It's no news that Facebook has been changing exponentially over the last 3 years. Facebook has been testing the waters a lot lately by adding features and removing them quickly just to see how they would do. Mark Zuckerberg has some plans in the works for Facebook still, but the newest iteration of Facebook's algorithm doesn't help businesses much at all. If anything, this new algorithm makes it harder for businesses to be seen and gain new members for their audiences.
The biggest change Facebook has made over the past year or so is to reduce the priority of branded or advertisement content to be shown in people's feeds. The algorithm puts a heavy emphasis on friends and family's posts in your immediate feed. They have realized that people don't interact with blatantly obvious posts meant to advertise for a brand.
Ok, so Facebook is useless then?
No, not at all! Businesses across the spectrum have found that there's a solution to this! Create more engaging, community-driven, and educational content! This change to the algorithm is forcing businesses to get more creative and spice up their posts! Facebook is also prioritizing various media, not just images! Facebook is aiming for "meaningful interactions" on posts now, so it's something to keep in mind when going over your future strategy.
So hope isn't lost! So Facebook doesn't like those sales-y posts anymore, how do I promote my business then?
I like to use the 80/20 rule when it comes to businesses on Facebook! 80% of the time I post real, creative and relevant content for engagement and meaningful interactions and the other 20% I create content that is promotional or sales-driven. This way, you will show up in your follower's feed and your promotional posts have a better chance of being shown since you don't post them often.
How am I going to promote my business if I can't even do it often?!
So here's the catch: Facebook is going in this direction because they want businesses to pay for ads. It's that simple. Facebook even added a "quick-ad" sort of option on posts now called "boost this post." It's understandable why Facebook is doing this to generate more revenue from big businesses that use their platform for some of the best exposure they've ever received in their marketing strategies. Unfortunately, the little guy does struggle a little more. With this "pay-to-play" mindset Facebook is shifting towards, it does make the organic reach more sparse and harder to come by as a business.
So now I have to spend lots of money on ads. Great. Is there nothing else I can do?
Actually, yes! As I mentioned before, Facebook is implementing and testing new features every day. The algorithm loves when you use the platform's features and rewards you for it! Some of the best organic reach I have seen from a brand is when they diversify their content. Try to use features like Facebook Live, Groups, Events, videos and more! The more diverse your feed the more likely you are to reach that target audience without spending money.
Hey, I've heard of Facebook Groups! All of my friends use it!
Exactly! Facebook groups are one of the most underutilized features as a business in my opinion. To be perfectly honest, the only reason I use Facebook is for the groups feature myself! It's awesome to have a little community of like-minded people all in one place to chat with and share content. This is exactly why there are more than 1 billion people using groups every month! Facebook groups are really where the focus is for a lot of people and we're seeing potential features being added to the groups section soon.
All in all, the growth potential is still very much there. It's merely a matter of shifting your mindset and marketing strategy to work with this new set of "rules." Although Facebook is championing ads for brands at the moment, we'll see where the algorithm goes for the rest of 2021! There are exciting features in the pipeline!