So by now, you've heard that Facebook has made one of the biggest algorithm changes they've almost EVER done. And by now, you've probably also heard a lot of fear mongering and are completely re-thinking your Facebook marketing strategy. It's true, there are a ton of new changes about to be implemented and some of them are slowly rolling out, but it's not something you need to panic about. You and your business need Facebook. It's the single most effective and affordable ad platform out there, I truly believe that. So let's dive into the changes and how you can roll into 2019, totally prepared and ready to blow the top off your business.
The News Feed is being overhauled. Well, actually, all of Facebook's products are subject to this change, but they're rolling it out over the News Feed first. Facebook has decided that there is too much branding and unwanted content in the News Feed. It's over crowded, there's no more room for anything and so, all of the unwanted stuff has to go. That means getting access to new clients is about to become a whole new ballgame.
The News Feed is now going to be a place of meaningful community building, not selling. There will definitely be selling still going on, it's going to look a lot different and sometimes not so different. Vaguebooking enough for you? If you're interested in paying for ad space, you can still gain access to this new market, but if you're not, it's going to become extremely difficult to organically gain ranking inside the new algorithm.
Here's how you're going to do it. Remember that meaningful communication thing? Yeah, it's your only ticket into the News Feed without paying for ads. Facebook is now ranking relevance (each post is given a relevance score between 1 and 10 - this score determines your ability to reach the most users as possible) by the meaningful conversations going on in the comments section of each post. Meaningful conversations between users, not you, the brand and users, but your clients talking to your other clients. Facebook wants users to start talking to each other, and, wait for it, in long form. The longer the comment, the higher the ranking. No one word answers are going to cut it.
So, now your job as the business owner is going to be a two step process. First off, you need to decide whether spending your time trying to sort this out without advertising is worth it for your business. Really take a hard look at your efforts and your results, and you may come to the conclusion Facebook isn't your platform anymore.
And so now you've decided this is where your people are, and you're staying, come hell or algorithm changes. How in the world are you going to make this work. It's going to take a shift of thinking about your posts. Here's the other incredible kicker, video isn't going to be favoured any longer. Facebook Watch is now the favoured place to find video, not your News Feed. However, Facebook Live is still the most algorithm friendly post inside your News Feed. It's time you figured out how to use it.
Facebook Algorithm Strategies
Make the algorithm work for you. I've compiled a stock pile of strategies to help you get aligned with the Book of Face's new changes.
- Whatever you do, do not implement a strategy that asks for comments. You'll get demoted inside the algorithm no matter how great your post is. It's called Engagement Baiting and it's absolutely not allowed.
- Choose your post topics very, very strategically. Come up with hot button topics inside your business, choose topics that encourage your audience to share their point of view, their ideas and their experiences. Of course, do this without directly asking them to. Insert giant sigh.
- GIFs and Quote graphics are about to be a thing of the past. The emphasis is on your words. Of course, a great brand consistent image is a must to catch your client's eye, but the algorithm is looking at your words and your engagement.
- Post Likes no longer count for much of anything.
- Hire a professional. It's never been more important to get this right. However, make sure you vet your professional before hiring them. Make sure they are well aware of this algorithm change and have a strategy to combat it.
- Get comfortable with the Ads Manager. Or, find a professional who's both in tune with the new changes and understands the Ads Manager. It'll pay off over and over again.
- On the other hand, understand that ad spends are going to go up for a while and 2019 will Facebook ads cost more than they ever have before.
- Don't think that switching all your posts to your personal page is going to trick the algorithm. The changes apply TO EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Personal pages are now subject to the same rules as Business Pages. As Groups. As Messenger. As Events. Doesn't matter where you try to post, you're going to have to get with their program. As a matter of fact, posting on your personal page anything business related is in violation of their Terms of Service and can get your account deactivated.
- Events and Groups are going to be great places to hang out as business owners. Why? Because inside these products (yes, they are separate products inside of the Facebook umbrella) there are a ton of meaningful conversations going on.
- Get familiar with bots. Messenger is going to be your growth product, and being able to take the conversations offline with bots is going to be a huge advantage for your business.
- Don't panic, evolve. Understand everything you can about what's happening and evolve. This could be a huge win for you if you can figure out a way to start conversations!
So, ditch the anxiety and figure out if your strategy is to stay on Facebook as a piece of your social media marketing strategy. Then, implement these changes and report back. We'd love to hear your success stories!