By Michelle Betts, ByJove media
Social media is awash at the moment with discussions about Mark Zuckerberg’s (CEO Of Facebook) announcement last week for his plans for 2018. Mark released a statement saying this year the platform is making a major change and shifting it’s focus;
“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions. We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”
Many businesses and marketeers have read this and decided this means ‘Facebook Zero’, business pages will no longer show in the newsfeed on the platform unless they pay. There is much scaremongering taking place that organic reach (people who see your posts without you paying for them to) is dead. However, organic reach has been on the decline for a number of years for businesses, indeed on average organic reach is just 2% of your page audience.
BUT, and this is a big BUT, if your business page is producing engaging content which generates interest and discussion with your target (and that is key – your target) audience then organic reach will not have declined as much for your business page. And, even with the new updates, your organic reach will be higher than average as Mark’s statement outlines engagement by communities will be key in this new Facebook world.
It’s time for change and rather than looking at the announcement as apocalyptic, look at it as an opportunity to rethink your social media strategy. You could shift your focus to other platforms – remember though, Instagram is owned by Facebook so could go the same way! I believe it’s key to remember social media has always been about social networking, not social selling. No one goes on the platforms thinking ‘I need to buy x’, they have always used the platforms to engage with family and friends, to find out news and useful information.
Consider how you can engage your target audience and build a community. You can no longer rely on ‘engagement bait’ asking for likes, reactions, shares or comments. Facebook have got wise to this and are cracking down hard on it. You need to think ‘why am I posting this’ for each piece of content. Think about your audience and review how your content is adding value for them and making a difference. You will need a blend of content, some video, some live video and some graphics; mix it up to keep things interesting for your audience.
Live video on Facebook receives on average six times as many interactions as other videos but this does not mean all your videos should be live or indeed all your content should be video! However, consistently posting live videos, perhaps at the same time each week so your audience starts to expect them, will help your reach and engagement.
My thoughts on this shift for Facebook are to view it as an opportunity. Look at how you can weave storytelling into your social media posts and build a community around your content. If you struggle with live videos or any video at all, use your Facebook and Instagram business pages as a gallery, a brochure; showcase your blogs, useful articles, graphics and position your business as an expert in it’s field. Make sure your website links to your page so people can see your up to date content on Facebook when checking out your business.
Talking of websites, its important to remember social media platforms are ‘borrowed spaces’. Your business can have a presence on there but you don’t own the platform; if Mark decided to shut down Facebook tomorrow there would nothing any of us could do about it. Drive people to your website and build your mailing lists as these are your assets – but ensure you are complying with data protection regulations and the new GDPR regulations (more on that in a later article!).
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