Have you noticed that you haven’t been getting as much organic engagement or reach from your Facebook posts on your Business Page lately? It may not necessarily be your fault. In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its Algorithm to prioritize meaningful interactions between people, which means your engagement bait posts will no longer work like they used to.
We’ve always recognized Facebook as one of the primary ways to connect with our friends and family since in conception in 2003. But over the years, business and publishing sites such as BuzzFeed or Daily Mail have increasingly taken digital relestate in our News Feed that overpower the conversations we had been with our closest kin. From a business perspective, Facebook has one of the most dynamic analytics and advertising platforms that have made it so attractive for us to be on the platform. So with Zuckerberg’s drastic announcement this year, I was a little shocked and left without words for the what the future of engagement with my business would be.
But then I did some research and found that this wasn’t necessarily a bad spanner that had been thrown into the works. It was actually going to help me think more creatively and form more engaging and meaningful relationships with my community online. So what is the blueprint to go from understanding this change to the algorithm to seeing my engagement increase again?
Understand the changes.
FAMILY, FRIENDS AND GROUPS PRIORITIZED | Content from friends, family and Facebook Groups will rank higher. This could be an opportunity for you to start a group based around an aspect of your business. For example, if you are a Fitness Facility, starting a group for each demographic (moms trying to put forward a powerful and healthy image for their children) would be a great start. Meaningful conversations will often happen within that group as prompted by the Admin and even show up in the News Feed or Notification menu of it’s subscribers. If you’re monitoring this group yourself and providing meaningful advice and prompts, this can also be a great source of income by charging participants a monthly fee to join and reap the benefits.
LIVE VIDEOS STILL PRIORITIZED | I know what you’re going to say, I’m not good on camera. Well, get over it, honey, or find someone who is. Live videos get the highest engagement rate over any other post including uploaded video itself. Not only can people view the video live, ask questions, comment and like in real-time, but those who missed the feed can re-watch it later if you allow. So technically, you get two pieces of great content in one. And because the Live Video notification beckons your followers to come online, Facebook continues to prioritize them as it brings causes us to spend more time on the platform.
ENGAGEMENT BAIT IS DEAD | What is “Engagement Bait” you ask? Asking your online community to comment on a Yes or No question or reply with a one-worded answer that boosts your engagement but doesn’t add to their lives. The new Algorithm can now detect between meaningful conversation and this true lack of engagement and will demote the post. So don’t waste your time on these posts anymore, instead put out quality, thought-provoking questions.
Brainstorm about the meaningful aspects of your business.
BE VULNERABLE | Your passion led you here. Everyone has some sort of passion and they’re probably passionate about the same things you are because they obviously believe in you or your product. Being vulnerable will give them someone to trust and connect with. When they feel they know you, they’ll actually feel like they’re talking to someone when you finally do ask for conversation online.
BE REAL | No body is perfect. No body expects you to be perfect. When you find a flaw in your product or service and seek to improve up on that, talk to you community about it. Ask them about the issues they’ve been having with your product or similar products and communicate how you see it changing in the near future. Make them feel included.
ALLOW THE COMMUNITY TO SPEAK FOR ITSELF | Give some of your brand ambassadors the reigns for a day. Allow them to take over the discussion in your Group or Page. Create a video with them talking about how your product has influenced their daily life. It doesn’t have to be Hollywood quality, it just has to be real and done well to the best of your ability.
Don’t leave the engagement up to them.
CREATE MEANINGFUL POSTS | Action your brainstorming into bites of content that can be strung on social media for quite some time. Revisit the brainstorming process once you’ve seen what gets traction and engagement and explore your passion further.
A ONE-SIDED CONVERSATION ISN’T A CONVERSATION | You may have engagement happening, but if you respond to those comments and create an actual discussion, think of how much further the engagement could go. You could be seeing at least double the engagement rate and putting your Page at the top of mind for the new Algorithm. It will continue to show it to more and more people for free, gaining you fans and customers.
HAVE FUN | Talk to your online community as friends, even though you may not have ever met them in person. Be aware of your tone, language and slang. Encourage them, sympathize, empathize and create a caring community that gets just as excited about your posts as they do their best friend’s.
Yes, creating content for your Facebook Page will require a little more intention and thought than it used to. And there's no easy way to tell you what your specific posts will need to be. But schedule in time for a brainstorming session (book it in now!) and you'll find that by having that time to focus, you'll knock out a bunch of content that will keep you going for a while.