You may or may not have heard, but the Facebook News Feed is being updated to focus more on content that is from friends and family and engaging content. If Facebook is one of your primary marketing channels then you need to pay very close attention to this. Below is a just part of a post on Facebook by its founder Mark Zuckerberg
“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.
We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. 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.”
– Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Post
This post according to Bloomberg caused Facebook’s stock to plummet costing Mr. Zuckerberg $2.5 Billion Dollars
The co-founder of the world’s largest social-media business saw his fortune fall $2.9 billion Friday after he posted plans to shift users’ news feeds toward content from family and friends at the expense of material from media outlets and businesses. – Bloomberg
The keyword is engagement and close-knit community. Facebook wants to build a more close-knit community of engaged users. Since the News Feed is the primary go-to for most people for updates and information they are going to gear it more toward post from your friends and families which means that post from church pages, business pages, and other organizations will be crowded out of the space. This could lead to less engagement and it could force pages to rely on paying to boost their post to fans.
But there is still a way to market on Facebook!
Understanding the News Feed
The answer is you are going to have to change the way you market on Facebook. First, you need to understand the News Feed.
It is the first thing people see when they open up Facebook. And most people stay here. After all, you don’t have to go to your own page to post updates. You can do it all right on the news feed.
And most people don’t experience your content by visiting your Facebook Page. They experience it when they see it on the News Feed. What they see is determined by their preferences and that of their friends and Facebook’s algorithms.
Followers Not Likes
It’s not just getting people to like your page but to follow your page that increases the likelihood that they will see and engage in your post. And users can also choose not only to follow your page but to see your post first.
Create Engaging Content
Engagement has always been an important part of getting your post to be seen by more people. If you can create content that people want to share, like, and comment on it increases that post visibility to all of their friends.
Unless you want to shell out a lot of money to get your content noticed there is only one way to beat the new system. You must create Engaging Content. It’s about quality over quantity.
For churches, businesses and organizations that means building a community around your brand.
And what better organization to build community than the local church. This could be a huge opportunity for churches to shine on Facebook. Add groups that are associated with your Facebook page. Make a group for each one of your Sunday morning small group classes. Create inspirational videos. Videos get 80x more engagement on Facebook than any other post type. Livestream on Facebook. Facebook loves live videos and it’s so inexpensive these days to set up.
Yes, Facebooks new News Feed Algorithm changes are going to make it harder for businesses, and organizations to get noticed on the platform, but with each challenge comes opportunity.
Here are 7 ideas for you.
- Start a Campaign to get people to not just like your page, but to follow your page and to select “see first”.
- Start Conversations. Use questions in your post to try to get the conversation started in the comments.
- Instead of posting a great quote in a meme-style picture try to go live on Facebook with a short 2-3 min talk.
- Plan on creating conversations. Find that one block of content or cornerstone of your overview that could help spark that conversation among your followers. The digital side of your content strategy should be an overflow, not an afterthought.
- Facebook is no longer just a stage for making announcements. It’s your coffee table for building relationships.
- If your a church consider going live with your small groups.
- Avoid Stock Photos!!! Use real photography this really resonates with millennials.
One Final Thought: Social Media is more social less media.