The year began with Mark Zuckerberg announcing a change in Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm, which altered what posts users see on their Newsfeed. Apparently, public content, which included posts from businesses, brands, and media, was getting in the way of people connecting with each other.
Since this update, the average reach for brands’ FB posts has decreased from 26 to 19.5 percent, according to a study by EdgeRank Checker. This means that your post is only visible to 20 percent of your followers. The study also found that brand engagement has gone down by 17 percent since the update.
But if you’re a brand reading this, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Although, the Newsfeed will now reprioritize personal stories and social interactions; whatever you do post on FB, should engage in meaningful interactions with your followers. This can only be done if you know how your audience thinks; and by creating valuable content that is appealing, relevant and intended for them.
So, what can you do to engage in a meaningful way with your followers?
The updated Newsfeed will now prefer to show posts that garner genuine engagement, which should drive dialogue between users in the comments section, as well as get them to share and like the post. Avoid lengthy posts, by keeping them crisp and under 250 characters. Educational posts, photos and videos get more engagement than text-only posts. Don’t forget to make sure your videos are in a square format and use text to make the videos more mobile-friendly, since 85% of FB video are watched with the sound off. Avoid engagement bait posts at all costs; FB will demote such posts. Facebook’s Insights is a great tool to see what posts are working and appealing to your audience.
Ask your followers to click on the “See First” option on your Page. By enabling this, they are telling the algorithm to prioritize posts from you and will automatically be shown at the top of their Newsfeed. To take advantage of this, you have to make sure people are following your page, by clicking Follow near the cover photo. Second, hover your cursor over the Following or Liked near the cover photo and select See First.
With over 2.2 billion active users, Facebook still reigns supreme when it comes to social networking sites. However, that doesn’t mean you should be totally dependent on it for your social media marketing. Diversifying to other platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, will not only increase your reach but can also be effective in generating leads for your brand.
Preferred Audience and Paid Promotions
Before publishing a post, Facebook now gives you the option of selecting your preferred audience by typing in tags that are of interest to certain users, without limiting visibility to others. On the other hand, you can also restrict your post’s audience based on certain demographics as well.
Other effective ways to get exposure for your content is through Facebook ads and sponsored posts.
Although organic reach of posts has decreased considerably after the updated Facebook algorithm, not all hope is lost. Content is still King, and if your post has something meaningful to say then it will get the views it deserves. Facebook has also introduced some new features like “See First” and Preferred Audience, which essentially provide both you and your audience to dictate what each one sees. This is a good opportunity for marketers to leverage this change and come up with creative ways to engage with their audience on Facebook.
What are some of your favourite ways to drive engagement? Do they include any of the above mentioned methods or something new? Let us know in the comments section below!