Account Manager, Justine Mancini
At Callan Group Communications, we always tout how important and necessary it is to stay on top of trends. What many people don’t realize is staying on top of trends goes beyond just knowing the viral post of the day. This also means keeping an eye out for algorithm changes and trends in post engagement.
One platform that often goes through more algorithm changes than most is Facebook. Yes, Facebook has been working on changing up its algorithm and what posts and stories are presented on each individual’s news feed. While it has been a slow change over the past two years, it seems many businesses and brands are seeing the consequences when analyzing the insights of their post reach. For instance, some brands have reported that their organic reach is now only at 2% of their total reach, where before it was not uncommon for organic reach to be at 80% for a page with a dedicated strategy.
So what has Facebook changed to cause such a drastic drop? The main change has been the shift to making the feed personal. In fact, Mark Zuckerburg himself said that users should “expect to see more from friends, family, and groups” and less from “businesses, brands, and media.” Additionally, Facebook has now implemented a “Why am I seeing this post?” feature on posts that show up in an individual’s news feed. If one post shows up that someone doesn’t necessarily like, they can just click on this button and choose to see less posts of that nature in their feed. In essence, by being annoyed at a single post, a user can incidentally mass eliminate the potential to see ANY post that Facebook decides is “similar” to that one annoying post- seemingly arbitrarily or at least with little discretion.
So how is a business to survive on Facebook in this environment without paying to boost every post? By paying attention instead. Pay attention to what is engaging to your audience. Keeping in mind that Facebook will now bury posts that seemingly are intentionally baiting the audience for reactions, shares, and comments, Facebook will push posts that receive more engagement. Your audience is part of your story – let them help you tell it! The goal here is to write a post that endears so much to your followers that they feel compelled to comment and share on their own accord – without you outright asking “please comment below and share with your friends” on the post itself.
Facebook no longer takes kindly to links to external websites (yep, even to your own business website). But Facebook does love images and you should never post something text-only without an image to accompany it. Facebook also highly favors video content. If you are able to post videos of your business (whether behind the scenes, a quick shout out, showing off a product, etc.) go for it! If you are able to find time to film a “Live” video and stream directly on Facebook, that is also highly recommended for purposes of post reach.
The third type of post that seems to do well despite Facebook’s hard-to-grasp algorithm is “quote posts”! Inspirational, motivational, funny, random, fictional, whatever-you’re-in-the-mood-for quotes – all seem to work! Quotes are something that is easily recognized and relatable to users of all different walks of life. This relatiablity creates a connection to the user, and when the user feels a personal connection to a post, they are more likely to comment on it and/or share it to their own page!
While above are a few tips for business owners and social media managers, how can you, as a consumer, help these businesses get their name to stay relevant on Facebook?
The best piece of advice to consumers and fans is this: Make sure you are following the pages you want to help succeed. When you “like” a page, you can also “follow” the page. When you choose to follow a page, you can also tell Facebook how often you want to see posts from this page in your newsfeed. For your favorite business and pages, make sure you tell Facebook that you want to see their posts first (yes, that is an option)! You can even turn on notifications for a specific page if you want to take your support a step further. And of course, be sure you are commenting, reacting, and sharing posts that resonate with you for the businesses that you love. Remember, your favorite businesses can’t survive without exposure!