Facebook is being their usual generous self.
They’ve been informing me for more than a week now that they want me to get as much of the content my friends and family are sharing so they have moved all of the content from my fan pages from News Feed to the Explore Feed. It officially rolled out around October 18th and for those of us who spend a lot of time on Facebook it is obvious that it has changed the experience. For everyone who manages a fan page for your business or clients then you will see the major difference this makes to the visibility of your content.
The internet has been discussing the test that Facebook rolled out in six countries: Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. These nations reported the disappearance of content engagement overnight. The fear of course is the long term effect of this when so many publishers and businesses were already struggling for reach with constant “tweaks” to the news feed algorithm. What does this mean for entrepreneurs who have been running their businesses directly from Facebook?
Evaluate your audience. This is the time to click the Insights tab on your fan page. How well do you know your fans? Are they over 50 or under 35? Where in the world are they and what type of posts get them more engaged? Which of your sales ads or posts have resulted in increased revenue? If you have never looked at those weekly Facebook updates so you can assess your content’s impact from week to week, do so now. Understanding your Facebook experience will allow you to test how the changes to the feed directly affect you.
Create your space. In the same way you made friends and gained customers on Facebook, create a website where people can access the same great content. Facebook has always been most effective in getting customers to engage with your business offline. This is the time to lock in your domain names and build a home for your business to thrive.
Explore other social media spaces. Facebook has been dominant for so long that many forget there are thousands of other options. Find platforms which are new and more niched to discover potential customers with similar interests. Be mindful that as new social media platforms grow, they will monetize and at some stage you will need to budget to be able to reach their audience.
Add a Facebook Group. Earlier this year, Facebook gave us the option to link a group to a business page. Use this option to leverage both entities to build exposure and sales.
Build you email list. Direct communication to your inbox still works. Add a weekly enewsletter with sales offers and updates. Don’t overdo as it will be easy to get labeled spam and blocked.
Pay to Play. Boosts your posts on Facebook. These will then be seen in the main news feed. You can no longer count on your fans to make that extra click to scroll and find your page’s content. You will also note, the number of people you are able to reach with minimal dollars has also diminished. Plan your budget and give it a go.
Duplicate your content on your personal profile. It used to be considered annoying if posts were duplicated but more than likely your friends have not seen what you posted on your fan page. Go ahead and reshare the post or upload that picture directly into your feed.
My news feed isn’t that exciting without the pages I follow. As many people are lurkers on Facebook, to count only on their reshares to discover news or other information won’t be beneficial to me. Not everyone will make that extra click but simply scroll and switch to a more active platform. Chances are the extreme drop in user engagement in the news feed will force Facebook to return things to the way they have been. However, you need a plan for increasing your reach and increase your business no matter which way they go.
Nerissa Golden is a strategist and author. Her company Goldenmedia helps companies leverage traditional and new media to grow their business. Contact her on www.goldenmedia.co.