• Hilary Nightingale

Facebook is changing for businesses – are you up to speed?

You may have heard that Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm to ‘Zero’. As a business you may also be concerned about how this will affect your efforts in using social media for promotion.

Facebook's creator Mark Zuckerberg recently said,

“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.

It's easy to understand how we got here. Video and other public content have exploded on Facebook in the past couple of years. Since there's more public content than posts from your friends and family, the balance of what's in News Feed has shifted away from the most important thing Facebook can do -- help us connect with each other.” Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, January 11th

Whilst Facebook has always been about promoting relationships between friends and family, this isn’t all bad news for the business owner using Facebook to promote their services or goods.

In a Facebook post later on in the week, Zuckerberg went on to say,

“Today I'm sharing our second major update this year: to make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality. I've asked our product teams to make sure we prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local. And we're starting next week with trusted sources.” – Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, January 19th

Trustworthy, informative, local

How can you prove to the Facebook Zero algorithm that your business is trustworthy and informative? Here’s my tips, as social media manager for Push Start Marketing;

Get your business page verified by Facebook – It’s just a small green tick, but getting it verified means Facebook trusts your business is genuine and you will therefore have a greater chance of being seen in the news feed.

Use live videos – posts that encourage and get interaction with your audience add to the meaningful content of your page, and live videos have proved more popular than regular ones.

Encourage comments – more valuable than a simple ‘reaction’, a comment demonstrates interaction, keep an eye on your notifications, so you can respond.

Create shareable content – Shares are the golden egg of Facebook meaningful interaction. ‘Like and share’ competitions for giveaways are the quickest and simplest way to get more shares. Live video and topical advice work too. And encourage your team members to share the company page posts.

Spend some money – As yet the Facebook advertising costs are not changing, so now could be a good time to consider putting a small budget to boosting posts or creating an ad set. Remember to focus on a local audience and offer some kind of value, not just a sales pitch.

If you look, you will notice a change in your ‘Insights’, so we recommend you start tracking your Facebook activity by checking Insights every month, so you can make comparisons and draw conclusions on how best to spend your time in the following month.

Building a community

The Facebook Zero algorithm is encouraging genuinely interesting content to be shown in your news feed. So whatever changes you adopt to adapt to it, make sure your content is genuinely interesting. Once you have a community of advocates for your page, show them how to ‘see it first’. One of the settings in a Facebook account allows you to set preferences for your news feed, so any company page’s posts are shown in priority to others.

And most importantly, don’t panic! This is not going to be an overnight change, neither will it affect all businesses simultaneously. There will be a slow roll-out, but the sooner you can prepare, the better. If you would like help on laying down a social media strategy, ask about our Social Media 121 sessions, or book a consultation day with Lucy, to talk about how we can manage it all for you.

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook post 11th January

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post 19th January


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