Facebook’s News Feed Changes – What Now?
The new year has kicked off with the big announcement about Facebook’s News Feed Changes. A new algorithm change means that your News Feed will show more posts from friends and family and less content from businesses.
So what does it mean for your business page?
The new News Feed will be focused on the interactions between people, not pages. But let’s not panic just yet. (And, to clarify, this is not the same as the recent tests of moving all page posts to an Explore tab). Posts from business pages will still appear in the News Feed but there won’t be as many, and those that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” will be ranked higher. And therein lies the answer/challenge – your page posts will need to be engaging and generate conversation in order to be seen.
Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, gave some examples of the kind of conversation-creating posts that will show higher in the News Feed:
“For example, 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. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.”
So let’s look at some of these in more detail and other ideas of how to navigate your business page through the changes.
Live video is definitely a key content trend. As mentioned above, live videos get a lot more engagement than normal video and it boosts your organic reach. You could use Facebook Live at events, to make announcements (about products or competition winners), to take viewers behind the scenes, hold a Q&A… just make sure that you announce beforehand when you will be going live. You can also promote it on your other channels.
As highlighted above, people often have conversations in groups around public content. You could start a group as another way for your community to engage with your business, but keep in mind that this will take time to build up. As of last summer, you can link a group to a page. If you do create a group, it should not be heavily promotional but a way of offering customer service and gaining feedback. It is another way of building your online community.
You can also post in groups as your page.
Take a look at this Social Media Today blog post for 5 Tips on How to Use Facebook Groups for Your Business.
Create engaging content
Since organic reach started to decline, we have long been advising businesses to create engaging posts that encourage interactions. This is just becoming even more important with the new algorithm changes.
Think about what your audience wants to read. What are their challenges? What problems do they have that you can solve?
- Research. Take time to do some research (using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Google Alerts, Analytics, Buzzsumo, Answer the Public etc) and actually ask your audience what content they’d like to see on your page. Is there something you are being asked frequently on your Facebook page? We encourage our Facebook audience to tell us their social media questions, using #AskTuminds, so that we can create content that is useful/what they want to see.
- Know your audience. It is vital that you understand who your audience is, what exactly they are looking for and the type of content they are most likely to interact with. Use Google Analytics to find out more about your audience and check Facebook Insights. Insights can tell you more about the audience demographics as well as which content has been the most popular.
- Create high-quality, valuable content. You could create videos, blog posts, ebooks, infographics… Think about what information will help/inspire/resonate with your audience rather than selling your product or service.
Keep in mind throughout all the stages of researching, planning, creating and sharing content that you want to spark conversation.
Of course, this is a big one. If you want to promote your business on Facebook, you’re going to have to invest in advertising.
If you haven’t tried adverts on Facebook yet, the targeting options are second-to-none and it is very cost-effective – it doesn’t have to cost a lot to reach a wider audience. You can target people who already like your page to remind them about you or target a new audience (by location, demographics, interest and behaviour). You can also create custom audiences, which include targeting people who have visited your website (or specific pages), engaged with your content on Facebook or have downloaded your app. It is an effective way to get your content in front of the right people.
Continue doing all the important things…
Change is a big part of social media and whilst we need to adapt to the new algorithm, and think about some of the ideas mentioned above, make sure that you keep doing all the things that we know are important. Check your Insights and post at times when you know your audience are more likely to see your posts; ask questions; use high-quality, engaging images and videos; listen to your audience and engage with them; create events. Ask your audience to choose ‘See First’ on your page so that they won’t miss your updates. Be part of an online community by engaging with other pages and sharing interesting and relevant content. Show the people behind the business and make sure yours really is ‘social’ social media.
If you want to learn how to use Facebook more effectively, or focus on getting to grips with advertising, we can help! Find out more about our social media training for your business.