Why oh why does Facebook keep changing? It is even worse than some sort of toxic boyfriend from the 90s. And the worst thing about Facebook is that if you are using it for your business you can’t even escape it…..
All you can do is try to keep on top of it all.
So, in this post I am covering 3 recent changes and what this means for your business (NB: I am not even covering messenger ads and bots for the simple reason I have not completely got my head around them – yet). Luckily for this post, messenger ads and bots are not the only recent changes 🙂
The 3 big ways has Facebook changed?
- It’s getting harder for businesses There was a brilliant spam message doing the rounds on Facebook recently which appeared to come straight from Zuckerberg. In it he was asking people not to publish so much as Facebook is running out of space. While the message was a hoax, to some extent it is true. Just look at these numbers. Every day we all have the potential to see around 300 posts and ads in our feed depending on how much we log on. Some people like, ahem me, probably have the potential to see more. BUT get this! There are 1500 posts wanting to be in our news feeds, jostling for a spot. So some might say FB is already out of space.
- Facebook even more puts the user experience before the business owner Facebook have to walk a fine line. Yes they want our money that’s for sure but the second, and I mean the second they overstep the mark and we see more ads than friend content, well that’s it. Kaput. We all think ‘Forget this’ and stop logging on. So the very first thing Facebook will try and show anyone who logs in is content from their friends, NOT content from businesses whose pages they have liked LET ALONE content from advertisers trying to target people. Ahem.
- The initial engagement MORE THAN EVER from your audience determines the reach of the post. And this is the same on Instagram. Everyone nowadays has the patience of a gnat, including, it seems, Facebook’s algorithm. It wants a quick answer. Is this post any good? Give it 3 seconds and see (I am not sure about the exact number). Even Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t want or have time to have to sit around thinking about things. So if you want your content to spread organically, you HAVE to get a quick reaction out of those who see it – and by reaction I mean getting people to stop scrolling and clicks, likes, comments, shares etc.
With this in mind here are 5 ways this affects your business
- Less posts, more quality…. Hmm….. technically each time you publish you increase your reach and visibility…. . It’s for that reason that media brand and blogstars who work with advertisers and need as many eyeballs as possible publish a lot. BUT now with this jostling for space there’s a shift towards quality over quantity. Which means publishing less, but instead publishing content that gets quicker reactions. BTW, all of you who think you can go back to publishing once a week, sorry this is not the case!
- Focus more on growing your community. I’m not sure if Facebook will one day make a stealth move into groups in some way ie, will they encourage us to all build groups and then suddenly we’ll have to pay in some way to use them? I don’t know! They may not even know themselves. But Zuckerberg loves community and connectedness and right now that is being rewarded with content in groups getting more organic reach (as a proportion of the number of members of that group) than content on pages (as a proportion of the number of likes on a page). Does this mean forget your page? No way, your page is your branding and the anchor of your advertising. Which brings me neatly on to number 3….
- Advertise more – Yes yes yes we all know I love Facebook ads. BUT they are great and sometimes what with all the elbowing for position, it’s easier to just pay for the reach you want (as long as you have a way to make back that money and more of course). It’s a bit like standing in line to board a plane or getting a fast track pass. The good news about ads is they also help grow your page likes as a sort of unofficial benefits.
- Create more video, more consistently – I’ve been vocal about videos on Facebook for a while – take a look at my blog, 19 Amazing Statistics About The Power Of Video. The American digital marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk (OMG is anyone else sad he has gone on holiday for 3 weeks, I mean, how dare he…..) is always going on about video. He recently said: ‘Facebook video right now is what Google adwords were in the early 2000s’By that he means cheap and effective. Mainly because a lot of people can’t do video and so therefore don’t use it. There is a barrier to entry. (BTW, if you suffer from not being able to do video you need to check my video course right here)
- Remember the audience decides, not you! I love this point as it is such a U-turn from my previous life in newspapers where there was an all-seeing-oracle-style editor who took decisions based on, well, when you think about it, who knows what! On their own nuances, whims and moods. Let me give you an example of a current client whose social videos we produce. They have an overseas arm of their business who put a lot of effort into artful slow moving videos. These might be great on TV. Meanwhile, their UK team, aka, my team and I, favour producing pretty short fast videos with lots of timelapse and stop motion effects. We just heard that these catch attention better. Were we part of the traditional media, we would have meetings, debate this at length with our all-‘knowing’ editor and eventually come to some sort of decision based on a hunch. We don’t need to debate it. The proof is in the figures. Audiences experience content in micro moments, and as savvy users of the internet we want things now now now and we don’t have time to wait for what we are going to be shown. The fast videos just do much better!