In retrospect, these changes are being made to improve the experience for everyday users, but they can be difficult to adjust to for marketers and businesses. Mark Zuckerberg stated in his most recent announcement of Facebook algorithm changes that, “users would see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” in the hopes of favoring “meaningful conversations.” I know this sounds scary but, let’s break it down!
So, what does “meaningful conversations” mean to Facebook? Users won’t ever see your content again on their feeds just because you’re a business? Absolutely not! Facebook just wants more content that sparks active engagement and personal connections between people. They want to promote less attention-grabbing, “click bait” content and more conversation-worthy posts. It means that businesses will have to move past gimmicks for engagement (such as a post saying “Tag a friend who would love this product!” Yeah, we’re all kind of over those posts anyway.)
Now, you may be thinking, how can I change up my strategy to stay in line with the new algorithm? To be honest, some changes are way easier to make than others, but all in all, you may be pushed very far out of your comfort zone. We’re coming out of the realm of just throwing content out at people hoping that they see/like/share it. You will need to make content for the followers of your brand to spark that meaningful conversation thing we talked about before. Here are a few tips to get started:
POST CONVERSATION-WORTHY CONTENT
Like I said, the days of talking at your audience are nearing an end. It’s time to start creating a conversation on your posts! This way, your content will stay in feeds, but you’ll also get to know your followers better! You’ll be able to find out their needs, their wants, and their interests. I see this as trying to bring everyone together as a community, and in the end, everyone wins! They will see more content that they actually want to see from you, while you are gaining a better grasp of what is working for your brand. Posting things like questions, polls, or just asking a general opinion on a certain topic are ways to get started. For example, ask your followers for feedback on your blog instead of just pushing them to read it. Or even share something relevant that is happening in the news to spark conversation. Whatever you can do to get the people talking, do it!
CREATE ORIGINAL CONTENT
I know, most of us probably do this on the reg already! But for those who still use Google images for their posts every now and then, you may want to rethink this method. By using Google to find an image, you are running the chance of it not only being copyrighted, but it is becoming more common for Google images to already be marked as spam on Facebook. If you try to use an image that has been previously marked as spam on another page, sadly there’s no hope your post will make it out alive. You’ll have a grueling time trying to spark engagement on posts that can’t be seen at all! Creating your own content offers you a better chance at creating conversation anyway! (i.e. Caption: “What do you think of this photo we took?” “What’s your favorite website to create images?”) But, for those who need an image fast (we’ve all been there), try using a stock photo website like Pexels or Unsplash that have copyright-free images!
VIDEOS AREN’T JUST FOR YOUTUBE ANYMORE
I know, if you’re a bit of an introvert, this topic may want to make you run in the opposite direction. But, hear me out! Facebook’s algorithm is starting to see visual content as more engaging than just traditional photos, text, and links. Live videos, in particular, are the best way to generate more discussion among viewers, according to Facebook. Think about it. If someone shares a direct video or a link, which would you watch? Probably the one that’s already ready-to-go on Facebook instead of one that’s trying to take you to a different website. By using live video, you can talk to your followers directly and ask the questions mentioned before! This is definitely one of those things that will take practice, but it can seriously benefit your business page to stay in feeds.
Like I said, it will take some getting used to creating content this way- especially if you’ve been doing it for a while now. However, these changes allow you to grow as a content creator (and maybe even get you out of a rut of posting the same kind of stuff over and over again). It also allows you to become more connected to your audience! Facebook is always changing, and at times it may seem they are out to get small businesses and brands, but I truly think this algorithm change is a good way to step out of the box and create conversation!
What are your thoughts on these algorithm changes so far? And what do you think is next to come for Facebook?