Is it the end of the [Facebook business Page] world as we know it? Well, it may not be the end, but business Page managers are going to have to up their game if they want their content to be seen according to a news announcement from Facebook last week.
What’s happening and why?
Facebook is rolling out an update to the News Feed that will prioritize posts from friends and family over public content. It’s not the first time we’ve heard this, but the impact of this update to Facebook Pages will be more significant.
Facebook has gathered feedback from users indicating that public posts from businesses are taking over their newsfeeds and preventing them from seeing the stuff they really care about—updates from friends and family. Facebook was created for the purpose of bringing people together after all.
After conducting multiple studies, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg says, “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.”
What Facebook Page managers need to know and do
If you manage a Facebook Page, you need to be prepared to change how you approach content sharing on Facebook. Be aware that with this new change, your organic reach is likely to decrease dramatically unless your content is engaging.
Zuckerburg said, “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Since the update hasn’t rolled out yet, we’ve not yet seen the impact. But we’ve been given fair warning, so here are some things we think may be helpful as you rethink your Facebook Page strategy:
- Post engaging content
You’ve heard this time and again, but now it’s more important than ever because Facebook will be paying attention to how well people interact with your content. Pages that are posting “passive content” (posts that don’t get much interaction) could see the biggest decreases in distribution of their posts. Live videos are a great example of engaging content.
- Don’t post just to post
If you do not have something to share that you think will solicit reaction, comments and shares from your followers, don’t post it. As mentioned above, having posts with little interaction will impact whether or not your content appears in News Feeds at all.
- Build brand ambassadors
If Facebook wants content shared by Pages to be engaging, ask your employees, friends, and family to share, like, and comment on your posts. Maybe they can tag a friend who would be interested in the topic and start a dialogue. This type of engagement is what Facebook is looking for, and means your content is more likely to reach people.
- Be your own brand ambassador
If you’re both the business owner and Page manager, be sure to share, like, and comment on your own posts as well. But be sure you are doing so as yourself and not as the Page. You can easily toggle between the two using the arrow next to your profile picture (see below).
- Invite people to like your Page
You and your employees can invite Facebook friends to like your Page.
- Tell followers how to ensure they don’t miss your posts
One way to be sure your Page followers are not missing updates from you is to ask them to:
- Check the setting to “See First” any posts made on your Page (watch this brief Social Media Examiner video and see graphics below for instructions).
- Turn on notifications so they know each time you post (see mobile and desktop examples of where to update this setting below).
While all of the above are intended to increase organic reach, you should also consider setting a budget for Facebook advertising if you have something worthy of promotion (i.e. content, events, giveaways, products, or specials). This new update further supports our expectations that businesses will ultimately have to pay to play on Facebook. They’re making it almost inevitable.
B2B businesses should also consider increasing your social presence on LinkedIn through creating a Company Page and posting updates there, and potentially launching paid advertising campaigns. It’s likely your buyers and decision makers are active on LinkedIn, making it an ideal place to reach them.
What should you do as a Facebook user?
Other business owners and Page managers will be facing the same dilemma. As a Facebook user, do you enjoy seeing updates from businesses you support? You may no longer see those if you and other followers don’t engage with content they share. You can do them a favor by doing the same things you’re hoping your followers will do: follow their page; share, like, and comment on their posts; and tell Facebook you want to see their posts first.
Want to support more local businesses on Facebook? Check out Facebook’s Explore Feed where you can find page suggestions, local picks and more. You can even opt to get notified about new pages for restaurants and businesses near you so you can follow them.