Having delved into what the changes mean for our clients (and the Empire) we realized the new algorithm isn’t as harmful as it may initially seem. Simply put, it means small businesses need to start zeroing in on the methods that have worked in the past and incorporate them into their daily marketing strategies. Instead of trying to figure out a way around Facebook’s recent changes, learn how to capitalize on them, creating content that will keep you high in your customers’ feeds.
Quality is priority — create valuable content.
Ultimately, the news feed will favour posts that foster genuine engagement and meaningful social interaction — and remember the Facebook hierarchy: comments mean more than shares and shares mean more than likes. To create real engagement, audience has to be moved to actually DO something, and the more complicated that something is, the better. For small businesses, this means your content should encourage dialogue between users. So how do you do that?
• Polls. Opinions. Caption contests. Create a platform for users and customers to share their story – and then use your clout to
make the impact even wider.
• Connect with community by posting and sharing current non-profit and charity events and mandates. Pick a few organizations that you really believe in and amplify their message – and their followers and friends will do the same for you. Reciprocity, baby.
• Whether it’s holiday related or drawing on a trending topic, make sure your content is relevant to your community.
• Try an educational video featuring your product to draw folks in and foster trust in your brand. This not only exposes potential users to your product or service, but it also creates a relationship. Hearing you speak and give away great DIY tips is an easy way to foster a sense of giving back.
Video & Mobile are the future – and the future is now
With changes in the news feed, optimizing for mobile has become increasingly important. For your customers to comment, like or share your post, it should first and foremost be user-friendly. The easier your video is to view, understand and relate to, the more likely it is to garner true engagement. Here are ways to boost your brand’s presence in the news feed.
• Create mobile-friendly square video. It’s an effective way to ensure that your content stands out in the customer feed, no matter how they’re viewing it.
• Remember, 85% of Facebook video is viewed with the sound off. Use text to make your video accessible to folks viewing on mobile devices.
• Storytelling makes customers more likely to engage with content, so share video content that has a narrative customers can connect with.
Don’t count on Facebook to do all the heavy lifting. Diversify.
Instagram and Twitter (don’t worry, you can mute all the #TrumpTweets with one click) and LinkedIn are all valid and valuable places to share content. Many businesses have come to discover that their audience was never on Facebook after all: remember to consider your product, target market, and talents before dumping all your eggs in any basket.
Keep these tips in mind to broaden your reach, and take advantage of the available tools.
• Test out different kinds of ads to gauge the sort of content that performs best on each platform. To get started, make a square instructional video for both Instagram and Facebook to test which platform receives more engagement.
• Keep your pulse on current trends and use copy that’s topical and relevant to your customers.
• Try a mix of short and long videos to see which garners more engagement.
• Take advantage of testing within a social media platform. On Facebook, try Live, ads and boosted posts. But don’t test blindly: set specific measurable criteria that match your goals (brand awareness, sales, website traffic) and track everything.
Your brand has unique strengths you can leverage to stand out in the news feed. While Facebook is now focusing more on personal connection than brand awareness, that doesn’t mean your business can’t and won’t thrive there. It just means it’s time to put authenticity back at the forefront…where it belongs.