On January 11th Facebook made an announcement on the latest change to their news feed algorithm. They stated that there was now to be a greater onus placed on posts from friends and family, and less so from groups and business pages. The change was brought about from research suggesting that users wanted a more personal experience – and while on the surface that’s exactly what this will deliver, it has also got many small business owners concerned about how it’ll impact them in reaching their target audience.
Why are small businesses worried?
Well the change is set to usher business page posts to one side. When users log on to Facebook, the default timeline they’ll see will feature posts strictly from family and friends along with paid ads. They’ll have the option of clicking through to an alternate feed featuring posts from groups and business pages, a change which during testing has seen brands experience four times fewer interactions with followers and two-thirds less reach.
So does this mean that you should stop using Facebook? Certainly not. For years now Facebook have been reducing the organic reach of your business posts, meaning businesses have had to already place more attention on boosting posts and paying for ads. While organic reach is set to suffer even more with the latest change, you can still actively work to reach existing and new followers through paid ads and an improved Facebook marketing strategy.
How small businesses can tackle a decline in organic reach
In terms of the content you create you still need to focus on ensuring it is of high quality and of a timely manner. This will help to ensure that your posts appear amongst the top of those within the company pages feed. Ensuring your content is engaging will help to nurture better relationships with your Facebook followers, meaning your content will remain visible on their feeds and also increase the chance of them looking for you the next time they log on to Facebook as opposed to simply waiting to come across your content.
You should also ensure your Facebook ads a properly optimised to ensure you get the maximum return from them. Since they’ll now appear strictly amongst family and friends’ posts, they need to be targeted at the right audience and stand out in order for users to pay attention to them. Consider these steps for your Facebook ad setup:
#01 Targeting customers – use Facebook’s targeting filters to help ensure your ads are put in front of the right people.
#02 Eye catching ads – create visually compelling ads that will stand out amongst all of the personal posts that users will have served to them.
#03 Create relevant landing pages – ensure that once someone clicks on your ad, they’re directed to a relevant landing page. If you’re providing offers then use this to collect data (such as their name and email) to continue communication with them.
#04 Nurture relationship – Use the data collected to email the offer you advertised and continue to send regular communications to build a trusting relationship with them.
There’s a brief look at how the changes to Facebook’s home feed algorithm could impact your business. It’s certainly no reason to hit the panic, however it does mean that your Facebook marketing strategy might have to be revised to place more focus on paid content than relying strictly on your organic reach.
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