What Facebook’s Changes Mean to Your Small Business Marketing Strategy
If you pay even slight attention to technology or business news, you likely heard about the big changes Facebook announced it would be making to its news feed very soon. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote:
“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…We started making changes in this direction last year, but it will take months for this new focus to make its way through all our products. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.
As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
You can read the entire post from Zuckerberg HERE.
This was the post that sent many small businesses scrambling as to what this could mean to a platform they have come to rely on so heavily for marketing. This article is an attempt to take an early look at what these changes may actually mean and steps you might take to position your business for continued success on the Facebook platform.
The first thing that should be noted is that the heaviest negative impact will fall on businesses that rely on organic reach (non-paid) for marketing. You may have 5,000+ people that like your page, but chances are that they will see less of your content organically as these changes roll out. Your organic content will need to be extremely strong and get terrific initial interaction from those seeing it to have any significant reach to your other followers with the proposed changes. There will be some hacks you can try and implement to get around this, but businesses will need to become very strategic to have significant organic impact.
The second thing that you should understand is that these changes do not appear to have as much negative impact on those running Facebook sponsored posts (paid). In fact, one could argue that these changes will actually make the ad platform more valuable as it will cut down on the amount of noise from non-paying businesses and allow your sponsored content to stand out even more if done properly. However, even if you are paying to get in front of your audience, things like audience engagement could play a role in how many people actually see your ads. If you are paying to place your ad in front of people and no one is engaging with the content, chances are Facebook will show it to fewer people.
So, with so much still unknown, what should your business be doing to prepare for these upcoming changes?
- Focus on creating high quality content. From the photo used to the headline written, it is more important than ever to have content that stimulates engagement.
- Use targeted marketing on the Facebook Ads Manager page. You cannot afford to simply blast your content out to everyone in a 25 mile radius. You have to narrow the audience to those most likely to interact with and engage with the post. This was a good idea before these changes, but it is critical now.
- Utilize your customer lists to create custom audiences within Facebook that you know have a high likelihood of interacting with the content you produce.
While this article is just a first take on these changes, my goal is to discuss the changes are planned and give you some initial guidance. The truth is that we will all be figuring this out as the changes are implemented in the coming months. Whether you manage your Facebook program in house or use an agency, make sure you are paying close attention and adjusting to what the data is telling you. To ignore this and continue with your current strategy will likely lead to increased spending and poor results.