Facebook once again has changed its algorithm, which once again has reduced organic reach of posts published by business pages. The social media giant recently announced that your Facebook news feed will now show more family and friend’s posts, rather than business page posts.
Following Facebook news feed posts by family and friends, posts that inform or entertain, such as a funny meme or a how-to piece, will be given more merit. As well, link posts that are shared, liked and commented on will receive higher priority in news feeds.
And, of course, advertisers will certainly be given higher positions in Facebook’s news feed over organic business page posts.
While this news may delight regular users of Facebook, from a business page owner’s perspective, this is terrible news.
Those pages with fewer likes have already seen little to no organic reach from their publishing efforts on Facebook’s news feed. Now, it might drop to zero.
Pages that have thousands of likes will most likely see a drastic drop in their reach. Some page owners, such as Copyblogger dropped Facebook a while back when organic reach was first drastically reduced. They had 38,000 fans, or page likes, at the time. Here’s what Copyblogger had to say about what fan numbers mean to a page:
Your fan and follower numbers mean absolutely jack.
Others, such as Michael Selzner at Social Media Examiner, are talking about jumping ship and starting a new social media platform revolution.
But many of us have invested a great deal of time and effort into developing our pages, and it’s still the biggest social media network in the world with 1.44 billion users. Jumping ship may not be the best idea.
So what do you do with this latest change in the Facebook News Feed algorithm? Here’s a few recommendations:
5 Ways to Reach People on Facebook News Feed
Publish Great Content That People Will Want to Share
This goes without saying. Your content should be informative and/or entertaining. In this great article by Casey Newton on The Verge, Adam Mosseri, vice president of product management at Facebook, is indirectly quoted saying Facebook’s News Feed “has two priorities … to inform and to entertain.”
If you’re sharing a link from your blog, make sure the image posted will grab attention. Your images should be visually appealing, and your text informative.
What I like to do is copy a paragraph of advice or important information from a blog post I wrote, and paste it in my Facebook status update along with the link. I also add a call to action, such as “Get more” or “Learn more” before the link. This way you’re giving a bit of useful information that a Facebook user can utilize right away, and if it’s good, they might want to know more and click on your link.
Use Facebook Live
Selzner mentioned using Facebook Live to get more reach. Facebook Live is a fairly new video recording tool that you can use to broadcast in real-time to your Facebook news feed. The company said it gives priority to live videos in Facebook news feeds over regular video and other types of content.
If you’re camera shy, there are many ways you can use live video. You can do behind-the-scenes introductions to your business, and if one of your employees loves to be on camera, have them showcase a product, or talk about what they do. You can also conduct a Q&A. If you’re a real estate professional, use it to conduct a “live” open house via Facebook. Hubspot gives some great ideas and tips in its Facebook Live Guide.
Adjust News Feed Preferences
A while back Facebook came out with a way for users to add their favorite pages to their preferences list. When you add a page to your preferences list, that page’s posts will show up at the top of your Facebook news feed when you login.
Here’s an article I wrote on how add pages to your preferences list for iOS or Android users. Feel free to share it with your fans, so they know what to do.
Boost Organic Post to Friends
If you’ve written a great article and published it to your page timeline, and know it will resonate with your fans, Boost it. But make sure you choose the option to reach Friends Who Like Your Page, or Friends Who Like Your Page and Their Friends, so the post will show up in their Facebook news feed.
Before you boost it, edit the post and add a comment asking your friends to share it if they found it useful. That way you’ll get more organic reach, according to Facebook’s rules.
Participate in Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are still pretty much freewheeling spaces where you can invite a bunch of like-minded individuals to exchange information, ideas, or anything really.
They can be private or open groups. If closed, administrators of the group have to approve new members. If a group is public, then anybody can join. That’s when a group’s original purpose can be drowned in spammy posts. Even a private group can be flooded with posts that are irrelevant to the group’s purpose if administrators don’t monitor them.
Another great aspect of groups is you can message all members from the group page. If you have an event, you can post it to the group, and invite members. Live streaming on a group page is another great option.
If you have the energy to devote to creating and curating a group, it might be a good avenue to reach more people.
The days of free marketing on social media platforms for businesses is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Whether it’s trying to reach people on Facebook’s News Feed or another social media platform, in order to get the maximum reach for your efforts and your dollars, you’ve got to be creative with your content, and in how you share it.
That includes budgeting for social media advertising. It still beats traditional advertising as far as costs.
Over to you. What do you think? Have you noticed a decline in your business page’s organic reach? How are you dealing with it? Let me know in the comments box below.