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On Thursday, January 11th, 2018 Facebook announced upcoming changes to ranking, which is Facebook’s process for determining how posts show up in the News Feed.

This is going to affect you!

If your Facebook Page isn't getting great engagement, it may be time to stop posting regular updates to your page as it may even penalize your Page's organic reach. But more on that in a minute…

Mark Zuckerberg posted publicly on his Facebook profile saying that, “…we're making a major change to how we build Facebook.”

He explains that the first changes to Facebook will occur in the News Feed. Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, then followed up with this briefing in the Facebook Newsroom.

What’s Going On?

Over the next few months, Facebook will be focusing more on helping their users stay connected to each other while bringing people closer together around subjects that are timely, relevant, and meaningful.

That’s why we all use Facebook, right?

Adam Mosseri continues saying, “We’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about.”

As Mark stated, “…recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

In the Newsroom briefing, Facebook points out that, “We will prioritize posts from friends and family over public content, consistent with our News Feed values.”

What does this mean for Facebook publishers, businesses, and those of us with personal brands?

What Others Are Saying

As soon as the news broke, Mike Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Marketing Examiner weighed in on the upcoming changes in a Facebook Live. He analyzed the press release and what this means for marketers.

He shared his suggestions and insights for moving forward and the actions we should all take with our posting strategy.

While on vacation in Paris, Rick Mulready, another powerhouse in the Facebook ads space, shared his thoughts on the latest Facebook algorithm update and what it means for businesses and Facebook ads. Click here to watch his Facebook Live.

Jon Loomer also shared his take on what’s changing with Facebook’s News Feed and why it’s important not to freak out, yet. He then dives into sharing helpful steps you can take to continue getting good engagement on Facebook.

For a bit of a different take on how this is a great change for Facebook users, Boss Magazine, explains why diversification is good. They also note that if you plan to have a successful Facebook strategy, you must learn Facebook ads!

This post from ShareThis also covers the good and the bad effects of the update.

 

Here’s What I Recommend

Taking all of this into consideration, here’s what I suggest for moving forward with your Facebook marketing strategy:

1. Ask Questions Before Posting

  • Is your topic relevant and timely?
  • Can you ask a thought-provoking question in the comments?
  • Are you creating a space where everyone can respond to each other’s comments?

Someone who does a great job with creating meaningful conversations on Facebook is Pat Flynn! He’s not posting on his Facebook Page every day, and he’s not constantly linking articles. But what he does share on Facebook gets lots of comments and engagement.

2. Stay Away from “Engagement Bait”

Facebook is cracking down on “engagement bait” posts. They state that, “Using ‘engagement bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”

In other words, these are posts that come off a bit “bossy” and request that a reader does something — such as like, share, or comment. Engagement bait can also include any posts that reward people for commenting.

It’s also a good idea to stay away from asking questions with one-word answers. You know the polls where brands ask questions for answers related to “A, B, C, or D” from readers? Those are not going to be getting as much reach in the News Feed either, since Facebook prefers longer more meaningful comments.

Here are some examples of engagement bait posts to stay away from.

3. Think Strategically When Sharing

With this new update it’s more vital than ever to think strategically about what you’re sharing on Facebook. Make sure it’s something your audience will really care about and find value in.

Is it going to spark conversation and encourage your audience to engage in the comments — without using engagement bait-type wording?

Stop:

  • Sharing quotes
  • Publishing inspirational images
  • Linking to every article you find
  • Using schedulers — instead use the internal scheduler inside Facebook.

Start:

  • A Facebook group
  • Doing more Facebook Lives
  • Asking thoughtful questions
  • Sharing breaking news and ask thought-provoking questions to encourage comments
  • Crafting strategic, periodic posts that create “meaningful conversation” in the comments
  • Being mindful of your posting schedule — gone are the days when posting 7 times per day on your Facebook page will lead to more engagement. If your posts aren’t getting engagement now, more posts will NOT help.

Facebook has said that groups are going to be really important — especially in groups where conversations happen frequently and offer a lot of value to the community. Moving forward, if you don’t already have a group for your audience, now might be a great time to create one and get those meaningful conversations going!

4. Instruct Your Audience to Use the “See First” Option

Before giving up on Facebook completely, you can instruct your audience to use the “see first” option. There’s a little-known option on your Facebook page where your fans and followers can let Facebook know that they want to see your posts first in their News Feed.

It can be found by clicking on the “Following” button when someone likes your page, as shown below.

Sure, not everyone will opt to see your posts first in their News Feed, but your die-hard fans will — if they know the option exists!

See First on FB

5. Diversify Your Platforms and Approach

Your business shouldn’t grow on just one platform. Now might be the time to sharpen your SEO skills, start a YouTube channel, or find your tribe on Pinterest.

If you’re using Facebook as the only strategy to grow your audience and drive traffic, then times like this remind us why we should diversify our platforms. However, don’t walk away from Facebook entirely — your audience is still there and can be reached!

One way I’m going to be diversifying my approach to social media is being much more strategic — with my Facebook Lives, conversations in my group, and what I post on Facebook in general. I’m going to think about whether or not this topic will encourage people to interact in the comments BEFORE sharing it.

My team and I will also be focusing on prompting longer comments that take more thought and more time to respond — not just short one-word answers. This is something that Facebook is going to put more stock in and bump the content up in the News Feed.

6. Learn Facebook Ads

If your organic reach is low, you can still tap into the more than 2 billion active users on Facebook by running ads. When you learn how to do ads the right way, costs can be super low and great engagement will follow.

For now, creating a targeted Facebook ads strategy is the best way to get eyes on what you want to share on Facebook!

If 2018 is your year to make Facebook ads work for you, then I invite you to check out my online course, Flourish: The Step-By-Step Facebook Ad System to Create Campaigns That Convert.

Summary

So much of growing a successful online business involves our creativity. And times like this prove this to be true even more!

As business owners, we solve our customers’ problems. The businesses who come out ahead when faced with obstacles are the ones who get creative in coming up with solutions. We need to put on our problem-solving hats that we use for our customers and apply those skills to our own businesses.

With that said, I’ll be reporting back with what’s working and what’s not working for myself, my clients, and members of my community. I will also be relaying updates from the experts at Social Media Marketing World, which I’m attending in San Diego next month.

Due to the new algorithm changes, now is a great time to run Facebook ads! You’ll be able to get high conversions for low cost, and I’ve developed the proven formula.

Check out my online course, Flourish with Facebook Ads.

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