There has been a huge amount of dissatisfaction recently over the changes in Facebook’s algorithm from businesses who have seen a marked decrease in the reach of their posts on their Facebook pages. This is understandable since many businesses have spent money and hours of their time and resources building their audiences only to find that the majority of their fans are not seeing their posts.
However all is not lost. We only have to look and understand the reasons why Facebook have done this to see that we can actually make these changes work for our businesses. Obviously money is a big factor and as Facebook is now a public company they need to keep their shareholders happy. So if you want to go the easy way and guarantee that all your fans see your posts then you are going to have to pay for that service. But we still can’t ignore the fact that some pages are still continuing to do well without any advertising at all. So how are they doing this?
Well if you have ever listened to or read about ‘The King of Social’ you'll know that his goals and plans go much deeper than money. His goal ever since he started Facebook at college has been to ‘connect the world and make it more open’ and also to help make it possible for everybody to be connected. He is also passionate about providing every user with their own personalised newspaper in their Newsfeed and also creating the best possible experience for their users. To do this Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are continually trying to make things better, quicker and more efficient for the end user.
There are literally millions of businesses who now have pages on Facebook and also millions of people posting and sharing content. Because of the sheer volume of content the average Facebook user would have to scroll through at least 1000 pieces of content a day if it wasn't for Facebook’s Algorithm. This is why Facebook have had to prioritise content so that we, the users, only get to see what is really important to us. Imagine if we saw every piece of content from every page we had liked or group that we had join, we would soon get fed up and start leaving Facebook pretty quickly. Facebook have worked out the optimum number of posts that the average user needs to see to give them the best experience possible is about 10% of that figure so around 100 posts a day. So Facebook have developed their algorithm to help prioritise what we do and don't see based on the things we love and are most interested in. The majority of us are on Facebook to stay in touch with are friends and family so this is the number one priority in terms of what we see and then comes content that we are interested in. Facebook with their technical sophistication can see exactly what we are liking and commenting on so this gives them a basis to work on when trying to work out what to show and what not to show.
We all have a good idea of what it’s like to be happily browsing through our Newsfeed only to be suddenly faced with a post that completely kills our enjoyment. Well Facebook are trying to put a stop to this . I mean who wants to see a long stream of product photos in their Newsfeed or see posts from businesses that are continually touting their services or a picture of a washing machine?
Once we understand the thinking behind Facebook’s actions which is ultimately to make the user experience as enjoyable as possible we are half way there to understanding how we can make the algorithm work for our businesses. Here are some important things that every business should consider when creating their marketing campaign on Facebook and any social media platform.
1.Find your target audience
Your audience has got to be one of the most important factors. Everyone is obsessed with who many fans they can get but honestly it comes down to quality every time. It’s better to have 500 interested fans than 10,000 who couldn’t care less about what you or your business has to say. Plus if you do have too many fans who are not interested and you do decide to advertise then you are going to be wasting a whole lot of money advertising to them. So rule number one is know who your target audience are and then find them. If you want to build a highly targeted audience quickly then Facebook advertising has to be one of the quickest and most accurate ways of doing this.
2. Produce compelling content
When you know who your audience are and have done the necessary research then you will have a good idea of what they are about, what they are looking for and what their hopes and dreams are. This information is like gold and should be the very foundation of your content creation and your posts on Facebook. If you create the right content then they are going consume it, like it , comment on it and share it. When Facebook see’s this activity from your fans they are more likely to show more and more of your posts to your fans in their Newsfeed. Again it’s down to quality and not quantity, it’s better to deliver one pieces of compelling content that 5 pieces of pretty mediocre content. So before you post any content ask yourself this, Is this content going to be useful to my audience ? and is it going to enhance their experience on Facebook? Are they likely to like it and comment on it?
3. Make your opt in a priority
Make it an absolute priority to get the visitors to your page and your fans to sign up to your mailing list. Remember only about 5% will ever return to your page after they have originally liked it so on the day that they arrive on your page you need to tempt them with the best possible offer so they will sign up to your list. Once they are on your list you are no longer have to worry as you can now continue to communicate through their inbox. Your Facebook cover photo is a great place to promote your offer and you can either direct them to a sign up page within Facebook or direct them to your website, blog or a separate landing page to claim their offer. You can do this by adding details of the offer on your cover photos with the link in the description area of your cover photo. Make sure you add the words ‘Click Here’ to your cover photo or the image of a button they can click on the cover photo.
4. Ask Questions and add a call to action
One of the best ways to get your audience to engage is to ask questions. People are generally on Facebook to be social and have fun. The majority want to engage, so give them the opportunity by asking them what they think . Again the more people who comment on your posts, the more likely your posts are going to appear in the Newsfeed of your fans.
5. Comment like and share
Social media is not a one way street, its all about building relationships . If you are a B2B business then make sure you are following the pages of your fans and commenting and liking their posts. Showing an interest in others goes a long way in building relationships and your fans are definitely more likely to like and comment on your posts if you have already supported them. Try and set a certain time aside everyday to like, comment and share and share other people posts. You have no idea how effective this is in building relationships.
6. Use Images
People love images and even with the changes in the algorithm photos are still a winner. Most people are visually wired so it’s time to get good with Canva or Picmonkey.
7. Make your content as current as possible
Most people are interested in what is going in in the world in this moment in time so if you can somehow make your content relevant to what is going on right now then this will make your content a great deal more attractive.
8.) Join a Facebook group or create a group
Groups are a great place to build relationships and learn and also help others in your niche. Make sure you pick your groups wisely. There are many with thousands of fans yet little engagement where poeple tend to post and run. Because of this practice posts rarely end up in the newsfeed. Groups which have strict rules about posting are often the most successful because they keep their members on topic. Once they become a free for all to post their wares then they become ineffective.
9. Choose another platform
You may already be using another platform to promote your business. If not it might be time to have a look and see where your audience are hanging out when they are not on Facebook. Some business are smashing it on the other platforms. Again it all comes down to where your target audience is and creating the right content.
10. Ask your fans to switch on Notifications
If your fans like your content then they are going to want to see your posts, a reminder to ask them to turn on notifications is a great way to get your fans to keep seeing your posts. You'll find this in the drop down menu of the 'like' button.
11. Take advantage of Facebook advertising
Because of the huge amount of information Facebook has about its users, Facebook let's you choose exactly who you want to advertise to based on demographics, location, behaviours and interests. You can even create lookalike so you can find people who are similar to your customers. Facebook advertising has to be one of the most powerful methods of advertising. The other great thing about Facebook advertising is it lets you test different adverts at the same time so you can see which is the most effective.
So the reason I don’t think we should worry to much about Facebook’s algorithm is because we are all in the same boat. If we want to win then we need to get even more focused on finding the right audience and concentrate more on creating the right content. This way our fans will be happy, we'll be happy and Facebook users will too, so everyone end up as winners. It's all about getting improvement and providing a better service to each other.
As Mark Zuckerberg said in his latest Q&A sessions, Facebook is still one of the best ways for businesses to reach their audiences organically, so let’s make the most of it and be happy that Facebook want to keep us the users happy and will continue to serve us by giving us this amazing platform to connect and communicate for free.
If you have any other ideas about how to make the most of Facebook’s algorithm I would love to hear about them in the comments. If you want regular tips abour social Media delivered directly to your inbox then sign up below .