You may have noticed that the reach on your Facebook page has significantly declined over the past couple of weeks. Worried your audience isn’t feeling your content? It's not you, it's Facebook. At the end of June, Facebook announced that their algorithm would shift to “more favourably promote content posted by the friends and family of users”.
So what does this mean for your brand? In real terms, it means your content will show up less in the feeds of your audience, which will in turn require companies to get creative with their strategies.
Here are 6 ways you can combat Facebook's latest algorithm change.
1. Pay Up
The easiest solution to maintain - and even grow - your reach on Facebook is to advertise. Facebook Ads are one of the most effective ways to reach your clientele on the platform, as they guarantee a certain number of impressions to an extremely targeted audience that you pinpoint yourself. With 1.5 billion users actively volunteering information about themselves to Facebook including their interests, employment and travels, almost every business should be able to tap into their market via the native in-depth targeting.
And if your budget isn’t exactly huge, don’t sweat it; you can make a significant impact on your numbers for only a few dollars per day. Using a tactic we call ‘microboosting’, you can throw a dollar or two on multiple posts, boosting them for a short period of time to give them that much needed extra push. If you microboost numerous well-targeted posts simultaneously, you’ll no doubt notice a decent upswing in engagement, reach and impressions.
2. Go Live
Facebook Live, The Social Network’s answer to Periscope, had been available exclusively for verified accounts for some time, but earlier this year it was opened up to regular profiles. We already knew that Facebook had been prioritizing video content over all other types of posts, and now Facebook Live has even eclipsed that in terms of the algorithm. Not only are Facebook Live posts pushed to the top of your news feed at all times, but any Business Page you’re following or even anyone on your Friends list who goes live will generate a notification, ensuring you don’t miss a moment.
There’s a huge opportunity for brands surrounding Facebook Live. If you hit the ‘Live Video’ link in the left navigation bar on your Facebook News Feed, you’ll be taken to a map of the world with blue dots representing cities where people are Live at that moment. Canadians especially will notice a vast lack of people going Live, which is a unique position to be in as the field is wide open and businesses have the opportunity to really carve a lane for themselves before it gets overcrowded.
3. Create Original Video Content
In a move that’s aligned with Content Marketing, creating original video content for your brand’s Facebook Page is another strong way to extend your reach. And not only will it benefit Facebook, but you can also repurpose it on your brand’s YouTube or Vimeo pages where it will live longer and be accessible to viewers outside of Facebook’s infrastructure.
Understandably, not everyone will have the means or the budget to create original video content, however the tools can be quite affordable in comparison with even a few years ago. A simple DSLR camera that shoots HD video and software like Final Cut Pro are all you really need to produce a decent quality video that you can use across your various networks. If you can narrow down on a niche and create video content that doesn’t exist (either in high volumes or at all), the time, money and energy spent will more than pay for itself. And the best part? It’s sharable, which means your audience will spread the word for you.
4. Instant Articles
Facebook’s modus operandi right now is to keep people on the platform, which is why they’ve continually developed new elements that provide users with a similar native functionality as other products on the market. Facebook Live is Periscope; native video uploads are YouTube; and now Instant Articles are Facebook’s answer to blog posts. Rather than only post your blogs on your website or sites like Medium, you can now natively post your piece on Facebook and of course, receive the boost in the algorithm that comes with utilizing any of their own technology.
Keep posting on your regular platform to maintain your SEO and Content Marketing strategies, but consider adding them to Instant Articles and you’ll very likely see an increase in reach and engagement for your blog posts through shares and algorithm favouritism.
5. Make It Personal
Now that posts from family and friends have been pushed to the top of your algorithm, take advantage. Even before the change, your personal posts always have taken precedence over those from Business Pages, so you can very easily work this to your brands’ benefit by sharing the most relevant posts to your personal page. Add some commentary in the caption and you’ll not only increase the reach of the post immediately, but you’ll also likely see some shares and engagement if the content is good enough.
If you have employees, ask them to share the content, too. The more people from an organization who share posts, the larger the reach, the larger the engagement and of course, the larger the conversion.
6. Create Shareable Content
Facebook users turn to their News Feeds to be informed and entertained (and not necessarily in that order) - so if your brand is able to create and curate content that ticks both boxes, it should result in shares and virality, which is what we’re really after here. Everything you post or create needs to be carefully considered and curated. Would you personally share that post? If the answer is no, it’s not the right content for your brand.
The more engaging, entertaining and informative your content is, the better chance your brand has at standing out and significantly - and organically - expanding your reach. Make your Facebook Live videos consistent with timely subject matter; write your blog posts with the intention to add value and provide solutions to specific problems; create original content that has a lifespan beyond the social network timeline.
Prefer to spend time focusing on your business? Let us do the work. Talk to us about creating a social media marketing plan that's right for your brand.