Many of us woke up this week to find business owners and marketers running through the streets screaming and gnashing their teeth as the news of Facebook’s algorithm changing again came out. What will happen? Business pages will no longer be seen by anyone…ever!
Facebook calls its algorithm the “Audience Optimization Tool” and it is optimizing the newsfeed to correct its focus on paid news and more specifically, “Fake News” delivered in the past. It will be making a significant change to the way content will be shared in the newsfeed.
In a post on Facebook’s Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg said business and media posts are crowding out more personal moments. They want to encourage more “meaningful and personal connections and to do this they will increase content from friends, family, and groups in the news feed; and limit content from companies, brands, thought leaders, authors, journalists, celebrities and more. They want to “put the social back in social media.” Ask yourself right now, has your business been more social or more promotional? Are you talking to your audience or are you just posting content?
So what does this mean for your business? Are you doomed? Should you go out and buy that CLOSED sign to hang on the door this weekend? Here’s the simple math equation that will help you solve the algorithm problem:
If a post goes out at 8am and reaches 300 people and you multiply it by 2 shares and divide by 13 likes and 2 laugh responses you will get a score of …. Oh come on …do you really think we can EVER figure out Facebook’s algorithm? Instead of trying to outsmart the Facebook brain, let’s talk about 3 actions you should be taking:
Shift Your Thinking Back to Email
Let’s all remember that no matter how many people see your posts, and regardless of the number of fans you have acquired, you are on rented land. You don’t own the platform and therefore having a million fans that see your content should never be the endgame. Your focus should be to pull people into your email list and nurture the relationships there as well. (Nurture being the keyword. Do more than COLLECT email addresses.) Social media is the tool, or driver, to get new people to your property…your email list. (Read: What is a lead magnet and why do I need them in my marketing)
Create a Different Kind of Content
Keep in mind the reason the algorithm is needed: There’s just too much content out there. We all have more “friends”, more pages we have liked, and more ads calling to us. This algorithm change is just another filter to bring the best (or most popular) content to the top. Soooo… quality content is going to be CRITICAL. It has always been important, but perhaps now before you hit publish, you ask yourself questions like:
- Is this unique information? Look around and see if others are posting the same stuff.
- Does this elicit a response from people? Am I asking questions or making a provocative statement that will get people talking? There is an art to asking great questions. If you ask waste-of-time questions like, “Who wants to make more money?” “Who wants greater health?” you will get crickets (or you should). Instead, get personal. Talk one-on-one. Ask people to share what they think or what they will do with the information.
- Am I providing content that people will find actionable and helpful? Does it give people something to ponder or do that will impact their lives or business?
- Is this piece of content just unnecessary? You know the pretty quote overlays and the funny gifs we post to get likes? Well, those may not serve you well on Facebook any longer. Sure we may get people to chuckle and click LIKE, but unless a comment or conversation is started over it, Facebook will probably bury it 6 feet under.
Get back to basics.
In the old days, when we still had phones hanging on our walls and televisions sat on our living room floors, we used to get out and greet others on social media. We joined forums and groups where we asked questions, shared answers and formed a community. We got to know people who were not on our business pages and some of these relationships turned into friendships or business collaborations. I call it “walking about” (Read: 4 Tips for Better Social Media Management) and it will benefit you to go back in time and get social again. Build relationships on social media platforms. Don’t just post your content and sit back and wait for the analytics to show you how many people read it. It may seem like a tedious or slow process, but you will build solid relationships that will spread and who knows…you just might find your next customer or business partner.
So let’s agree that instead of wasting our energy crying over Facebook ruining our businesses, let’s get refocused and make some needed changes to our social media content and habits. I’d love it if you would share your ideas for greater connections here in the comments or of course you can jump over to our DIY Social Facebook Group and share then with us–you may just meet some other fabulous people while you’re there.
We also put together a “DO’s and DON’Ts for Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes” resource for you with actual questions and comments to use instead of the old “engagement baiting” LIKE THIS or SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS. You can download it here:
@GinaSchreck is the CEO at SocialKNX and loves connecting on any social platform to share and learn together. Just don’t send creepy private messages that just say “Hi.”