How the recent Facebook changes can impact your business…..

Being present on digital channels is a critical part of any marketing strategy for small and medium businesses – with Facebook being a key player.

However, it can be so frustrating when you think you have finally got your head around what needs to be done, and Facebook goes and makes some more changes, meaning you have to rethink your strategy all over again!

Recent changes made by Facebook will be having a significant impact on businesses’ existing digital marketing activities…and I am sure that if you are a small or medium sized business owner with an online presence, you will have already noticed this, as many of my clients have.

The main change is that Facebook has altered the algorithm that runs the news feed, which displays posts from other users and Facebook pages. No longer does it prioritise “helping you find relevant content” – it now focus on helping you “have more meaningful interactions”.

What this means is that most people’s news feeds were dominated by professionally made content from brands, businesses and the news media. This balance has now changed and the feed will instead be dominated by posts from friends and family, as well as any FB groups you are a member of.

Why are they doing this? Zuckerberg says Facebook has studied academic research and concluded that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to “connect with people we care about”. It therefore wants to promote the sorts of posts that encourage those interactions, while demoting those its data shows encourage only surface interactions – likes and shares but little else.

What impact does this have for businesses…

For businesses who rely on Facebook for traffic, this will result in..

  • Significant reduction or exclusion of your brand posts being shown in news feeds
  • Organic reach significantly reduced
  • Facebook groups are favoured over fan pages
  • Harder to engage your base via your fan page alone
  • Requirement to spend money on paid ads to get posts and ads seen!

A small business client of mine has suffered dramatically from these changes, with their organic reach from their business page literally disappearing, despite having a huge fan base. This has resulted in a greater reliance on post engagement paid ads and conversion ads to maintain brand awareness and sales.  Obviously costing them more money than they had originally budgeted for!

However, it doesn’t all have to be about paid ads! What is does mean is that more emphasis needs to be placed on creating high quality, educational and useful content that your audience will find informative and thought-provoking. Businesses who focus on quality over quantity, and infuse a high-degree of creativity into their social media and content strategies, will truly gain from social networks in 2018. High-quality, external content will still rank high on social sites as people click, engage, and re-share.

So companies, both big and small, need to focus on creating great content which provides value to your target audience. Companies and brands who can do this effectively can actually gain from these recent changes, vs suffer.

Stayahead can support businesses with their overall content strategy, managing content as well as managing the overall Facebook strategy and all the advertising. Contact us for your free strategy call today.

 

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