Does your business's social media marketing strategy rely on your Facebook Page? Don't be surprised if your Page's reach and traffic tank.
Facebook announced that it is revamping its News Feed with a major change that will directly affect Page owners: Instead of featuring posts from a wide range of sources, News Feed will now promote posts from a user's friends by placing them higher up on the feed. This presents a big shift for small business owners, who can now expect less visibility for their posts and, consequently, a decrease in Page traffic.
Here's what we know about the update and what small businesses can do to mitigate the damage and improve their Facebook marketing campaigns. [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
Facebook's News Feed algorithm change aims to give users "the right mix" of content based on their connections — friends, businesses, organizations, public figures and other types of accounts — [their] interests and what matters to them the most, the company wrote in its blog. This is all based on feedback the social network gathered from users to improve their News Feed experience.
There are three parts to the update:
- Promote friends' posts. News Feed will promote a user's friends' posts — everything from status updates to photos, videos and links — by placing them higher up on the screen so they will be harder to miss. These posts will supersede those by Pages, groups and other accounts, giving the latter less visibility.
- Less irrelevant content. Previously, posts that friends have liked or commented on also appeared throughout News Feed. Users have said that they don't care about seeing these posts, so this content will now be placed lower in the News Feed, if at all.
- Additional posts. To make News Feed more diverse, Facebook prevented multiple posts by the same account from appearing on News Feed. This is no longer the case, so now more of a user's friends' posts will show up on that person's feed, further displacing posts by business Pages and other accounts.
For many businesses, the question is whether these changes will greatly impact their posts and Page performance. Facebook says this will "vary considerably" based on your followers and posting activity, but that post reach and referral traffic may "potentially decline."
Facebook advises Page owners to keep posting content that resonates with their audience. Recommendations include:
- Make sure to post quality content on a consistent basis. Facebook suggests scheduling posts for optimum visibility, such as when most of your followers are online and when you have major announcements and events.
- Highly target posts based on your type of message and demographics, such as gender, age, location, interests and other factors.
- Keep it fresh with new and timely content, and then test to see what performs best and makes for more successful campaigns.
- Use Facebook Ads to promote exclusive discounts and promotions
For more ideas on improving your Facebook marketing strategies, visit Pages best practices, which will also show you how to measure your Page's performance and determine whether it was affected by the News Feed update.