Facebook’s latest news feed update is its biggest yet: It wants to focus more on meaningful exchanges, and less on commercial content. The hope is that people will comment and share more, while spending less time reading content from brands. In other words, commercial content is taking a backseat to posts from friends and family.
On the surface, this looks extremely bad for brands; if Facebook shows the content less, how are brands supposed to cultivate relationships, generate leads, and make sales on the social media site?
You can, but you have to approach it differently.
Stop Sharing for the Sake of Sharing
For years, brands have taken the “more is more” approach on Facebook. They’ve shared anything and everything. If they wrote a blog post, they put it up on Facebook. The same was true if they had a deal, special offer, or industry news.
That isn’t going to work on the Facebook of today. Today’s Facebook is all about engagement. Your brand can still get its content out to the masses if people engage with it. If Facebook sees that people like, comment, or share your content, you won’t get pushed to the back of the feed; instead, Facebook will realize your content encourages meaningful connections, so you will get the exposure you need.
That means you need to put thought into every piece of content you share. You have to ask yourself if it’s going to inspire a conversation or if it has the potential to go viral. If you think it will only get a like or two, shelf it and look for something else.
Get to Know Your Audience (For Real)
If you’re going to truly engage your audience, you have to move past your files full of metrics and analytics and really find out what your audience wants. Create polls asking your audience what they want to learn about, and then deliver. This will help you boost your engagement in two ways: First, make use of polls, which are popular on Facebook. Next, follow the poll up with the right type of content to boost your engagement levels even more.
Boost Your Most Engaging Content
When you create a piece of content on Facebook that is particularly well received, turn it into an ad to give it a bigger boost. This is a great way to get around the algorithm changes and put your brand out in front of the masses. It’s also another way to improve your engagement metrics on the site. Again, the more engaging your content is, the easier it will be for you to avoid being penalized by the changes.
Make Use of Groups
Don’t forget about Facebook Groups. You can now post as your brand inside of Groups. Unlike the news feed, you don’t have to worry about being buried inside of a Group. You can still get maximum exposure inside of Facebook Groups.
Facebook is Ever Changing
It’s important to understand that Facebook is anything but stagnant. It undergoes update after update, and it’s up to marketers and brands to keep up. This latest update might be the biggest as far as brands are concerned, but it’s not the end of Facebook marketing. It’s just a new beginning.