.
Facebook users are going to be seeing more posts which have been liked, shared or commented on by family and friends. Do not mistake “prioritizing quality and value” for clickbait topics and “Like this if you ___” posts. This is a cheap trick that won’t work. Research, research and research some more to find new topics that will spark conversation.
Another change that you might have to adapt is changing the register and voice that you use on social media. In order to gain trust and become a relatable brand, you have to put a face to your company in the sense that users feel like they can relate and understand your brand because it has personality.
Ben and Jerry’s do a great job of using different post formats and really narrowing in on entertaining their followers while showcasing the brand perosonality.
At this day and age, optimizing for mobile devices is a must. The content you post should be user-friendly and consider the fact that majority hang out on Facebook using their phones. For example, if you’re featuring videos, if it’s easy to access and understand, users will be more likely to engage. As a side note, it has come to attention that most users don’t watch videos with the sound on, so you need to adapt your video for this as well.
Intrepid Travel did an amazing job with their recent video. You can view and appreciate it with no sound on as it has subtitles. Also, note how their phrasing of the post encourages people to respond.
Experimenting with formats for more engagement
As your objective now is valuable likes and shares, you need to experiment with different types of Facebook formats and the first obvious place to start would be repurposing old content to save some time. Next, you will also want to look at statistics to see what your niche topics are that spark more engagement and what format your users prefer.
Keep up with current visual content trends to feature images that are a little more unexpected and trendy. Your research phase never truly stops, because you have to experiment and try new things until you find your specialty, something you do well that resonates with users. Only then can you work towards promoting your brand on Facebook when you gain trust from users and acquire a customer base.
To create more variation with your posts and make them more visual as in the example below, you can use Crello to quickly create similar graphics. Burt’s Bees also showcases how promoting a good cause relevant to your business can in turn inspire lots of reactions from followers.
How to work with the new Facebook algorithm
Based on Mark Zuckerberg’s message, creating meaningful interactions can be done in the following ways:
- Occasionally remind followers to add your page to the ‘See first’ Facebook feature
No need to be shy about it. Ask your customers to follow your Facebook page and ask them to select the “See First” option in the news feed preferences.
- Experiment with Facebook Live
This format gets six times more interactions than just videos.
- Create groups and focus on building a loyal community
Some say this is the new way forward for businesses because groups create a direct connection to users and customers, ensuring that your updates and info gets delivered to them right away.
- Increase ad budget
Organic reach is slowly falling and now even more so, which means you need to become a Facebook ads pro. Know how to target the right audience.
- Say ‘no’ to engagement bait, everyone’s tired of it as it is
As previously mentioned, these types of posts are really updated and are in fact extremely annoying when they pop up in the feed.
If you think about it, what types of posts end up going viral? They’re definitely not ads or offers and certainly aren’t automated posts. They’re unique posts that don’t feel promotional at all. If your main strategy has been creating engaging content all along, this algorithm change is not the end of the world.
Brace yourself for good news
Despite this drastic change and the need for small businesses to readjust, there’s good news in prospects. Small businesses actually have an advantage because they appear more approachable and personable compared to larger businesses. This means that you might have to make slight adjustments based on aforementioned points, experiment and adapt in a way that will make your brand easy to relate to.
As you can see, it’s all fine. Yes, there are changes, and yes, some businesses will feel an impact as a result. However, if you learn to work with the system, the new Facebook algorithm can actually encourage more creativity and bring positive changes. Make your brand relatable, throw in some personality and really focus on building a community that wants to interact, like and share your posts.