If you’re currently using Facebook to interact with your customers and prospects, you are well aware of the benefits of having a business page on Facebook. Social-media marketing is a strong way to increase engagement with clients, to increase your website’s presence with search engines, and to share your message and services with minimal financial investment. Recently, Facebook has made significant changes to its algorithms; this is most likely having a negative effect on your social-media strategy. In the past, your customers went to their news feed and saw every recent update posted by all of their friends, as well as your business updates – which meant that as long as your fans logged on within a reasonable period of time, they would most likely see your post.
Within the last year, though, Facebook changed its news feeds to have two options: 1) Most Recent posts, and 2) Top Stories, where users can select whether they prefer to see posts based on time frame or on popularity. This makes reaching your fans a little more difficult, as you would either need to have lots of interaction on your posts to qualify as a “Top Story,” or they would have to select “Most Recent.”
Once Facebook went public, the algorithms shifted even further. Now the site only displays posts based on a user’s interest and interaction history. Simply put, Facebook’s new metrics show only those posts and updates that it thinks the user would be interested in. Interest is related to interaction, so everyone’s news feeds are populated only with updates from the brands, and the people, they interact with most often (based on likes, comments, shares, etc.).
Why did Facebook do this? To promote advertising opportunities! Unless your Facebook updates receive a lot of interaction, chances are that only a very small percentage of your fans are even seeing what you post. To increase visibility, Facebook provides advertising (the small ads along the right-hand side of your news feed) and sponsored posts. For a fee, you can make one of your posts a sponsored post, which would then reach a large majority of your fans.
What can you do? The best way to gain visibility for your posts is organically: by posting strong, interesting, engaging content that people will want to like/share. The more people who interact with your post, the more likely your content will appear in their news feed in the future. Not to mention that, when someone interacts with your post, it gets displayed for all their friends and followers to see. Sponsored posts and ad campaigns can be very effective, but it’s important to select the right content —one that maximizes your social-media strategy.
If all these updates and algorithms are confusing, please understand that you’re not alone! Most people don’t even know that Facebook has made these changes and that they are missing over half the posts made by their friends, family, and interest pages.