Now that the initial Facebook frenzy has simmered down, the changes to the news feed algorithm are becoming clearer to define and easier to navigate — great news for small businesses aiming to build and maintain their social media presence. More recently, Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call to shed some light on the company’s announcements and brought a new focus on meaningful interaction.
With the right approach, your brand can take advantage of changes and set the groundwork for success in 2018. In case you missed the most recent updates, I’ll narrow down three ways you can keep your business at the center of the conversation and at the top of Facebook’s updated news feed.
1. Be intentional with your organic posts.
More than any other type of post, organic content requires a planned approach to stand out and succeed with Facebook’s updated news feed. Just remember that the new algorithm prioritizes quality over quantity, so if you’re receiving lackluster engagement on your organic posts, consider these guidelines:
• Create share-worthy content using storytelling.
• Switch to square video. It consistently outperforms videos shared in landscape format.
• Remember, 85% of mobile video is watched with the sound off, so emphasize your message with text.
2. Take a targeted approach to video ads.
Unlike traditional TV commercials, Facebook video ads offer a cost-effective approach to marketing your products or services. Placing ad spend against your video marketing efforts can amplify results and help your brand reach new audiences. To do that, though, you’ll need to decide exactly how to place your ad.
There are two ways to invest in Facebook video ads: boosting an ad and running a campaign through Facebook Ads Manager.
Of the two, Facebook Ads Manager is a more powerful tool. Though the boost button still offers value by elevating your business’s reach, Facebook Ads Manager targets more effectively. Not sure how to get started? Here are a few pointers.
• Try “Guided Creation” for a step-by-step tutorial while using Ads Manager. This option walks you through the process of choosing your Facebook ad’s objective, budget, schedule and more.
• Target a lookalike audience by uploading your client or customer email list. Being thoughtful about your target audience can broaden your reach, improving the results of your campaign.
• Gauge how your video ads are performing using real-time ad reporting. This can help you decide whether to put more spend against an ad that is performing especially well. Additionally, testing which video ads receive the most engagement can help you understand your audience and create content they will enjoy and share.
3. Incorporate Facebook Live to drum up a conversation.
In a recent News Feed FYI, Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook News Feed, stated that “Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook.” Facebook Live functions as a medium where small businesses can answer questions in real time, giving audiences agency in the conversation and making them more likely to engage with content.
• Answer questions. Chances are you already know the sorts of questions your customer base has. Start with a few frequently asked questions, and then open up the floor for viewer queries.
• Share expertise. At my company, we often go live to share expertise with our audience. Try this with your own brand. For instance, if you’re a fitness expert, share a few diet and exercise tips. If you’re advertising a beauty product, give a live tutorial.
• Make an announcement. Use Facebook Live to make an announcement or introduce a product that your customers may have questions about. Make sure to include language that encourages folks to chime in.
Though it seems like algorithm changes are cracking down on business pages, there’s no need for your business to throw in the towel just yet. Facebook’s strategy shift is not a small-business armageddon. In reality, there’s even more opportunity now to target potential customers and clients with video. And if you incorporate the strategies above, you can not only survive Facebook’s latest changes but thrive with them.