Ah, Facebook. The 900-lb social media gorilla that you can't ignore, with 2.07 billion monthly active users. But the bigger Facebook gets, the harder it is for them to keep people happy. For the past several years, Facebook's answer to the quandary of too much content, has been to diminish your slice of the organic-reach pie...especially if you're a business.
Facebook's newest algorithm change puts "friends and family first" in the user experience, and strives to improve the quality of content. Fair enough. We've done some homework and brainstorming for you. We'll bottom-line what this latest Facebook change means - and what you can do about it:
1. For business pages, organic reach is going to stink more than it already does.
2. "Likes" are no longer enough. Facebook wants to see comments. Comments are a big part of what the new algorithms will look for, in order to determine a "quality" post. It's all about starting a conversation. Not only does Facebook want comments, the length of the comments count!
3. For real estate agents, this could mean going out on a limb. Share your opinion on what is driving your local market. Or share your opinion about how tax reform might affect home values in your tourist town. (That $10k SALT cap could make maintaining a second home less viable.)
You get the idea. Avoid completely flammable topics, but do more than pass along canned information. Ask your audience what they think about local development proposals, referendums, ect.
4. You can increase your advertising budget on Facebook to overcome organic reach limits. When you "promote a post" - make sure it's an engaging post that the audience will not only read, but care about enough to comment.
Otherwise, spending more money won't add traction. You could add page Likes through ads and promoted posts, but these won't "stick" without engagement!
5. Ditto for video. In the past, Facebook gave preferential treatment to videos uploaded to their platform. But now, they've decided videos are too passive. Posting videos will no longer assure you of wider organic reach. However, if you make a long comment about the video when you post it, and include a conversation-starting question, this could still work well.
6. Click-bait is dead. Posts that ask "Which do like better, A or B?" are going to be weeded out by the new algorithm. Again, Facebook wants to see "real" engagement, not robotic-sounding "yes"/"no" or "A"/"B" responses.
7. Facebook is always going to mess with the rules every time you figure them out, just like Google messes with SEO right after you revamp your entire website. That's OK! Remember to keep your marketing going on several fronts: email campaigns, direct mail, blogging, and other social media platforms. Keep your website updated, with compelling calls-to-action for lead capture.
8. Facebook will be continually tweaking and reassessing the newest algorithm throughout the year. The overall impact of the changes, as well as the effectiveness of counter-strategies, cannot be completely predicted. Pay attention to your page analytics. Look at them at least once a month.
9. The "easy" solution: you may have already seen Facebook posts asking you to do the following steps. You can make the same request to your audience! For best results, duplicate these instructions in an email blast, as well as in a Facebook post - since your post may not be seen by everyone.
1. Ask your audience to go to your Facebook page
2. Once there, they need to click on the "Following" button
3. Then, they need to select "See First."
The odds of getting your audience to comply with this could be small, but it doesn't hurt to ask!
10. Leverage the power of Facebook Groups. Join or start a Facebook group or two. Organic reach is higher in groups. (Engagement still counts.) For real estate, think of groups such as civic organizations, HOA's, rotary clubs, local trade associations, park committees, historical societies, and so on. You may need invitation to a "closed" group - pipe up and ask for one via Facebook Messenger. Make sure you have something to bring to the table - be a contributor!
Last but not least - don't be shy about using a service such as RealSupport to manage your Facebook page! We stay on top of marketing trends and technology changes, so you can focus on your clients, and on income-producing activities!
Call Carrie for your free, personal consultation, 847-705-1655!
Copywriter & Marketing Specialist