On January 11th Facebook announced a change to their algorithm in what they are calling an effort to “bring people closer together.” Facebook has started to implement this change in our news feeds by prioritizing meaningful content from family and friends; and showing less content from businesses and brand pages.
What does this change mean for businesses pages?
Overall this means that businesses will start to see a decline in their organic reach as less of your followers will be seeing your posts on Facebook.
Facebook will also rank page posts that generate conversation between people higher in the news feed. Meaning that businesses will need to adapt to create posts that provides value, inspire conversation and encourage discussion in order to reach more news feeds.
It’s also important to note that asking for people to comment, like or share posts will now be frowned upon by Facebook and should be avoided moving forward.
What can you do?
Here are our recommended strategies for dealing with this massive algorithm change:
1. Ask a Question
Now more than ever, engagement will be critical to the overall organic reach of your page. When posting content to social media, be sure to include a question to encourage fans to leave a response. Examples: What is your favorite thing about Spring? What’s your favorite spa treatment? What do you want our next giveaway to be? What burning question would you like answered by the Dr.? What do you think?
2. Remind Followers to Select “See First” in Preferences
With business pages, fans have the option to “follow” your page, which means they will see your content in their newsfeeds. They also have the option to “see first” which means your content is given a priority in their newsfeed. Remind and even demonstrate by showing people how to select to “see first” option under preferences. Facebook will continue to allow users to see more content from pages they follow as long as they select this option.
3. Facebook Live
This can be HUGE for your business page. Live videos on average receive six times as many interactions as regular videos and they will continue to be a great post type with the algorithm change because they inspire conversation. When you do a Facebook Live video be sure to address the live audience! Say hello when a new viewer joins by using their name, ask if they have any questions and respond if anyone leaves you a comment.
4. Pay to Play
We hate to say it, but this new algorithm change from Facebook is really going to lower your organic reach. We recommend considering a small advertising budget to boost content and run ads targeting new followers in your local area. A $10 boost on a post will help you reach more of your current followers. You can always start small and adjust your budget accordingly based on results. When you advertise be sure to narrow your target audience to a geographic location within 20-30 miles of your practice so that you aren’t wasting advertising dollars on people who won’t drive the distance to your practice.
5. Respond to Comments/Messages
Another big tip here that is often overlooked. Your engagement rate will continue to be a big factor in the overall reach of your content. By responding to all comments as soon as possible, we are automatically doubling the engagement for the post and sometimes this will draw out even more comments. Think of every comment as an opportunity to not only build a better relationship with your fans, but also to improve your engagement and reach. This also applies to direct messages!
6. Go For the Share & Avoid Trigger Words
The goal here is to develop content that inspires viewers to share with their friends, without asking for it. It’s believed that with this latest algorithm change there might be certain key words that are now frowned upon by Facebook. We’d recommend avoiding the word “share” as much as possible. This will largely impact giveaways or contests where we previously encouraged fans to “share” with their friends for a chance to win the prize.