I remember when Facebook first enabled the ability to create a business fan page. My family and I had started a whitewater rafting business and together with a small band of college kids we had a lot of fun taking families on adventures down the Arkansas River.
One day I get a call from my wife and she says “Hey, the guides tell me that we can create a fan page on Facebook. Should we do it?” I asked a few questions and said “sure why not.” By the time I got back up to the river the team had created the page and we already had a few likes. In a couple of weeks we had over 300 fans and I became captivated by the possibilities that Facebook offered the motivated business person. I was hooked on Facebook and talked about it all the time.
Back then we could make a post in the newsfeed and most of our fans would actually see it. Over time and with the cataclysmic growth in popularity the Facebook newsfeed has become so crowded that only a small percent of fans ever see the post.
This trend led marketers to advocate more frequent posts, articles, memes, blogs, videos. Basically anything that would help to create community and engagement with your base. The number of posts recommended went from a few times per week to some recommending 10 posts or more per day.
This compounded the problems of an already crowded newsfeed and forced many to move to paid advertising. The pay to play model was adopted by some but was still difficult to sell. After all, Facebook was supposed to be a free source of leads right?
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when an announcement was made that rocked the status quo of Facebook marketing. Essentially, Mark Zuckerberg gave direction to his team to switch from helping people find content on Facebook to only presenting items in the newsfeed that involved meaningful conversation.
To get a good idea of what the impact will be I need to refer you to Michael Stelzner founder of Social Media Examiner and his recent blog post. Here is what he had to say:
At Social Media Examiner, we want to help you understand what's happening and how to revamp your strategies so that Facebook will continue to be a viable marketing channel.
Here's a quick summary of what's going to change:
#1: Less public content will be shown (videos and posts from publishers or businesses).
#2: Reach, video watch time, and referral traffic from Pages will decrease.
#3: Posts will be ranked differently, giving priority to "posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people," according to Facebook.
Here are six things you can do now to improve your chances with Facebook:
Suggestion #1: Post less frequently (I know that's gonna be hard, but it's necessary).
Suggestion #2: Create content that stimulates conversation--meaning comments between fans.
Suggestion #3: Jump into live video, now! Why? It leads to 6x the interactions according to Facebook.
Suggestion #4: Don't ask for comments in your posts. Engagement bait will be demoted in the News Feed.
Suggestion #5: Master Facebook ads. This will be the only sure-fire way to drive people to your site.
Suggestion #6: Learn Messenger Chatbots. Bots will allow you to nurture leads and sell.
This will likely require a shift in your Facebook marketing strategy. And you'll probably have to learn some new tools to carry it out (like bots, ads, or live video).
Well, here’s to more change, as if things weren’t changing fast enough. If you’re interested in more information you can click on the more button to dive into the details on what will be rolling out in the months ahead.
If you need help navigating these changes you can contact me here.
Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.