Last Thursday evening, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced major changes to the News Feed that would improve users’ ‘wellbeing’, and would be “helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
So, what does that actually mean in practice for your business and its presence on Facebook?
What THE CHANGES actually mean
In real-speak, this means that Facebook will show you more posts from family and friends and less posts from other sources including the media, brands and businesses. This also includes reducing the number of posts shown from Company Pages you like and Groups you belong to. Needless to say, paid for Facebook Ads (“Sponsored Posts”) are unaffected.
In theory, this should reduce the number of posts your Followers will see on Facebook from your Company Page, despite the fact that they have taken a conscious decision to follow you and want to see your information.
By excluding many of the posts from businesses and brands, the changes will ensure Facebook Ads stand out more, as they will be amongst the few items in your News Feed not from friends and family.
Three reasons your business should stay on Facebook
#1 - Be found
The primary reasons we recommend businesses have a Company Page on Facebook is that an increasing number of potential customers will check out your business on Facebook BEFORE they Google your website. So, their first contact with your business must be a good one. Finding a Company Page with little or no posts on won’t give the right impression. If you’re not on Facebook at all, they may not even bother to seek you out another way. So, think of your Facebook Company Page as a secondary rent-free website that costs you nothing to create, update or host!
#2 - Customer conversations
Facebook offers a direct and immediate way to build relationships with customers through engagement and interaction. Facebook will now prioritise posts that spark comments and conversations, and the more you can join in, the better. This is an ideal opportunity for your whole business team to reach out to clients and start engaging with them at zero cost except a few minutes' of time.
#3 - A mega link to your website
In an age when getting a link to your website from another can take considerable time and effort, a Company Page gives you a massive link to your main website, for free. That alone is worth the effort of keeping the Page active and interesting.
Three ways to benefit from the changes
We’ve identified three key ways your business can make the most of the changes and actually be seen more!
1. Easier engagement with your customers
Facebook is a social network, so, be social. Make sure posts invite a response from your Followers with questions - “What do you think”, “Comment with your views”, and once they do, reply! This is crucial, as it starts to build the to-and-fro conversations that Facebook are looking for. However, Zuckerberg says that the conversations must be “meaningful” so that means a sentence or more, not just an emoticon or a “LOL”.
2. Get your posts seen first
A little known feature of everyone’s Facebook settings is the ability to specify content you want to see rather than what Facebook thinks you want. (A novel concept, we know!). See this really short how to video for how to do this, (it is really easy) and Share the heck out of it to all your Followers. This way, they will see your Company Page posts above almost everything else - including Ads.
3. Get recommended faster and more easily
When a Facebook user asks for recommendations in a post, if anyone types in your company name in their reply, your Facebook page link appears underneath. This is far easier for users than having to find out your website address, or trying to remember if you’re “Acme Products Inc” or “Acme Industries Ltd” or whatever. It’s even easier when they Like your Company Page, as your name will automatically pop up at the top of the suggestion list.
The timescales, they are a changin’
Zuckerberg said the changes would be introduced gradually over the coming months, but we at Akira Studio noticed the changes implemented almost immediately, on Friday morning. Then, on this Tuesday morning, everything went back as it was before, without us doing anything! Which suggest to us that Facebook are still tinkering, and the final format might change again.
In the meantime, if you do nothing else, remind your Followers about the existing Pages Feed on the desktop version of Facebook. It’s been sitting there, ready for its moment to shine, and it won’t contain endless photos from your mom or pictures of your friend’s low-cal lunch (again).