3 Powerful Ways to Deal with the Facebook Apocalypse
What is the Facebook Apocalypse? Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced some changes to the Facebook algorithm that will be rolling out over the next few weeks. He has come to believe that Facebook in its present state doesn’t enrich people’s lives and the tweaks and alterations that Facebook will be making to their algorithm will ensure that their product better serves people in their daily life. If you’re a small business owner or a marketer, you are probably groaning right now just imagining what this might mean.
The truth is that Facebook’s organic reach has been declining for years including a really sharp decrease in the past year alone. Your posts are already reaching just a tiny portion of your audience. Various tests have been introduced in different markets over the past few months inducing panic that a decision like this was in the pipeline. We are now seeing the nail being hammered into the coffin. Organic reach is dead. This is not so much a Facebook Apocalypse as a Facebook inevitability.
Is it time to panic? Of course not. Yes, it will be necessary to make changes but social media had always been about change. The platforms evolve and adapting to those changes is an essential part about using social media. It is fair, however, to be concerned. Especially if you own a small business and are pressed for time. Attempting to learn a brand new way of handling everything can seem overwhelming. We understand this and want to help by offering three ways to deal with the forthcoming Facebook changes.
Potentially the most important thing you need to be considering right now is how to diversify your social media presence. At Think Creative, we’ve observed that a lot of smaller businesses use Facebook as the primary method of communication with their customers. That’s fine, but there’s a strong chance that your customers won’t see those posts going forward. So it’s time to start expanding your social media footprint. Choose another platform to use for communication. Instagram is a possibility. While primarily visual, you can still post any changes to the hours you’ll be open, special sales, etc. You can also use stories to promote various products, video scenes from special events or behind the scenes photos. Keep in mind that Facebook owns Instagram which means that in the short term the value is there with advertising and building a following, but the risk exists that the platform will make more changes in the future.
Twitter is another option. Twitter is a quick and easy way to communicate important information. The pinned tweets feature means that when someone visits your profile they will see the information you most want them to see first. Additionally, it’s possible to retweet yourself so that if you want to bring other information to the top again, you can. Keep in mind that customers on Twitter are likely to want to interact so it’s a good idea to check it occasionally if you can.
Those are your best choices if you’re looking for a messenger board style replacement. They also offer the most additional opportunities for engagement with your customers. Choose one or both and start working to build your presence there. Read some additional tips here on how to set up those accounts.
One of the things that will help your page’s posts get noticed under the new Facebook algorithm is to create compelling posts that invite your followers to engage in discussion. “Easier said than done,” you retort. Trust me, I hear you! In a busy day, it’s hard to know how exactly to engage your customers. But it’s important to understand Facebook’s goal here. They think the value of their users interacting with one another is higher than passively scrolling past posts or watching video. So engage your followers and have a greater chance of your posts surfacing in the feeds of other followers.
Depending on your business, this may prove difficult. But something to keep in mind is that people like to express their opinion and feel as though their feelings are valid. If you give them the opportunity to do so, they will probably jump in with how they feel about something. Ask questions about how best to use your products, what food to pair with your drinks, and other questions related to your business. Consider asking important questions about discounts or promotions they would like to see. Ask for their input on product development. Keep an open dialogue with your customers. Inquiring about what they’d like to see is not the same as committing to doing it. The effort to create and sustain dialogue on Facebook may lead to valuable discoveries for your business.
Don’t be afraid to get a bit personal if your circumstances allow. If you are planning an upcoming trip for example, you could solicit advice from your customers on what to bring or where to visit. Need a service done? Ask for recommendations. This will humanize your page even more and it’s the exact thing that Facebook is looking for.
Facebook groups are a great place for engagement. While this option might not work for every business, it’s definitely something to consider. Think outside the box and figure out a way you can make a dynamic and interesting Facebook group that people will want to join. A group gives customers more opportunities to create conversations themselves so they are more likely to stay engaged over the long term. Naturally some moderation may be necessary, but a group gives you a good chance to turn a lot of the discussion over to your customers while still keeping your business top of mind.
Advise your most loyal followers to add your Page to their preferences so that they have a greater chance of seeing your posts first once the Facebook Apocalypse hits. To do this, simply go to news feed when you log in, click the three dots on the right, select “Edit Preferences” and then “Prioritize who to see first.” At this stage, the accounts you follow will populate the space and you can pick which to follow. Be sure to let your customers know about this option so they can do it, too.
The Facebook Apocalypse doesn’t have to mean the end of social for your business, but it does mean you will probably have to dig deeper and get more creative and innovative to address it. It’s a challenge, but one we believe you can meet!