While everybody else in the world is having a major freak out over the changes announced to the Facebook algorithm, I’m over here doing a happy dance in the middle of my Kitchen.
Listen, I know that as humans we panic every time we hear anybody say “changes are coming”, but if you ask me, this change is exactly what the platform has been craving for 2+ years.
One of my favorite things to do as a coach is to take the fear out of the dirty little word “change”, so let’s take a look at Facebook’s most recent big announcement and what it really means for small business.
MEANINGFUL SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTIONS WILL TAKE PRIORITY
Mark Zuckerberg said “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”
MEANINGFUL social media interactions. Isn’t that what I’ve been talking about for years?
The days when you could just post a pretty picture of hair with a caption like “loving this gorgeous blonde” or “which haircut do you like better” died a really long time ago, and not just on Facebook, but on Instagram too.
To be successful on any social media platform today you’re going to actually have to make an attempt to connect with your audience. Talking WITH them instead of AT them is the priority now more than ever.
The boost button can't save you now! You're going to actually have to pay attention to the content you post and have a true social media strategy.
POSTS FROM PERSONAL PROFILES WILL RANK HIGHER THAN THOSE FROM BUSINESS PAGES
Now, the thing that scares most of us is that it was announced that posts from profiles will rank higher than posts from business pages.
Wait...you guys know that’s ALWAYS been the case, right?!?!
Just because they are now coming right out and saying it doesn’t mean they haven’t been dancing around it for years. This is why so many stylists do funky things like share their business posts to their personal pages in an attempt to get more interactions. We’ve all noticed that personal profile posts get preference in the feed and that’s why gaining traction through a business page has always been more challenging.
ADVERTISING SPACE WILL BE LIMITED SO THAT USERS AREN’T BOMBARDED WITH SO MANY ADS
This may be a new public announcement, but those of us who have been using Facebook ads for a while saw the shift happen last October when Facebook ads rates doubled for most of us.
Marketing is, has been and always will be about supply and demand. In the last couple of years, demand for Facebook ads increased and now supply is low. The only option Facebook has is to increase advertising rates (just like how I tell you guys to raise your prices when you can no longer fit clients in to your books).
So what do I see most people already doing on Facebook in reaction to the change? They are saying things like
“Well forget it, now I can’t afford to advertise on Facebook at all anymore”
“Great, now we’ll have to pay even more to reach new clients. This is the worst”
And to that I say GOOD! Wonderful, thank you so much. This new policy is going to weed out those who aren’t seriously about business and who were cutting corners boosting posts or running terrible ads.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of seeing promoted political debates, random pre-recorded videos from advertisers tapping on their screen or waving trying to get my attention or ads for coffee spoons in my feed. None of those things are in line with my lifestyle and it’s irritating to be bombarded by things I’ve never expressed an interest in.
It will be more expensive and complex to advertise on Facebook now. There is no doubt about it, so you can either learn to use Facebook advertising correctly and quit boosting your posts or just stop advertising all together and start spending more time making real and genuine connections with your followers.
SO WHAT DO WE DO TO OVERCOME THE CHANGES
Time will tell and I will keep you updated as we see the changes roll out, but based on what Facebook has published, these are the new guidelines:
The algorithm is now based on two sets of criteria: The first set is still just as it’s always been. The more likes, tags, comments and shares your post receives, the higher it will rank. The second set will rank interactions person to person higher than person to page. Can you try posting your professional work from your personal page? You can try, but if your personal Facebook followers aren't highly engaged in pictures of your work, the posts will be an epic fail. You can't fake engagement.
Facebook will be prioritizing 4 types of content- The highest ranking posts will stem from live videos, celebrities’ posts, groups and highly interactive personal and brand posts
Content that is just passively consumed will not rank well in the feed- Pictures of your work that don’t spark conversation (shared from your professional or personal page) won’t perform well. You need to really consider your captions, be sure you’re starting conversations and commenting back each time somebody interacts with your posts.
Pre-recorded video will no longer organically rank well- Choose live video and encourage your followers to ask questions through your video instead or be sure you film a VERY high quality video and run it as a local commercial ad.
Facebook is trying to create a “greater sense of well being”- Facebook will prioritize interactions that reflect more time and care. Long and well thought out comments will help to boost engagement.
Facebook expects overall time spent on the platform to decrease- Users will get more of what they are looking for faster instead of scrolling for 20 minutes just trying to get to the good stuff. Again, quality over quantity. Quit just posting to post and start using the platform properly.
The biggest losers are the big, fat brands with full pockets and no social skills. The days where you could just show up on Facebook, throw money at the platform and never interact with your audience just died and I couldn’t be any happier.
Remember, our goal is not to have people randomly stumble across our page or to have 100% of our followers like all of our posts. Facebook is simply a piece of your marketing funnel and the way we use the piece hasn't changed one bit.
You have two choices, give up or rise above. Those who choose to give up will drop out of the race and that will help the algorithm to support those of us who prefer to shift and learn the new game.
Game on loves, game on.
Ps. I will be hopping on Facebook live today (January 13, 2018 at 9AM PST to talk about what I'll be doing to adjust to these changes and elaborating more on social media shifts. Join me here live or catch me on the replay.