When my clients are asking me a question frequently, and my news feed is full of updates and articles on the same topic, I know it’s time to push out a JAM chat. With the kick off of the New Year came the announcement that Facebook is changing the way it does things. These Facebook algorithm changes are sure to affect social media strategy for this behemoth platform that reported 1.37 billion active users in 2017. So let’s drill down further on those frequently asked questions, the current state of Facebook’s algorithm and what it means for your social media campaigns.

What’s all the buzz about? On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook published an open letter to all Facebook users, that rocked the social media marketing world. Zuckerberg’s stated, “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.”

Okay, so what does that mean for my business’s posts? Great question. Zuckerberg, in his letter, did not get into too many specifics but, of course, marketing consultants and social media professionals quickly got up to speed on the mechanics of these Facebook algorithm changes. Here’s an overview:

  • Organic reach is most likely a thing of the past. It makes sense the Facebook had to dial back the organic power of businesses. Otherwise, users would just see an infinite scroll and ads and promotional messages.
  • Facebook Live is something to consider. Video is better than static content, but Facebook Live is even better. Even Zuckerberg agrees, “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.”

Note: Facebook Live has a whole set of best practices that should be reviewed before jumping in. Need help with that?

  • Facebook Groups may be the secret sauce to reaching targeted audiences. Facebook Groups are an excellent way to engage with small but mighty audiences. They are already segmented to fall into categories that are relevant to your business.
  • Your content has to be better than ever. And, by better, I mean authentic, engaging and real. Pleas for comments and strictly promotional or flat messaging will not move the needle. Understand what your audience wants and give them a compelling reason to engage – these are “secrets” to success.
  • It’s imperative that your audience follows you. The audience that follows you is likely to get your updates in their newsfeeds. Encourage follows in as many ways as possible.
  • Consider upping your ad spend to get better results. Facebook’s algorithm changes have marketers focusing more on their paid campaigns; making it more important than ever to target the right audiences. It is more than likely that we’ll have to spend more to get the same results.

I’m always here to help you with all your marketing strategy needs. Ask me anything, but these questions are much less relevant than they were before:

  • Isn’t Facebook a free way to expand my company’s reach?
  • What time of day is best to post?
  • Can I expand my reach by publishing promotional offers and sharing blogs on Facebook?
  • Should I just publish a higher volume of content on Facebook?
  • Should I create “like,” “follow” or “share” campaigns?

Facebook is still a great tool, but with the start of the New Year, we have to (officially) shift the way we think about it and use it.

Have more questions about the new algorithm changes or any aspect of your social media strategy? I’m here with answers. Email or call me today.