Things are changing in the Facebook News Feed. For better or worse, depending on your point of view.
This month Facebook changed how it ranks posts, photos, and videos in users' News Feeds. The goal was to put the content of friends and family above organizational pages. Marketers immediately went into panic mode. What does this mean for your business and your Facebook audience? The news isn't as bleak as it initially sounds. In fact, it might even be time to rejoice.
What you need to know
Under the new algorithms, content from family, friends, and groups will be prioritized over content from brands and publishers. This is bad news for marketers. All the effort social media marketers put into designing posts and writing articles will be lost as they see their company pages pushed aside. Gone are the days when a funny meme can go viral through the Facebook News Feed.
Facebook is attempting to make its site more user-friendly instead of catering to businesses pushing their content and cluttering up user News Feeds. The ultimate goal is meaningful engagement over mindless scrolling.
There's a loophole though
The key to the algorithm is "meaningful engagement." Friends, family, and groups tend to get automatic meaningful engagement based on existing relationships and regular interaction. Users usually comment, share, and tag each other in more posts, photos, and videos from people they know than from companies. This doesn't have to be true though. A business can achieve equal engagement by making it a priority.
What you can do
Instead of simply creating posts with the goal of getting the most likes or views, try something different. Set up a poll to get customer input. Ask for comments on the post. Get people's opinions. Create content with the idea of sharing it. This way your posts will spread and you will be more visible in the News Feed if a friend has shared your business post.
Comments and shares rank much higher to Facebook than simply a "like." Liking a post takes almost no thought or effort. You want your Facebook audience to interact with your brand.
Another great way to increase engagement is to set up groups on your company page. These are tools where your audience can connect with other members who share similar interests. Obviously when people post within the group, Facebook will see that users care about the latest content from that group. If your organization is hosting the group, then you will stay top-of-mind with your audience.
When people regularly comment, share, or participate in a group, then the visibility of your organizational page will not be lost in the News Feed.
Ethan Hausmann is currently the Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach for Successtar Enterprises LLC. He is an author, professional speaker, and seminar/workshop instructor. Ethan has extensive knowledge and experience in marketing, customer service, leadership, and other small business related concerns.