How will Facebook’s changes impact your business page in 2018?

Facebook is often in the news – profits made, fake news, social responsibilities…..but in recent days it has hit the headlines with BIG changes that will affect your business. We’ve spent some time researching what these changes mean to businesses and now share our thoughts.

Mark Zuckerberg is keen to take Facebook ‘back to it’s roots’ of connecting individuals.

Zuckerberg has said: “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness. But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
You can read his full statement from 12th January 2018 here.

Essentially Facebook has seen that more and more people are scanning their newsfeed but not interacting and Facebook believes this is because newsfeeds are saturated with business posts and not posts from ‘friends.’

Here’s what’s changing

The newsfeed that you navigate to automatically when you log on will now include posts from people that “matter” to you. This could be friends and family, posts from groups, and business pages BUT only if your community (i.e. your friends and family) are engaging with those posts.  This means that business pages are likely to see organic post reach dwindle even further.  We’ve always advised our clients that content and engagement are so important when it comes to social media (and all things to do with digital marketing).  However, this is now more important than ever.

Here’s our tips on what to do!

Consider content

The new algorithm says it will give priority to “community” posts that encourage communication and discussion.

  • Think about discussion topics that can relate to your business.
  • What questions can you ask?
  • Sell, sell, sell simply won’t cut it any more.
  • What will make people enagage? This relates to content but also asking people to check in and write reviews.
  • What are your audience interested in and likely to engage with?
  • Think ‘fun’ – what will make people laugh and respond?
  • Run competitions.
  • Post events as separate ‘events’ rather than just a post with a date, so people can express an interest or show they are attending your event.

Schedule in Facebook only

There has always been debate over whether post reach is limited if using an external scheduling tool but with these changes it is now ‘fact not fiction’ that using Hootsuite or any other tools will penalise your posts.

Facebook’s inbuilt scheduler is easy to use so…..start using it!

Create a group

Groups will be given more priority than business pages so think about setting up a group for your content BUT remember that the content should not be all about selling, it’s still important to abide by the new rules and engage. One thing to consider is not to brand a group with your business name. For example if you are a beautician you could call your group “Top beauty tips”, a car leasing company could be “All you need to know about leasing a car.” Immediately these groups are telling your audience what you are going to help them with not what you are selling.

Advertise

Facebook are essentially saying businesses need to start paying if they want to advertise their business and for some time we have been sharing with our clients that a Facebook ad budget is a necessity but now the message is if you’re not willing to advertise Facebook is not the platform for you.

Boosted posts, carousel ads, video and image ads all work well – so use them!

Our final thoughts

This isn’t the end of the world for businesses that use Facebook but it is a big change. We will be speaking directly to each of our clients to discuss the way forward for their Facebook strategy and for some it may mean that Facebook is no longer at the top of the list of their social media must haves.

Other platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram to name just a few – exist and let’s not forget good old ‘off line’ marketing.  If you’d like any advice please get in touch.