Remember back before there was a Facebook Business Page and companies would create their own profiles for their business that people had to “add as a friend?” Well, Facebook has come a long way since then and is still constantly making changes to try to improve the user experience, while making it more effective for businesses to advertise through it. Unfortunately, some of these changes increase the need for businesses to be constantly aware and able to adapt as updates become live.
Here are a few changes we’ve seen so far with Facebook and what you can do to make sure your business is up-to-date:
Organic reach is dwindling.
Earlier this year, many businesses were in an outrage and even boycotted Facebook because of their decline in organic reach. Facebook claims the reduction in organic reach happened for two main reasons:
- With so much content being shared, there are thousands of possible posts that could be shown to a single user each time they log on. Showing every post would crowd the user’s News Feed.
- News Feed is designed to show the most relevant content to users based on thousands of factors. Not every post is relevant to everyone who likes a page.
So what can you do about your organic reach? Since Facebook is dedicated to only showing relevant content to users, one thing you can do is make sure your posts provide value to your audience. The more they click, like, share, comment, etc., the more your post will be seen by others. You also may want to look into doing a little bit of Facebook advertising. Whether you simply boost a post, or create an ad campaign for a specific audience, Facebook advertising gives you many targeting options to help you reach the audience that is most relevant to you—which can be more effective than a high organic reach!
Redesign for Pages.
This spring, many Pages were offered to check out a new layout, which later became mandatory for all Pages. This redesign changed the top portion of the page, as well as the layout of the News Feed. If you haven’t noticed it already, you may want to check your heading to make sure it is still showing correctly. The name of your business, which was previously black on a white background, is now white text over your cover photo. You also want to look at the apps tabs that are shown on the side of your page. This change causes the most concern for businesses as this placement is not as prominent as it was before on the top of the page. Finally, since the redesign of the page has made a two-column layout, the left side for business info and the right side for posts, you no longer have the option to “highlight” a post. Although the button is still available, the highlight does not spread across the page like it used to.
No more like-gating.
If your business has been trying to gain more likes, there is one strategy that you are no longer able to use—like-gating. For instance, if you’ve been using an app to incentivize people to like your page, such as by offering a freebie or coupon, now you can’t. Apps like ShortStack and TabSite that have a like-gating feature will continue to work until November 5th. New apps are not allowed to use that functionality. While this seems unfair, and it will most likely make it harder for your page to get more likes, it is actually meant to “ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them”—that’s straight from Facebook. Although contests will no longer let you require users to like your page before entering, you can still use contests to gather information about your audience, including their emails. Provide them with helpful information in your industry, that way you will draw an audience that is actually relevant to your brand, which is more meaningful than gathering a bunch of likes from an audience who doesn’t care about you, but only what you’re giving away.
To stay up to date with the latest changes in Facebook, bookmark the Facebook for Business News page. Remember, though Facebook pages are changing constantly, some important strategies remain the same, such as always providing valuable information to your audience. While the loss or gain of some features might make it more difficult for you to reach more people, focus on strengthening the relationships that you already have with your Facebook fans.
Want to learn more about Facebook for business? Come to our Social Media Seminar, Thursday, August 14th at Machias Savings Bank in Brewer! This session is brought to you by Eaton Peabody and presented by Cintia Miranda, President of Pulse Marketing Agency in Bangor.