Facebook rolled out a new algorithm earlier this year. Since then, we’ve had a couple months to dig into how the change is affecting users and advertisers.
Breaking Down Facebook’s New Algorithm
The gist: Your Facebook News Feed used to be cluttered with ads and sponsored or boosted posts. Facebook’s new algorithm is designed to protect users from excessive amounts of public content like these ads. So it will hide public, branded content in favor of posts from users’ friends and family. Ultimately, users won’t see as many posts from business advertisers and big brands. What they will see is content that promotes interaction and engagement – like live videos and posts that encourage commenting and back-and-forth conversation.
According to Facebook
Facebook leaders say the change is intended to bring Facebook back to its core purposes of “connectedness” and “social interaction.” What they had to say about the change:
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
…Based on this, 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.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Is Good News for Consumers Bad News for Brands?
On a personal level, you’re probably relieved to know you’ll see fewer and fewer irrelevant advertisements cluttering up your Facebook feed. But as a business owner, you’d be remiss if you weren’t concerned about what the new Facebook algorithm means for your ability to get your content and social ads in front of ready-to-buy consumers.
6 Ways You Can Beat Facebook’s New Algorithm
While the visibility of your small business’s posts is now at the mercy of Facebook’s new algorithm, don’t count yourself down and out just yet. There are a few ways you can adjust your Facebook social media marketing strategy to break through and stay in front of consumers and customers.
1. Ask, don’t tell.
You may be used to writing posts that share helpful tips and tricks or update your audience on what’s new with your business. That type of content marketing can be really valuable, as it encourages relationships outside the buyer/seller dynamic and positions you as a thought leader in your space.
Unfortunately, posts that “tell” consumers things without soliciting input and feedback will no longer meet the standard for feed-worthy posts. So it’s time to adjust your approach.
Instead of pushing information one way, incorporate language into your posts that encourages two-way conversation, feedback and interaction from consumers. Ask them to share their preferences, tips and tricks, or questions they may have. Encourage post reactions, like likes and dislikes.
Posts that generate reactions and comments will maintain their visibility in Facebook’s News Feed going forward.
2. Sharing is caring.
If you’re struggling to get likes or comments, try to get shares.
Though Facebook’s new algorithm may punish your post for not being engaging enough, the new algorithm doesn’t discriminate against user-shared posts. Those show up in News Feeds regardless, meaning your message will live on.
3. Go live.
One of the most engaging types of content is video content. But posting a high-quality, professionally produced video isn’t necessarily the answer. When compared to consumer-created smartphone videos, these can look like paid advertisements if you’re not careful.
If you want to avoid looking too commercial, it’s time to get your hands dirty and host videos using Facebook Live. Unsure what to talk about?
Go live for:
- Product launches
- How-to videos
- Behind-the-scenes tours of your business
Pro tip: 85% of Facebook video is viewed without sound, so make sure your video is more than a talking head. Either insert text callouts or captions, or make whatever you’re shooting exciting enough that it doesn’t need audio commentary to stand on its own.
4. Let them sing your praises.
More and more, consumers are turning to social media instead of search engines for recommendations from friends and connections. Why? Even if you haven’t chatted in a while, most people find it easier trust Dear Ol’ Aunt Linda over Google. (Sorry, Google.)
Even then, 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So it’s on you to ensure your Facebook presence (including your ratings and reviews) is buttoned up enough for when someone wants to share your information or recommend you.
Pro tip: To help your biggest fans recommend you on Facebook, make sure your Business Page is up-to-date with all of your business listing details. Double-, even triple-check your contact info, address, hours of operation and product or service offerings. This way, when someone mentions your business on Facebook, you’ll be tagged appropriately.
5. Help them help you.
Many users may not be aware of a new Facebook algorithm. They’ll see more content from friends and family, and they may begin to miss content from businesses they already follow without even knowing it.
If you have a following you keep in touch with regularly, help them stay in touch with you. Create a post or share a video with tips on how to adjust their settings such that they continue to support local businesses like yours.
3 Steps Consumers Can Take to Continue Seeing Business Posts:
- Visit the Business Page they want to keep in touch with.
- If they haven’t already, Like that page.
- Click Following, and change Default to See First under “In Your News Feed.”
It’s that easy! Help them support local business, and help yourself.
6. Help us help you.
If creating Facebook posts and videos seems like a heavy lift, you’re right. It can be a major time commitment, especially if you’re a one- or two-man (or woman) show. That’s where Thryv comes in. Thryv can help as little or as much as you need with your social presence – creating posts, scheduling them ahead of time, and even notifying you of any comments after the fact. Check out Thryv’s social features to learn more.