Mark Zuckerberg announced on Friday that Facebook will be making changes to the newsfeed algorithm (again...) in order to create more meaningful interactions. Basically, he wants users to see more from family and friends, not businesses, public figures or parody pages.
While I wasn't immediately thrilled with the news, I did see potential for brands of all sizes to start producing better content. Yes, brands should have been doing this all along, but the reality is that some don't. Maybe this will help and weed out the posting just to post and be on social crowd...
But for those of you who take Facebook as a serious part of your business's social strategy, there are a couple of things you can do to continue social media success in 2018 and beyond. Here are 5 things that I think you should start doing immediately ... like right now!
Evaluate your Facebook performance
Look back on the past 6 months or the entire year of 2017 and find out which content worked the best for your brand. The key metrics to look at are shares and comments. With the new algorithm in place, shares will be crucial in extending your content to a wider and new audience. Comments will showcase sentiment and the posts that really drove your followers to engage with each post with more than just a tap of "like."
I would also take a look at post frequency. Brands will need to focus on quality not quantity moving forward, so if that brings your posting down to once a day or only a couple of times per week, that is OK. There will be instances with the new update where not posting every single day (usually a best practice) is beneficial and smart.
Post more videos Some articles about this topic actually state that the emphasis on video will be pulled away from. I have a hard time believing this, and I will let the numbers explain why. In 2017, over 8 billion videos and 100 million hours of video were watched every single day on Facebook. 65% of users who watched the first 3 seconds of a video continued to watch for 10 seconds, and 45% watched for 30 seconds.
Yeah, so I do not believe an emphasis on video will be taken away anytime soon. That being said - your business must start posting more videos. If you have a lot of written content such as articles and eBooks, don't waste time coming up with new ideas for videos, repurpose old content in a new form. If budget isn't in your favor for big production videos, try products like Adobe Spark - there is a free version that creates great videos. *Disclaimer - I use the product, and LOVE it*
Go LIVE Even without this new algorithm from Facebook, your business cannot be successful in 2018 if you do not try going live. In early 2017 I still wasn't comfortable going live until I heard Brian Fanzo say "push the F**** button," and yeah, I have been pushing live ever since - with great success!
Certain BAU posts will get buried in the newsfeed, but live video will stand out. Your followers can be notified when you go live and it will also show up at the top of the homepage where "stories" sit.
Live videos also receive 10x more comments than regular videos and other posts. Comments are the engagements you want along with shares - so going live seems like a no brainer. No fancy equipment is needed either. For work, I use an affordable cell phone stand and for one of my personal live shows, I literally place my cell phone on about 8-9 stacked books. No one sees what is filming, just who is on camera and the valuable information they are giving!
Tap into Influencer Marketing Influencer Marketing is no longer a buzzword - it is the real deal in marketing strategies. Macro and micro influencers have the power to extend your brand voice and values to multiple audiences and have prospects recognize and trust your brand.
Since Facebook wants us to see more from family and friends - why not get those family and friends to speak positively about your brand? Quick and simple shout outs are all it will take for others to see your business, the products you offer and a chance for users to click on your profile to further engage.
To get started with influencer marketing, simply research macro and micro influencers within your industry. Engage with them organically at first to build a relationship (this is the key to IM.) If your team has budget, establish a plan with incentives, if not, then come up with a plan that benefits both parties without any paid aspects (guest spots on blogs, call outs on social media, etc.)
Delete your Facebook page Did anyone's eyes widen when they read that? Or did anyone scream WHAT? If so, I am not surprised. This suggestion is extreme, I understand that, but it makes sense and may be completely necessary for some businesses.
My initial thought with this new algorithm is that it will be the hardest for brands to grow their like/follow count. Engagement can increase or stay the same, but it will be difficult to get new likes/follows every day, week or month.
If your brand has not seen steady growth on weekly basis or any engagement on posts, it may be time to delete your page. It is hard for me to suggest this because I know how successful organic social media can be, but the giants like Facebook are trying to compete, and in the end, not all businesses can keep up and grow.
Luckily, there are SO many other platforms for your business to succeed on! 2018 may be the year for you to focus more on Twitter and LinkedIn, or even explore new opportunities like Instagram and Snapchat - there are many other ways besides Facebook.
I am interested to see how this new algorithm plays out and if it ends up having a major impact on business/other pages like all social media marketers think it will!