Last week Facebook announced that they will be overhauling their entire algorithm that decides what goes on any given user’s newsfeed. The social network has decided it needs to go back to its roots of being exactly that, a social network. According to the New York Times, this means that users can now expect to see more posts directly from their friends and family or posts that spurred lively debates in the comments. The algorithm is expected to predict what the user will most likely want to see based on likes, comments, and shares and these posts will float higher to the top. Facebook has also not been shy about letting the public know business and other publishing pages will now be at a large disadvantage when it comes to engagement, but there is a silver lining. Facebook is ever trying to increase its customization options, so now users will be able to choose who they want to see posts from by giving them top priority.
So, what does all of this mean in terms of small business pages? In short, it appears that unless you are excellent at driving engagement on your posts, your company’s Facebook page may get lost in the shuffle. Here are a few tips to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Contests on social media have always been a fantastic way to increase traffic to your page. And while there are quite a few ways to do this, caption contests or other contests that will encourage a lot of people to interact with the post will be particularly helpful in ensuring your post makes in onto other people’s newsfeeds with the new algorithm. Don’t think that the winner of your contest has to receive some type of elaborate prize either. While prizes certainly don’t hurt anything sometimes all you have to offer is a shout out to the winner or if your contest is good enough sometimes people will just participate because it seems fun.
Encourage People to Like/Prioritize your Page
Simply encouraging people to like your page (and now also prioritize it with the new update) is a great way to garner an audience for your business’s Facebook. This can be done in person, using small giveaways as incentives, or sometimes this can be as simple as just including a link to your Facebook page in your email signature that says, “Follow us on Facebook.” You may be surprised by how many new followers you can get just by putting your name out there a little more.
Though the algorithm overhaul will certainly limit how many people see your Facebook page organically, that does not mean businesses can’t continue to buy advertisements on Facebook. The nice thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can choose geographically where you want your post boosted and for how long. You many also be surprised by how affordable advertising on Facebook can be.
The bottom line is, don’t be scared of Facebook’s new algorithm. It may decrease the organic number of views that your page gets, but there are many ways to combat this. Not to mention there’s tons of other ways besides social media to advertise your business. It’s important to remember that other forms of media such as newspapers, radio, TV, and just plain word of mouth are all still very effective ways to get your name out there and maximize your success!