Facebook Changes – is Social Media Marketing Over?
You have likely heard that there’s been BIG news in the Facebook world!
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced some changes happening to the Facebook NewsFeed in 2018, and it has some marketers’ heads spinning.
First off, let’s just admit that social media will ALWAYS be changing. It’s the nature of it. There will always be a new rule, tactic or even social media platform to contend with.
And so, before we even get into the nitty gritty of this Facebook change, let me give you a huge piece of advice:
Remember that you are marketing your business on “Social Media,” not just putting your business on Facebook or Pinterest. You have seen the value of engaging with your audience on social media, but the platforms WILL change as you go.
Who knows how the landscape of social media will change even further in the future? What if a business had put all of its eggs into the MySpace basket and refused to adapt? Well, we all know how that would have gone.
Be flexible, make changes and adapt as you go.
On to the specifics. Facebook announced some big changes recently – you can read the whole announcement here. But for those of you who prefer the Cliff’s notes, I’ll summarize.
Originally, Facebook existed for people to build relationships and connect. Over time, NewsFeeds have become increasingly filled with business posts, news, and content that is not interesting to users.
Facebook wants to get back to its roots in 2018, and clean up the NewsFeed. This means people will be seeing more posts from their family and friends, and less posts from businesses. Facebook has realized that actual connection makes people happy, and mindless scrolling through uninteresting content makes people sad. (I can agree with that!)
Now, as a Facebook user, I’m sure you (and I) will be thrilled with these changes! How great to only be seeing the best content in my NewsFeed! And to be done with all of the clutter!
And truthfully, even as someone marketing their product on Facebook, don’t we WANT our posts to be ones that people are excited to see in their NewsFeed? We don’t want to be a part of the noise and clutter!
So – though this announcement will cause us to change a few tactics, it’s not bad news. It will make us put on our thinking caps though!
Practically, what changes do we need to make? Glad you asked!
1. Be personable and engage with people.
This is not news, we should always be doing this! However, now the stakes are a bit higher, because if you are NOT doing this, your posts may not even be served to people.
This means, think in detail about each post before you put it up. Is this relevant to my audience? Will they enjoy this post? Will they want to comment on it? Will they be excited to see this in their NewsFeed?
Plan to BE on your pages, not just scheduling posts and leaving. Actively checking in and replying to EVERYTHING will be key.
Be cautious about link-dropping. If the article or link is truly something that your audience is going to comment on or share, then go for it. But if you are just linking to a blog post, it’s likely not going to be compelling enough.
Bottom line: Your posts will only get into the NewsFeed if there is a TON of engagement. Remember: “Engagement” means likes, comments and shares.
Bonus Note: Facebook will give preference to posts where people are responding with longer form answers. So, rather than asking a question that inspires a one word answer, ask them for something that requires a sentence!
2. Use Video (Especially LIVE video).
We already know that Facebook gives preference to video in the NewsFeed. Meaning, if you post a video it will reach more people than if you had posted a photo.
This will continue to be the case now. In fact, they have said that LIVE video will be huge! Facebook Live generates way more comments and connections than static prerecorded video, so this is the time to break out of your shell and do something live!
Head to this article for some tips on how to use Facebook Live.
3. Avoid clickbait.
Facebook has increasingly cracked down on businesses trying to get “cheap” engagement on their pages. (Example: “Share if you want to win!”)
They will be tightening this up even more throughout 2018. And so, avoid outright asking anyone to respond in the text of your post. Facebook will see this and ding you accordingly.
Better to just be so engaging and interesting that they WANT to comment and share!
4. Make some budget for paid ads.
Yes, it’s true. In order to get the visibility that you are looking for on Facebook, you are likely going to have to start paying some money.
However, the good news is that it doesn’t take an enormous ad budget. Just a few dollars per day can gain you significant results!
5. Diversify your social media presence.
As I said, social media will always be changing, and so it’s never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket.
Start putting some time into Instagram. Would your business be a fit on Pinterest? Start an email list and grow your audience that way.
Diversifying ways that you get the word out about your products is wise, and it allows your business to stand no matter how the social media rules change.
And so, is this the END of Facebook for businesses?
No, I don’t think so. I think we will have to be smart and work hard at nurturing the audience we have, but in the end that’s what we want anyway!
Stay tuned as more details on these changes are revealed!