Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the biggest changes to both Facebook and Instagram since 2014, and yes, you will absolutely see the difference to your business page and post rankings. It’s not all bad though, and to look at it positively, we think it’s a new challenge to be even more community focused – providing interesting, engaging and dynamic content for your audiences.
Here’s our take on what the updates will mean for community marketers.
1. Keep them on Facebook! There’ll be more focus on keeping the audience within the Facebook channel. You’ll have to reduce the number of organic posts with external links and promotional call to actions. Create posts that drive comments, shares and meaningful engagement.
2. LOVE ME, LOL ME, WOW ME – don’t only LIKE me! Yes, Facebook wants us to get more emotional – apparently ‘likes’ have become quite passive and it’s almost as bad as not even responding. Make sure you are creating, asking and encouraging more reactions to your posts using the emoticons.
3. Less organic reach for your page and posts – rumours say at least 20% less. Organic (free) reach for your posts already don’t deliver to all the people who like your page, but now this is going to get even lower. It means more focus on advertising (paid reach) and making sure your organic posts are well targeted and timely to represent your brand.
4. Facebook stories and posts into one feed. Yes, testing is being completed to put everything into one news feed. If you haven’t tried out stories on Facebook and Instagram yet, now’s the time to, because dynamic content like this is likely to get better engagement.
5. Where your website traffic comes from will count! If a large amount of traffic to your website is coming from Facebook and Instagram, then you’d better start seeking new sources. Try and balance your direct and referred traffic using SEO and SEM strategies. Facebook doesn’t want to drive all their traffic to your website.
6. Step-up your social – in real-time and two-ways! Facebook will prioritise business pages that interact. If you want shares, then you should share, if you want comments, then you need to comment back. If you are dormant and don’t respond or actively engage with your followers, or with other pages, then why should your followers engage with you?
7. More emphasis on community – please play nice! As a manager of a Facebook business page or a Facebook group, you are responsible for the posts and audience engagement on the page. Facebook wants everyone to have a positive experience and does not want any type of abuse on their channel. Encourage your audience to abide by the Facebook Community Standards, and remove people or posts that don’t, because otherwise your posts, page or group might get deleted.
1. The news feed is changing – no longer will your posts be in date order and delivered to all your audience, they will be prioritised depending on the quality of the posts. Instagram is getting its own algorithm. Make sure you ask yourself: ‘Does each post provide value for my audience?’
2. Great pictures and less promotional posts – as with the Facebook algorithm – we would expect that posts that are too promotional, have too many words, are not visually pleasing or are not generating conversation will lose traction.
3. Lower rankings for your page on the explorer – if you’re content isn’t good then your business page will get less exposure all round. Focus on the content getting comments and engagement, not only likes!
4. Hashtags – posting 30 hashtags that aren’t relevant or are what Instagram deem as ‘low quality’ will mean lower rankings for your posts and business page. Think ‘less-is-more’ and make sure your hashtags are relevant to the post, your audience and your business offering.
5. The likes will disappear! Well they’ll be there, but your audience won’t be able to see how many other people like the post. Gone is the popularity contest. Interesting to see how many people engage when they can’t see others’ responses. And, to counteract this make sure you ask your audience to tell you what they think – to generate more comments!