Facebook has come a long way since its launch in 2004. Marketers have since flooded the platform, building business pages, creating store-fronts, and competing with one another to accrue the most likes or the biggest “fan bases.”
But as time marches on and Facebook continues to evolve, changing its Newsfeed algorithm as often as every couple of months, some companies and marketers are beginning to question funneling resources into building their social media presence on Facebook.
While some businesses have seen massive success on the platform, others are frustrated by being buried underneath other posts. The key to which posts thrive and which ones get buried? How Facebook creates its algorithms.
If you haven’t been keeping up on Facebook’s changes, here are five huge ways that algorithm changes have impacted how businesses are seen on the platform — and what you should do with Facebook in 2018.
1) Lowered Business Content Priority
While this doesn’t mean that paid ads no longer appear on newsfeeds, many businesses have noticed a sharp downturn in “organic” (i.e. unpaid) page engagement. For example, if you have 10,000 fans, nowadays each post — if it does well — has a chance to appear to about 6.5% of those fans.
This is a huge change. In the past, organic posts performed much better. Now, as Facebook wants to draw in more ad revenue, it lowers the priority of business posts, ensuring that not all of your fans will see your posts (not even if they all choose to get notified or to see you first).
This update led to frustration with Facebook as a platform for many marketers. But, you have to remember — Facebook wasn’t founded as a marketing tool. It was originally a place for people to catch up with one another.
2) Live Broadcasts are Prioritized
To keep people from branching out to Periscope, Twitch, or other video-streaming services, Facebook now features Live broadcasts prominently in your customers’ newsfeeds. That means that when you “go Live,” so to speak, your video shows up in higher priority than even posts friends have made.
Of course, there are a lot of challenges to hosting a Live video. Thinking on your feet, having a compelling story, and being able to interact with the chat — in addition to giving a presentation — make this feature especially challenging to use.
But if you master it, you’ll be rewarded with higher customer engagement, for now.
3) Facebook Videos > YouTube
Facebook and YouTube are in competition for the most online mental space of consumers. As a result, if you upload a video to Facebook directly, it will outperform YouTube almost every single time. Lately, a few algorithm tweaks have Facebook videos performing almost 1000x better than a YouTube video. Upload wisely!
4) Boosted Influencers
As Instagram and Facebook’s algorithms continue to mirror one another, you might notice that influencers have more power than ever before. Now, because the social media platforms are emphasizing connecting with people, influencer content is much higher performing than traditional business posts.
It’s never been more important to reach out to influencers in your niche and partner with them!
5) Pushed Out Stagnant Content
One of the oldest changes to Facebook algorithms came in the form of an attrition-based response to reposting the same or similar content. Facebook can scan ads and pictures posted and identify if they’re the same — so don’t reuse old content. In order to engage with your customers, every post should be fresh.
So, what can you do to combat Facebook’s ever-evolving trends? Here are a few simple do’s and don’ts to make the most of the platform.
Reach the right people: Leverage Facebook’s powerful targeting to ensure you’re able to connect with and reach your exact customer. You can even target down to a single person. Facebook advertising provides targeting features which are unavailable to Google, Twitter, or other traditional media.
Share the right message: Share your unique story through ad formats such as images, videos, carousel and canvas ads.
Turn fans into leads. Focus on capturing “fan” information like email addresses, so you can drip campaigns to them more effectively than social media can.
Run targeted ads. Facebook’s advertising platform provides a unique opportunity for businesses to reach their ideal customers with incredible accuracy and with any sized budget. Once you go beyond just boosting a post you’ll be able to…
> Drive In-store sales: Increase foot traffic and make it easier for people to find and share information about your business to increase foot traffic.
>Increase Online Sales: Find new customers and deepen relationships with people who will click through and buy.
> Launch a New Product: Generate excitement and maintain momentum around a new product or service.
> Generate Leads: Find your ideal customers and present them with compelling offers or info about your business.
> Promote Your Mobile App: Get your app into the hands of the right people and keep them engaged.
> Get more video views: Make sure your videos are seen by your target audience.
Focus only on building your following. Remember, social media is a tool. Even if you have a million fans, if no one buys from you, you’ve wasted money.
Lose sight of your goals. Keep in mind that your goal as a marketer is to influence people to buy. Before spending time posting content on your Facebook business page, define your goals. Consider what you want to achieve: increasing sales? providing customer service? letting your community know you’re there? Then, set your KPI’s (key performance indicators) so you’ll know what’s working — and what isn’t.
Blindly funnel money into ads. When your car’s on the fritz, you could watch a series of Youtube videos and learn how to fix it. You’d need to pinpoint the issue, purchase the proper tools and watch another round of videos to figure out how to fix the problem. But who’s tending to business while you’re playing mechanic? How much money would you lose during your time away? Yes – you know how to create a Facebook post. This isn’t social media marketing. This is the equivalent of filling up your gas tank. Doing so doesn’t make you a professional mechanic.
When you’re faced with running your business, executing a marketing campaign is no small task. Know where your time is best spent, you may save money in the end by calling in a team of digital marketing professionals.