Just when you start getting the hang of Facebook, they change the rules. Why is this? Because the platform is only as strong as the number of users. Facebook is feeling the squeeze as the younger ones are making the switch to Snapchat and other video sharing Apps. As a result, Facebook bought Instagram and implemented Stories and chat features. Meanwhile, Facebook newsfeeds have become overrun with viral videos, news sites, and memes which are all created by a third party. As a result, Facebook has decided to change the rules in 2018.
In other words, gone are the days of easy organic reach for businesses. Organic reach is simply a post or image that is seen by one of your Facebook followers. It doesn’t cost you anything. Years ago, organic reach was huge. Now, you must pay by boosting your post or ad for it to be seen by your audience. Facebook’s latest algorithm will reduce organic reach to around 3 percent.
What can you do about it? Facebook has hinted that they will favor posts that have original, engaging content. Also, they will favor video. In fact, Facebook live videos are even better – in fact, six times better according to Facebook statistics. Facebook also is very clear that they love videos that are created inside Facebook rather than a link from an outside source.
A lot of people are afraid to use Facebook Live, but you will get the hang of it if you just try it. Just make sure your dog isn’t barking in the background and make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection.
Facebook also favors engagement. Start a conversation by asking questions, get people to comment and respond to keep it going. Posts with a lot of engagement will be seen more in newsfeeds. Spend time creating quality content. Don’t throw up a post without much thought on the content or graphics just because it’s been awhile since you posted. Give your followers a reason to come back.
Facebook will also be favoring Groups in 2018. Facebook Groups will show up in notifications for free. When someone joins a Group, the notifications are set by default. If you offer a product or service, consider starting a group so your users can opt in and stay informed. This is a great way for you to stay connected to your audience.
Steps You Can Take Right Now…
1. Post on your Page on a Regular Basis. Although it’s tempting to take a break, there is nothing worse than having a page that looks abandoned to your target audience.
2. Start investing in paid reach through Facebook ads and boosted posts. It will pay off in the long run and you will see results if you do this on a regular basis. Do not rely on organic reach as it is becoming obsolete.
3. If you place paid ads, Facebook will place these on the Audience Network – apps and websites that are not Facebook or Instagram that will run your ads.
4. Target your ads. You can do this easily in the Ads Manager by creating Custom Audiences or Lookalike Audiences.
5. Track your results. Facebook has built-in Tools within the Ads Manager to help you track what worked and who responded to your ads.
6. Link your Facebook Page to Your Instagram Account. Facebook owns Instagram, so you will get more bang for your buck when you advertise. Your ads will run on both platforms.
7. Install a Facebook pixel on your site. This is a tracking code that will allow you to better track your ads to see where they end up on your website.
Best of luck in 2018 with your social media efforts. The rules are always changing, but if you take steps to maximize your reach, you will get results.