When Facebook first launched in February 2004, its mission was to give individuals a means of communicating and connecting with family, friends and classmates. Fast forward 14 years: Facebook is a Silicon Valley behemoth and the most powerful advertising platform in the world. The stats are staggering. Facebook boasts more than 1 billion users – that’s 9 of every 10 people. So it’s no surprise brands saw, and capitalized on, the massive marketing opportunity to dominate the News Feed and reach new customers with their social media content strategy.
But as we know, Facebook and other social platforms are ever-evolving, constantly making incremental updates and changes that respond to users’ desires and behaviors. The update Facebook announced last month, however, wasn’t a tweak – it was a major change that impacts every brand’s social media content strategy. Here are six tips to lessen the blow and help you continue to see ROI from your Facebook investment.
As head of Facebook’s News Feed Adam Mosseri noted in a press release, “Facebook was built to bring people closer together and build relationships. One of the ways we do this is by connecting people to meaningful posts from their friends and family in News Feed.” Long story short: Facebook is reprioritizing content in News Feeds. Rather than allowing companies to bombard users with posts in their News Feed, Facebook will prioritize personal content family and friends have shown an interest in and/or interacted with previously.
Tip 1: Focus on Engaging Content
If you want your Facebook content strategy to remain viable, it’s time to get serious about creating truly engaging content. The quality of your social media content is more important than the quantity. If necessary, scale back to one post per day, but focus on integrating the following aspects into your Facebook posts/ads:
- Tell a compelling story
- Keep it concise and easy to scan
- Speak to your target audience’s interests
- Use faces to provide emotional depth in stories
Tip 2: “See First”
Adapting your posts and ads going forward is key to your social media content strategy, but there are simple steps you can take to ensure you retain the followers you’ve already worked so hard to pull into your social funnel. Encourage current followers to use the “see first” feature on Facebook. This feature gets around the new algorithm and shows followers posts from your page first.
Tip 3: Create a Facebook Group for Followers
Facebook groups are not impacted by the changes to the Facebook algorithm, so creating a Facebook group for your business and encouraging fans to join ensures they’ll see your content on a regular basis. You’ll still want to focus on providing them with engaging, quality content to get them posting, sharing, and liking, but at a minimum, this ensures they still see your social content.
Tip 4: Run Contests Off Facebook Instead
Facebook looks down on so-called “engagement bait.” You’ve seen these posts, or maybe your brand has used them. Engagement bait are posts/ads that explicitly request a like, share, or comment. Contests are common on Facebook because they boost brand awareness, but the algorithm change limits the reach. Try hosting contests on your company website and have contestants share on Facebook for entries. This gets your content out to their friends and family without your business posting the information first.
Tip 5: Go Live!
Video content is gaining popularity, both on Facebook and on the web, in general. However, Facebook classifies traditional video as passive content. Take advantage of Facebook’s reach and “live” feature to go live with instant video content. Live videos generate six times the engagement of regular video content, and are watched 3 times longer.
Tip 6: Refine SEO Efforts to Boost Social Media Content Strategy
With Facebook tightening the strings on the News Feed, it’s time to double down on your SEO strategies. Brands can boost the effectiveness of your social media content strategy and get around the algorithm change by improving your SEO. By bringing more people to your business or blog organically, many of them will share your content. Those shares are then seen by their family and friends. The result is greater brand awareness on the News Feed without pummeling your followers with one post after another.