Digital MarketingSocial Media MarketingHow brands can maintain a successful Facebook strategy after the algorithm change

How brands can maintain a successful Facebook strategy after the algorithm change

On Thursday (Jan 11, 2018) Facebook announced the decision to prioritize the content from family and friends over Pages. Soon after, its share price fell 4.5 percent causing Mark Zuckerberg to lose $3.3 billion. Here we look at how this change impacts your Facebook marketing strategy?

There was a great discussion among marketers after Facebook’s announcement of the latest algorithm change.

According to Mark Zuckerberg,

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Although it hasn’t been implemented yet, it’s good to start thinking of how our Facebook marketing strategy might be affected.

What’s the best way to make sure that your Facebook marketing strategy will still be successful after Facebook’s algorithm change?

All about the engagement

Facebook made it very clear that engagement will be a crucial factor that will determine whether your Page’s content deserves to show up on your audience’s news feed.

According to Facebook,

Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

This means that if you have already focused on creating engaging content that sparks conversations, then you’re at a great place. You may still see a small drop in your organic reach, but your Facebook strategy won’t be drastically affected by this change.

However, if your focus up to now was more on the awareness and thus, the broader posting of content for news purposes, then it’s time to change your strategy.

For example, publishers need to think how to deliver the most important stories of the day in a way that people will want to join the conversation.

What’s important is to remember that Facebook has already made it clear that it’s not favoring “engagement bait.” Posts that encourage people to share and comment won’t see an increased organic reach. On the contrary, you can still create engaging posts that people will effortlessly feel the need to comment and join the conversation.

Test different content types

The challenge of finding engagement can be easier by testing many different types of content. Facebook has already been promoting the last years the importance of video content and we’re assuming that this preference won’t change soon.

A text status will probably have fewer chances to show up in users’ news feeds comparing to a video. However, engagement is still the critical factor to highlight a post.

Think of how each content type can become more engaging and start experimenting with all of them. For example, live video should a content format that will grow even more in 2018.

Facebook has even mentioned it as an example of what could work better than other content types:

“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.”

How about involving your community in live video streaming to start a conversation?

Create a community

If you haven’t already done so, focus on building a community around your brand. Once your audience feels more involved in your social presence, there are more chances of engagement.

This could be improved with the right conversations, the best types of engaging content and the promotion of user-generated content.

For example, if you’re about to launch a campaign, you could involve authentic storytelling that features members of your community. This way they feel part of your brand and they become more eager to share the campaign with their friends.

A community can go beyond Facebook, but it can also help you find the lost organic traffic by promoting a scheduled Live video, or an exclusive content for your Facebook Page.

Make your content more shareable

Your content should be both engaging and shareable. This is not encouraging you to start creating clickbait posts, but you can still use your Facebook Page to focus more on quality, rather than the quantity.

Test how your content currently performs in terms of engagement and start experimenting with a different posting frequency. Even if you post once or twice a week, you can still make it to your users’ news feed if you create what they’d like to consume from you.

Think outside the box, showcase your authenticity and make the sharing of your content as effortless as possible. Many brands have already tested the idea of “hacking” the algorithm by encouraging their audience to share their content by mentioning it in a video.

If, for example, you are featuring a video with an influencer, it may be more effective to seek for increased engagement through the video content, rather than the caption.

This is a reminder that the latest algorithm change will ask from brands to be more creative and treat their followers with a genuine interest in starting a conversation.

Test the idea of creating a Facebook Group

Facebook has already started hinting all the different uses of a Group during the last year. An increased focus on the community and bringing people together makes Groups more engaging. It’s an easy way to connect with like-minded people over any topic and seek for space where you can focus on the conversations that matter most to you.

Brands can explore the benefits of creating a Facebook Group, providing that they meet their key objectives. For example, if a brand is trying to build engagement and develop a relationship with its existing audience, then there may be a nice opportunity to create a Facebook Group.

What makes Groups more appealing to the users is the fact that they can feel more involved. If a brand manages to serve as a moderator or a facilitator of the conversation, then a positive association can also benefit its Page.

Use Facebook Ads

One of the most obvious ways to beat the algorithm changes is to create Facebook Ads. The method of “pay to play” is not new for Facebook, but it will gain greater importance now. Brands may start creating more engaging content without reaching their target audience. This may require the boosting of posts or the creation of targeted ads to meet their objectives and regain the lost reach.

What’s important with Facebook Ads is to be strategic, as the wrong objective can lead to a waste of your budget. However, a good ad campaign can bring you way better results than what you initially expected.

Start experimenting with different posts types and create Facebook Ads that can bring you closer to your audience. Work towards improving your engagement and be more strategic with your promoted content.

Invest in a multi-channel approach

What we need to remember is that Facebook is not the only solution to a successful social media marketing strategy. Although it’s the most popular social network, we can still include many different platforms in our strategy.

If you feel that your audience is not responding anymore to your Facebook posts, then seek for an improved engagement to another platform. Start testing where your audience is and experiment with different content ideas.

Start involving email marketing to your social strategy and build an audience that is eager to follow you. This way you can use your Facebook page as the platform that you can post exclusive content, while your audience is already informed about it.

Start spending more time in the planning of your digital multi-channel strategy and be prepared to change it anytime if something is not working.

What’s your next step?

Your Facebook marketing strategy shouldn’t rely on an algorithm change o determine its success.

Keep in mind the best ways to maintain the success of your Page:

  • Be engaging
  • Ask questions
  • Tell stories
  • Be authentic
  • Test different content types
  • Create more live videos
  • Join Facebook Groups
  • Use Facebook Ads

The most important thing brands need to remember is that Facebook is all about the people. Show your human side and create content that resonates your target audience. If you manage to develop a relationship with your audience, then you shouldn’t be afraid of any upcoming changes.

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