Facebook is the current king of personal social media and business administrators have been tapping into this easy marketing for years. The thing is, Facebook’s tech team is constantly tweaking and changing the Newsfeed algorithms to better the landscape for its users and partners. Whether you’re using Facebook to market or advertise or you’re an individual power user trying to get the most likes you can muster, it’s important to keep up to date with these changes and adjust your strategy accordingly.
There’s been some speculation as to why Facebook is changing again. More recently, changes have been made that show some posts more than others in the Newsfeed. Which posts are shown more differs between pages and users themselves. Facebook has made it so links and media shares are shown more frequently to users than text-only updates from pages, while text-only updates from regular users on their friends lists will continue to show just as frequently. This is speculated to be because of an effort to curb the effectiveness of other news discovery tools and bolster Facebook’s visibility in search engines. This theory does tie into Facebook’s new “trending” feed that delivers news stories to users’ Newsfeeds in a side panel in an effort to get them to share. In the future, Facebook is rumored to launch its own e-Newspaper app, and this could be the preparatory work.
It’s All About Sharing
Facebook’s most recent tweaks have come about because of what users share. Regular users are extremely likely to share text-only updates from other users, but were not shown to be very likely to share text-only updates from pages. As a result, Facebook has decided to change things up a bit and show more text-based updates from users but less text-based updates from pages. This is great news for power-users who enjoy posting low-effort witticisms and inspirational quotes, but what about page administrators?
Explore Your Creative Side
Media updates from pages are much more likely now to reach your audience than normal text-based updates thanks to this new rollout, so it’s in every page administrator’s best interest to start sharing media – video, picture, even links. This doesn’t necessarily mean every page is going to need a creative savant to bring new content to the page all the time – videos from Youtube, links to Soundcloud, even a meme from 9gag would do just as well – though new content will never hurt, especially when it comes to making your brand stand out. Grab someone on your team who knows how to use Photoshop and the wittiest person you know and start producing. Your brand could possibly become the next big thing that people share because they genuinely like it, and that does in fact translate into better business – just ask Progressive and their early Flo ads. Transfer the same idea to social media and your brand can easily go viral. Make a video, write a song, just step beyond the boring text-based updates; they won’t help you much anymore anyway.
It Might Be Beneficial to Borrow
If producing new content isn’t the strong suit of your administration, you can always look to the internet for things to share.
Many of today’s biggest internet media outlets, be they Youtube, 9gag, Vimeo, or even reddit, have links to automatically share to Facebook. If you find something particularly funny, poignant, or topical and think your “Likers” would appreciate it, don’t hesitate to share it to your page. Image macros, memes, videos of interest, independent music from Bandcamp, or anything else you find that supports your message and fits your image is a good idea to post. The internet is all about sharing and Facebook capitalizes on this – just don’t go around spreading copyrighted material!
While you can just copy and paste links into your updates, Facebook recommends using the “Share” feature found on participating websites so that users have a more feature-rich media experience. Facebook’s research also claims that content shared int this manner gets more Likes, comments, and re-shares than content posted by an embedded link.
Posting items that aren’t simply your own advertisements is also a great way to humanize your business and endear yourself to regular users. There is undeniably (and arguably understandably) an anti-corporation sentiment among many citizens, especially young people. By making your business look less like a soulless money-making machine and more like a collection of like-minded individuals, you can help reverse the damage.
An excellent business strategy followed by the likes of the aforementioned Progressive Insurance is to try to appeal to your audience’s need to be entertained. While talking about what your company offers is great, it doesn’t offer the user a reason to stick around. If your users feel like they are getting some value out of keeping you “Liked,” then they’re that much more likely to remain subscribed to you and therefore, that much more likely to share your posts. Even if your posts being shared aren’t entirely business-related, you’re still building name recognition and endearing more potential customers.
There’s something to be said about how strange an experience it is to see a corporate entity act decidedly uncorporate-like. If the underlying intent of this behavior is to make people laugh or an apparently genuine desire to share something of interest with the masses, the end result is a net positive. Don’t match the general consensus of what a corporation is: a money-grubbing empire that looks at people as numbers and profit rather than humans. Be your user’s friend. In return, users will look at you the same way and reward you with free press.
What Content Should I Post?
Some page administrators believe this is a push to get administrators to pay for priority visibility in their members’ Newsfeeds. This is not necessarily true; while paying for “promoted” posts will indeed make your posts more visible, this is a change to bring users the content they want to view anyway. This may seem like it comes at a cost to hobbyist pages and the like that only want to get content out to their audiences, but there’s an easy workaround: include your text content with the share like a Trojan Horse of sorts. Find a related piece of media to share or post and accompany it with the message you’re trying to get across.
Because of this change, this strategy may make your text visible to even more people than it previously was. Couple that with the pointers we gave you earlier, and you could be doing much better with whatever it is your page is trying to accomplish in the end. More eyes on your content, more shares, and even more eyes on your content in a self-perpetuating cycle.
In the end, what’s most important is knowing your audience; you should know what they like and what they dislike. Trial-and-error can get you there. Post a variety of different things, see what gets the likes, comments, and shares, and adjust what you post in the future accordingly. When Facebook changes, the appropriate response isn’t to complain, but to evolve.