Training your your 2018 content strategy to scratch the belly of FB's algorithm monster
If you didn’t already know, Facebook introduced some big changes to it’s content algorithm in January 2018. These changes mean businesses need to work harder to be seen, heard and remembered on the world’s most popular social media platform (more on that here).
While professionals like us can only ‘crystal-ball’ the long-term impacts that these news feed changes will have, this we know for certain: There are ways for Facebook business pages to post & engage effectively with the new algorithm changes; and continue reaching their new + potential customers.
Everything boils down to meaningful engagement
According to Zuckerberg, business posts should “encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
To the masses ‘meaningful interactions’ appear visually as engagement (i.e. shares, comments, & likes) and FB’s posts are weighted on this. Put simply; the more genuine interactions a business post has, the more visibility these will receive in Facebook's news feed.
This doesn’t mean changing your FB status to a group, but your posts need to foster conversation and interaction that is meaningful e.g. “Tell us about the time you…..” Rather than “Comment, share and like to WIN.”
Don’t be needy
It might seem like a good idea to try and hack the new algorithm by asking your audience to comment or share your post directly.
Approaches where you tell the user what to do (e.g. Like, Comment and/or share to win) have been done a million times over, and FB’s algorithm can smell that tactic a mile away.
Facebook says, “Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”
QUICK TIP: Create quality content, focused on generating genuine conversations between users. If you must use the approach of asking your audience to like, comment and/or share, make sure your post is born on an original idea combined with top quality creative. Opt to use a FB preferred posting method - like live video to ensure your reach and engagement is maximised.
MAGIC SAUCE: Try including questions in your posts like “Tell us about the time you…..” or cover about hot / relevant topics that your audience is likely to have an opinion on.
Now get this
Something not changing is users’ ability to select the brands they see posts from, by selecting ‘See First’ in their pages news feed preferences.
DO IT NOW: You get to this page by clicking ‘…’ (three dots) next to News Feed on the left hand side of your home page, and then selecting ‘Preferences’ and ‘Prioritise who to see first’.
You can also do this on each individual page. Don’t be shy about asking your audience to follow your page on Facebook, and give them good reason to by following up with awesome content.
Let them know you’re grateful for their feedback and custom. Engaging with every interaction keeps the FB algorithm happy by showing it there’s lots happening on your page - good or bad.
Get romantic, nurture your community
This creates connection and builds loyalty to your brand. Every time a customer posts about your company, you should be responding in one way or another, whether that’s with a like, comment or private message.
No question should go unanswered. Unfortunately, as a result of your businesses presence on Facebook, you could expect to see some not-so-awesome comments and reviews. Rather than doing nothing, or hiding these comments; consider any complaints an opportunity to demonstrate your excellent customer service!
Although you may want to avoid engaging with a dissatisfied customer in a long-winded, public conversation - directly addressing the problem with them can improve customer relations, inspire confidence and keep them coming back. It’s not just negative comments that require responses - it’s equally important to respond to customers when they show you some love. When someone compliments your business, show your appreciation!
Spend more dollars!
We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. When you’re a business on social media, you pay to play. That’s marketing.
Facebook has been monetised for a long time and when used right can become your advertising, customer service and brand building gold mine. Organic reach has been declining across social media for years now (in favour of paid reach), so advertising your optimised content is a sure-fire way to meddle with Facebook’s algorithm.
Let’s face it, there are very few brands who can honestly rely on on 100% organic posts to reach their audience these days. An important part of advertising on Facebook is getting clear on your objectives, and knowing how to target the right audiences. Being an expert at this will ensure your dollars go further. If you’re unsure to start with Facebook advertising, that’s where we can help.
Make more Facebook Live videos
Right now, video marketing is one of the strongest weapons you can use to beat Facebook'salgorithm. You may have your doubts about whether you have enough resources to create and use video content, but all can be done (simply) from a smartphone these days.
Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of video is watched on Facebook every day. Uploaded videos are favoured under the new algorithm, but live videos will have even more reach.
In Zuckerberg’s Jan 18 announcement, he stated “live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook — in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. ”This means if you’re not already investing time into posting live videos, you should be!
It may be intimidating, and require a lot of energy but this is one of the few concrete examples of content that will perform better under the latest algorithm.
Bleep-Bloop, it’s time to automate!
Do your customers message you with questions, comments, or complaints on Facebook?
Asking them to do so is a great engagement driver. To make this job easter, use Chatbots on your business page. Chatbots aren’t scary, and can really help you meet the expectations of customers by providing lightning-fast responses to a range of your own FAQ’s.
A Chatbot is a simple piece of software which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and converse with users. Chatbots don’t have to be ‘robotic’ and offer a great way to foster immediately engagement by helping your audience in a personal way, incorporating your brand values and voice. E.g. If you’re an insurance company you can enable customers to pull up policy information or even start a claim.
As a retailer your Chatbot can do cool things like let people see their most recent orders, track a delivery, or find the return policy. If Chatbots are something you feel could help your brand and customer service profile, get in touch with us and we’ll happily walk you through the process.
Check your stats, stat
Since Facebook’s organic reach is now almost non-existent, it’s vital to stay informed on what’s working and what’s not on your page. The best way to do this is to regularly review your business page analytics to track which forms of content resonate with your audience.
To beat Facebook’s algorithm, you need to understand what content is receiving the most engagements. Are uniquely styled images of your product generating more engagement, or are video posts working best for you? Look for trends and replicate success.
This is easy, and important if you want to stay ahead of the game.
That’s all folks!
Using the tips above WILL help your Facebook business page increase it’s reach in 2018. Remember to post content which Facebook rewards. Quality, and authenticity with a touch of technological flare is all we’re talking about here.
Apply these tactics and you’ll be well on your way to beating the changes. Embrace change and think 2018 as a chance to show your tribe something they’ve never seen before.