Facebook recently announced a significant overhaul to its News Feed, intended to prioritize posts from friends and family, especially those with high engagement. As a result, small businesses are worried about how they will continue to stand out and connect with prospects on Facebook if their posts may reach an even smaller percentage of followers than before.
In a recent press release, VP, News Feed at Facebook Adam Mosseri explains, “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”
How can you increase Facebook content engagement in lieu of the recent News Feed changes? I’ve outlined some steps you can take to put your best foot forward on Facebook.
Use Facebook Live
For many of us, jumping on Facebook Live means we have to step out of our comfort zones. My best advice is to think of Live as a webinar. Or, if you have a more outgoing individuals in your marketing team, put them in charge of your Facebook page.
In the past, videos that were only a few minutes long were status quo and received engagement. In 2018, however, Facebook recommends that videos be 10 minutes long. You can even stay Live for up to four hours. When you stay live longer, you create more opportunities to capture the attention of your followers. To boost engagement, say hello to new followers and ask for viewers to leave comments and ask questions. The more frequently you run longer Facebook Live sessions, the more your followers will engage with your brand online.
Run Facebook ads
Unfortunately, one way to increase your brand visibility is to spend money on Facebook advertisements. Rather than clicking “Boost Post,” we’ve seen lower costs and more engagement from utilizing Ads Manager. One of the benefits of this is the fact that you have more control over the target audience.
Additionally, now that you are running more frequent Facebook Live videos, boost one that has already received decent engagement. If people already like what you are talking about, you can be fairly certain the ad will provide engagement as well. As a bonus, within the ad, place a link back to your website or a call to action.
Focus on quality over quantity
By now you should be focusing on quality in all aspects of your digital marketing efforts, but this is just a friendly reminder that you need to be conscientious about every piece of content you produce.
Engage with complementary businesses and influencers
Facebook’s goal is to create a community. Emphasize this in your own marketing strategy and reach out to complementary businesses and influencers to help support each other. It’s the old, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” philosophy.
We all want our content to be viewed by our followers, so take the time to comment, like and share content from other pages that your target market will enjoy. After you’ve done this a few times, reach out to page owners and ask if they would feel comfortable doing the same for you and your business.
Create a Facebook Group
Now, I don’t recommend deleting your main brand page and only using a Facebook Group, but Groups tend to have more engagement between members. Additionally, members will receive better notifications when you post. I like to view groups more as forums, especially for B2B businesses. This is a place where you can provide software updates, answer questions and engage your prospects.
From the perspective of an average user on Facebook, these new changes may seem welcome. When you sign on, you will see top posts and not be bombarded with self-promotion from businesses. How do the changes to the News Feed make you feel for your business?
This article has been edited.
Caitlin McDonald is the co-founder of Boundless Internet Marketing Solutions, a self-proclaimed data geek and mompreneur. She helps entrepreneurs & business owners master digital marketing.
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