It’s no shock to see Facebook shaking up the platform with its latest algorithm update – it happens all the time. However, this time around, we’re seeing major changes for business and brand pages. And it’s not necessarily going to make your life any easier, if you are a marketer or small business.
Here are the biggest takeaways to help prepare your business page.
Obviously. Social media has always been about two-way communication, building community and opening avenues for interpersonal connections. It’s literally why Facebook began. But how do brands create “quality content?” As Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
Here are a few suggestions:
You can’t create meaningful, engaging content if you don’t know who you’re talking to. You have to figure out who your audience is and what they care about. What are their interests? How do they speak? Match them. Remember, in everything you write or say, you’re communicating with people. Cultivate connection. Make that your focus.
After you get to know your audience, you’ll have a better sense of what topics are relevant to them. You’ll also know other important demographics like gender, age and location. Knowing these details will help you determine relevance. As part of Facebook’s algorithm switch-up, the platform is prioritizing local news and news from trusted sources. If you are a news source or posting news sources, go the extra mile and verify your source is valid. Think about your geolocation strategies as well. Target your content to your audience’s location.
It’s time to get creative. Tell compelling stories, be interesting, stand out, invite people in – without asking for likes or clicks (AKA don’t be spammy). Instead of inauthentic click-bait tactics, create real conversations. Leave your old, traditional marketing techniques behind in this digital space. Try something new.
Take advantage of Facebook’s interactive features and storytelling components. This is your chance to create two-way interpersonal connections and immersive, visual experiences for your audience. Create Facebook Live Q&As, how-to videos or behind-the-scenes content. Try using square videos to make your content mobile-friendly and fit any platform.
Facebook really, really, really wants you to use their video features. Video competition is steep out there between all the major tech players and Facebook wants a piece. In August, Facebook launched Watch, a new platform for shows. This may be a new avenue for ads.
Did you know Facebook allows business pages to create groups? In particular, nonprofits are seeing value in groups, but that doesn’t mean your brand or business can’t benefit as well. Consider creating a group to gather your audience around a particular cause, connect with a specific location
Don’t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket. You can’t depend on the platform for all of your marketing investments. Instead, diversify your platforms. Consider leveraging some of the other popular platforms – like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and SnapChat – as well as up-and-coming or trending platforms.
According to Business Insider, messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat and Viber are becoming even bigger than social networks. Dark social is definitely a trend to watch and leverage. Keep your eyes out for emerging social media platforms – they may be the next big thing.
Integrate your messaging using a variety of social media platforms, your website and email. Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing. Drive sign ups, build your list and send compelling, valuable content to the people who want to hear from you.
We can’t forget the data. Evaluate your content to see what’s working. Are there certain topics your audience prefers? Do your photos or videos perform better than articles? Keep tabs on your engagement and continue to drive those numbers. Remember, your Facebook traffic and reach will probably decrease. Brands struggling with engaging content organically will most likely take a hit.
Keep going and keep adapting. That’s what marketing in the digital world is all about. It’s what we’ve been doing for 25 years. We’re here for you if you need help. We post tons of insights to our blog, social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and eNewsletter, if that’s all the help you need.
And we’re helping brands at a national scale with our digital marketing, web design and IT services, if you need even more help.