If you’ve been anywhere near Facebook recently, you’ve probably noticed a few alarming headlines popping up about a recent change to the algorithm that controls what you see in your news feed each time you log in to Facebook.
Headlines like news feed update is death to small business or Facebook news feed update could kill struggling businesses.
Scary stuff, right? Maybe not as scary as you think.
What’s all the fuss about?
A few days ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a major change to how Facebook is being built. Moving forward, you will begin to see more posts from your friends and family in your news feed than posts from businesses. This left many businesses and the marketers who work for them in a bit of a panic.
What’s going to happen to our social media strategy? Is it all over? Is this the end of an era? Will our posts ever be seen by our customers ever again? Why, Facebook, WHY?!
The panic was so great that Mark Zuckerberg found himself about 3 billion dollars poorer when shares dropped by around 4% in the aftermath of his now historic announcement.
Facebook’s news feed algorithm update is not the end of small business social media
So is it really as bad as it seems? The end times? #Facebookgeddon? Probably not, so you can hold those 4 horses of the Facebook Apocalypse.
But like any major algorithm update, whether it’s Google or Facebook, it’s going to mean making some changes to the kind of content you post.
You see, Mark gave us some clues about what to expect in this new era of the Facebook news feed. It all comes down to creating meaningful interactions, and fostering an active, not passive, experience.
Small businesses can gain a competitive edge after the Facebook news feed update
Here are a few key things you can do to make sure the posts to your Facebook business page are making the grade:
Make your posts meaningful
Posts that encourage back and forth conversation, and lots of interaction among Facebook users will be the posts that perform best in this new era.
For example, instead of posting your restaurant’s daily soup specials in a bland, pre-formatted post each and every day, try asking your customers – on Facebook of course – which of your soups they’d like you to serve next week.
Posts that get your customers involved and make them feel like part of something bigger could be incredibly valuable.
Ask questions, get your customer’s feedback and opinions about the things that matter to them and your community. Not only will you see your page’s engagement move in the right direction – an important part of keeping your visibility up – but you’ll learn more about the people who keep your lights on and what they really want and expect from your business.
This one might sound silly, but many brands have come to rely on automation to do much of the social media grunt work. While many of the tools that make this possible do a fantastic job, there’s no doubt that over time things can start to sound a little robotic.
Remember, your customers are living, breathing people. Most of us can tell when that comment that we left was responded to by AI or a bot. Humanize your business by making sure that you respond sincerely and authentically to each comment or question you receive on Facebook, and keep the conversation going. Remember, social media is meant to be social.
Be flexible, and have a backup plan
The reality is that Facebook is changing, and this is probably the first of many major changes to come. Wise online marketers and business owners should always have a backup plan, and they should never throw all their eggs into one basket, especially when that basket is a platform they have no control over like Facebook.
Remember, great content is valuable whether it’s posted to your Facebook page, or to something you own and control like your website. Make authentic, quality content that drives meaningful interaction a core part of your small business’ internet marketing strategy and you’ll stay two steps ahead of the competition when the next big shift happens.
In the end, this may not be the Facebook Apocalypse it’s being made out to be. In fact, it may just be more of a #FlashbackFriday to the days when brands who focused on authentic, meaningful interaction with their followers could see real success on Facebook.