You’ve no doubt heard Facebook is losing its appeal for some content marketers because of the drastic changes the social network is making to its algorithms and news feeds.
For one thing, business pages are now only reaching 1 percent of their audience total, compared to over a year ago. They’ve also begun penalizing Buzzfeed and Upworthy style headlines: “30 Killer Rules for Marketing Automation. #18 Will Change Your Life/Blow You Away/Make You Cry.”
Communicators who have been relying on Facebook to keep them in front of their customers and fans are being frustrated again and again as the social giant continues to change their rules. If you want to keep Facebook a viable alternative, here are five tactics to try for the upcoming year.
1. Quit chasing the algorithm
Every few months, Facebook announces new changes to the algorithm — photos work great. No, photos are terrible, regular links are great. No, regular links are terrible, just be organic. No,companies that use organic content to sell are terrible, so they’ll be punished.
If you’re trying to meet the algorithm requirements, you’re going to drive yourself crazy trying to make an uncaring, unfeeling giant happy. Just focus on your customers and making them happy. Make it all about them, and not about you. Provide valuable and interesting content they’d be happy to share with friends. Remember. . .
2. It’s still about conversations
Companies that chase the algorithm are trying to advertise, not market. Buy this book, sign up for that contest, “Like” our page to support this cause.
Rather than trying to compel people to participate, talk to them like real people. Ask them questions, let them ask you questions. Better yet, let them post questions and let the entire community help. As more people participate on your page, the more your items will show up in their feeds.
3. Ask advocates to help
Ask your customers and fans to talk you up in their own Facebook profiles. Ask them for a status update that mentions your company by name and links to your Facebook page. Then, as their friends read the (hopefully positive) comments and click on the link, they too can Like your page. By asking your customers and fans to get involved, they can help spread the word on your behalf. Of course, that still leads us to the question of making your page show up in their news feeds.
4. Ask people to follow your page
If you want people to see your page, you have to ask them to Like it. Once they’re there, they need to follow the page. They can click the Following/Not Following button on your page, and that will determine whether your content appears on their newsfeed. Right now, at least until they change their mind again, anyone who Follows your page will see your newsfeed items; merely Liking it won’t do anything.
5. Promote Facebook posts
Given that only .1 percent of people will actually interact with your page’s posts, even paying $5 twice a week can have big dividends in expanding your page’s reach. By paying for the promotion, you can expand the reach to people who have liked you in the past, but don’t normally see your content. Your costs and reach will vary, but even a small $5 or $10 payment can reap bigger sales and better profits.
Businesses on Facebook are taking a beating right now, and the ones who rely on cheap tricks are getting the worst of it. If you want to keep attracting audiences on your Facebook page, you need to follow these five tactics. Rather than focusing on the algorithms, just have real conversations, ask for help, and kick in a little cash once in a while.