A full decade of Facebook. Can you believe it? Some days it still seems crazy that over a billion people are visitors of this one website. Other days it seems as if it has always been a part of our lives. In such a short time feeding Facebook business page news feeds with funny stories and trend setting tips has created a world of narcissist and overnight millionaires.
The reigning king of social media has continually made changes over the 10 years to keep us coming back. Marketers are like mice on a wheel trying to keep up. We have experienced many late nights editing slides before a large presentation because Facebook did an overhaul the day before a big social media marketing consultation. Most recently, changes to the Facebook business page newsfeed algorithm has left businesses and social media marketing companies scrambling. Over night companies were angered seeing that only 100 fans of their 8000 fan base actually saw their posts at any given time.
Why the big change in the Facebook Business Page Algorithm?
Facebook surveyed a sample of their users and asked how often they want page posts to come up in their profile news feed. Based on the response, Facebook has reduced the amount of Facebook business page posts that come up in users personal news feeds. This makes your Grandma in Florida happier because she can see more posted cartoons about the polar vortex Michigan is experiencing. Marketers and social media managers are left wondering whether they should bother recommending their client to dedicate man hours to post to their Facebook business pages. If few people are going to see them why spend the time and payroll dollars to create Facebook posts?
For companies who have relied heavily on their Facebook business page to sell and market their products or services it will be important to look at other ways to get back in front of their audience. A business marketing plan that is not so reliant on Facebook may help. Certainly a new Facebook business page marketing strategy is in order to determine how best to drive traffic to the Facebook business page based on the new algorithm programming.
- Buy more Facebook ads (come on now, who ever said you could get free social media marketing?)
- Embrace link sharing (posting links of stories off site, or to other pages, etc.)
- Share more visuals and media-rich content (graphics, photos, videos)
- Leverage other social channels – encourage your followers in other social media channels to engage with your Facebook business page
- Include your Facebook business page URL on all your marketing materials
- Include a link to your Facebook business page in your blog posts and your email signature
- Include buttons for liking and sharing your Facebook business page on your website and in your email signature
- Tag other pages in your posts to gain interest for that page followers. (Example: Our Connection Group Facebook Business Page shares a web link from Mashable’s website and tags the Mashable Facebook page that post is shared to some of the Mashable Facebook page fan base. If fans are interested in what we’ve posted they stop in check us out and like us – bonus!)
Anybody who has posted to Facebook recognizes that visuals speak louder than words, this is not lost in the new algorithm either. Facebook has decided it doesn’t like all those wordy, story posts and is reducing sharing of text based posts to newsfeeds at a higher rate than those with links and visual content. Gone is the day of likes from viewers for your text heavy posts, the sharing of penned customer testimonials and even those inspiring #mondaymotivation quotes. So how are you going to keep in the game and post compelling visuals? It’s not like you can just steal Google images and post them legally. (Remember we’ve covered this before.)
Creating more visual and media-rich content for your Facebook Business Page:
- Hire a graphic design and marketing firm to create original social media images, icons, graphics, Facebook cover photos, based on your brand visuals. (Have we met? 🙂 )
- Purchase art, photos and videos from stock art websites. (Shutterstock, Veer, etc.)
- Have employees compile photos of the office, meetings, products, customers (get signed photo releases!), etc. for posting
- Have customers share photos (you could even create a photo contest around this concept!)
- Photos from company events, trade shows, holiday parties, etc. (double bonus because these will reflect the company culture clearly to viewers.)
- Create original infographics pertinent to your industry
When you tire of viewing all the “Look Back” videos Facebook developed as their anniversary gift to users, it’s time to think about your investment in your Facebook business page for the next 10 years. Will Facebook decide that increased business page posts in users news feeds are more important than keeping happy users? Will Facebook ads get cheaper? Suddenly I feel like my mother when she asked me if my room was going to clean itself.
Since Facebook advertising has been under scrutiny lately as well, I feel like we all need to take a step back and put down the kool aid. I’ve heard too many otherwise smart start up business owners question whether they should build a website if they have a Facebook page. That question could easily be a complete blog in itself.. Hopefully they will find this post and never ask that again.
Please understand I have fun on Facebook, I love connecting with old friends and family across the miles and I also like supporting my favorite customers and brands too. It’s about keeping it in perspective.
Before I descend from my pedestal I will ask one last question. Why is your company so invested in building the Facebook brand and not investing in your own brand vehicles? Balance out your marketing. Play in social media, build your brand, connect with your customers there and meanwhile build professional websites, network with real people, explore forums dedicated to your niche market, create professionally printed brochures and leave behind print literature people can use, attend and display at trade shows. Don’t be enticed by the billion users, identify how many clients you really need to succeed and figure out the best channels to get your message to them. If you need help with this piece give us a call today or follow our facebook page for tips and resources. Sorry, couldn’t resist!