Facebook, the social media platform launched famously by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004,
completely transformed the way we interact on a daily basis with not just our friends and
family, but our surrounding communities and businesses too. We chat on Messenger, share
Tide Pod memes and footage of Paige Ginn falling down a bunch of times, watch our talented
cousin sing Adele, discover interesting events and concerts in our area, invite people to secret
groups for a Sunday night football hang, and play endless hours of Candy Crush Saga along with
so much more! Since it’s start, Facebook has not shied away from wanting to become more and
more enveloped in our “social” lives. Although some would argue that the program has made
us increasingly less social in real life, with 1.98 billion active users, Facebook actually has helped
curate more revenue for businesses small and large and has raised donations and awareness
for causes than ever before! You can send money through to a friend, aid your favorite
charities, buy that cute dog shirt for your aunt’s birthday, and even purchase concert tickets
with just the click of a button.
For the consumer all of this sounds great, right? Everything you want to see, and places you
want to visit, all at the ease of browsing through one social media platform… and it’s almost like
Facebook can read your mind too. But oh, it’s no coincidence. Facebook CAN actually “read
your mind” with ad matchups and the new algorithm Zuckerberg announced in January.
So as a marketer for a business or product, how is the new algorithm going to affect me? How
do I stand out amongst the millions of other pages out there all trying to reach the masses?
Follow these simple steps and tricks below.
1. Don’t Freak Out
Take a deep breath in and out. This new algorithm won’t hurt your products, but it will force
you to think creatively to reach your audiences. You’ll become a smarter marketer because of
it. Mark Zuckerberg wants to bring “Facebook back to it’s roots.” The whole foundation of
Facebook was built upon the idea that the user can interact with family and friends easily,
promoting self-well being. To help maintain this structure, Zuckerberg and his team want to get
rid of “fake news” so to speak. This system intends to get rid of spammers, so every news
source has to be verified. Your feed will favor posts that are shared by local news sources using
your location, because you are more likely willing to identify with local issues and events in your
2. Create Posts with High Engagement
So Facebook is literally cleaning its interface of internet spammers and bots to make room for consumer happiness. What does that mean about posting? Does it consider my product posts “spam”? Not necessarily. The key to making posts now that the new algorithm is in effect, is to make them less often and to really think about what you are posting. Zuckerberg says, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” By “social interactions,” he doesn’t just mean views and likes. Conversations are key here. Say you have this awesome food blog where you post cooking tutorial videos. Your new recipe just came out for gooey bacon fried macaroni and cheese. You don’t just want to get people to like the post or tag their friends. You want them to react to the post, tag their friends, comment, and the most important part where you want their friends to comment back and for them to have a continuing conversation on your post. OKAY so, I’ll just ask them to talk about how good the food is on the page so it will reach a greater audience? WRONG. Facebook now penalizes posts that ask for likes, reposts, shares, or comments. You really have to be creative and unique enough with your content to create enough of a buzz that people will have a conversation about. Tying this all back to the “roots,” removing spammers helps promote self-well-being!
3. DON’T post links that lead users off Facebook
Facebook really wants to latch onto every single form of content you are putting out there for
your customers and fans to see. With this mantra entails that they absolutely don’t want you
leaving Facebook for any reason. Links embedded in posts that lead users off of Facebook and
onto other platforms of media distribution will be heavily weighed against. You have to be
careful because those links normally contain some of your most important content. This can be
a tricky one to get around, especially if you are an artist that has a lot of engaging media and
viewers on YouTube. Get used to uploading those videos right to Facebook, and encouraging
engagement (conversation) directly in the comment section. Utilize FB’s event pages. Make a
page for every show you’re playing, upload unique and relevant content related to just that
show. Write posts on that event page as if it were just your regular feed. Reply to your fans
comments. The people interested in going to your event will become more excited that they
heard directly from you! Sell your tickets directly off FB, don’t get caught in the trap of posting
a link to an off-site ticketing source. Even if you hate it, FB Live actually gets six times more
social interactions. Try to at least #golive once a week. Show your fans what you’re doing, cool
areas that you are visiting, or test out/ promote that new product you’re selling!
4. Never Rely on a 3rd Party to contain your audience
Remember Myspace? Social media platform that existed 2003 to around 2006 then seemingly
vanished off the face of the earth overnight? What happened to your audiences and friends?
Did they magically just transfer over to Facebook? I don’t think so… Third party social media
sites are a great thing when they are around and available at everyone’s convenience. Even
though Facebook has become an empire and will seemingly never “vanish,” who’s to say that
something bigger won’t replace it one day? You need to be in complete control over your
audiences. You should have a running list of every single one of your fan’s email addresses. But
just signing them up for your newsletter isn’t enough. You need to actually be consistent and
creative with your news feeds. The last thing you want your followers to do is to unsubscribe
from your list. For example, do an early release of a song or behind the scenes footage of your
creative process for just your most devoted fans. Make those new letters worthwhile and
engaging and you’ll forever have fans who are actively involved themselves in your brand!
Guest Post by Ashley Avicolli