There's been a high degree of meltdown in the marketing world in recent days, with the announcement from Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook was making changes to its algorithm. In telling the world that the social media site we all love to hate, (but secretly love), was going to be prioritizing content from "friends, family and groups", many marketers seemed to think the sky was falling in.
"As we roll this out," said Zuckerberg, "You'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard--it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."
In my business, when we heard about the changes I sat down with our Social Media and Content Manager, Rory Palmer-Rowe, to pick over the details and calmly analyze what was actually happening. And as Rory said, "The key phrase is the encouragement of meaningful interactions. That translates to content that's sparking conversations."
Forgive me then, but, what's the fuss all about here? It turns out that in many ways this is just business as usual. If that is, you're already creating and sharing great content. And for some, that's a big "if".
So here are three tips from Rory to calm any fears you may have, and to help make sure your content is still performing after the algorithm kicks in.
1. Focus on great content that drives interaction.
Going forward, businesses will have to give a lot more thought to the content they produce. Think about posting less but make sure each post really counts. It's time to revisit your content strategy, try different things, weed out the weak stuff and make the good stuff even better.
Listen to your audience and make sure your content is relevant at all times. Analyze which of your content has had the most interest and serve up more of it. Use the "Help, Hub, Hero" model to guide your content creation and curation. Share "Help" content such as explainer videos and product tutorials. Share "Hub" content that regularly updates your audience with your perspective on the pain points they experience. Share "Hero" content when you've got something big to share--like a new product or a key development in your sector.
2. Stop asking for things.
This algorithm means an end to using Facebook just to "sell, sell, sell". You need to make sure you've first provided plenty of content that is of real value to your audience way before you think about serving them up an advert. Currently, we don't know how the algorithm change will impact on adverts and boosted posts.
The best plan then is to nurture your audience with content that is meaningful. Earn their trust. Think how people would react if the first thing you did at a networking event was to try and sell them something. They'd run a mile. So, organically grow the relationship with your audience and sales will come naturally as you demonstrate your expertise and trust grows.
3. Get involved with Facebook Groups.
If you've got a Facebook business page then you can set up a group. This is a great way to build up a community audience and communicate with them. As a great add-on, they'll start to communicate and interact with each other as well.
Better still, start to involve them in your content. Amplify their stories and how you've played a part in easing their pain points. Such content will really resonate.You'll be facilitating new relationships and networks. You'll be seen as a thought-leader, and your group becomes a hub for information in your field of expertise.
And, best of all, what makes Facebook Groups so special is that your group members get alerts whenever another member posts something. So your posts will reach nearly all of your fans organically. Very cool.