I’m sure you’ve seen it trending, Facebook is once again changing their algorithm, or in simpler terms, what it is that you see in your news feed when you’ve logged onto Facebook. I wanted to touch on the changes and give five (free!) ways for small businesses to stay in their fan’s Facebook news feeds.
These changes are the kind of thing that concerns many small business owners, such as myself, that use Facebook to reach their fans and customers. On our page, Charity Sparrow, we’ve been able to weather many of these changes fairly unscathed. Some we even grew through as we learned more about what the social media giant is looking for, and rewards.
One main reason we grew, I think, is because we’ve worked hard to build relationships and a sense of community around our page, and now our linked group, The Junkin’ Sisters Tribe. If you know Facebook at all, you’ll know they want it to be a community-driven platform. Even these latest changes reflect that, so as a small business owner I need to be flexible and strategic as they make changes, and so do you.
Here are five ways to do that:
◘ Encourage users to follow your page and to choose to “see first”
At the top of our page next to the “like” button is the “following” button. Users can follow and then hover over that button to see a drop-down and click “see first”. They can also turn notifications on for your page, probably a good idea as well.
Though they still may not see a lot of your posts, this will help our pages from not being seen at all! I’ll be encouraging our community to do this so they’ll see the content we post. A graphic showing your users how to do this would be helpful, too, or it could be something to show them on..
◘ Facebook Lives
Facebook has really been favoring Facebook lives since their beginning and it looks like they’re going to be featured even more as these changes roll out. Why? Because lives generate that sense of community and engagement that Facebook wants, and it seems to fall into line with the way they’re headed, such as the roll out of the new t.v., Facebook Watch episodes.
Wanting to try lives, but not sure where to start? Yeah, me, too! And we can both learn from my business coach and mentor, Jennifer Allwood, about the power of Facebook live, she is an expert on the subject and has mentored so many of us small business owners through her page lives. You could use lives to announce & promote my next tip..
◘ Facebook Events
We haven’t utilized events on our page nearly as much as we should, mostly because we’re not a traditional brick and mortar, but we plan on changing that and thinking bigger. Using Facebook events for small business happenings is really a no-brainer, it’s an easy (free!) way to let your fan base know what you have coming up.
Facebook has devoted free resources to help you make the most of your events, so it must be important to them. Events are also big with the platform because they see them as another way to bring people together, which ties into they’re mission statement: Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Events fit that bill perfectly, as does my next tip..
◘ Facebook Groups
If you read between the lines of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement post you’ll see this quote: “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.” This makes sense as groups are based around communities, and where contacts and friendships are made.
If you’ve been thinking of starting a group, this may be a good time to consider if a group is right for your business, and if the pros outweigh the cons to jump in and try one. If you’re a group owner or admin already, your group is another way to stay in touch with your community you’ve worked hard to build, as well building customer loyalty and relationships. One thing I’m not suggesting is dumping your page for a group.
My group admins and I work hard and we’ve recently been recognized as power admins by Facebook. So though we’re a fairly new group, I think we’ve learned a lot and if there’s enough interest I’d be happy to share some of that knowledge and help others to grow their groups as well. Let me know in the comments if that would be of interest and valuable to you. And finally..
◘ Ask Fans Questions
Facebook will be filtering out click-bait type posts to clean up the user’s news feeds in favor of the friends, family and group posts mentioned. This doesn’t mean that question posts will no longer work, but it’s the type of questions that are important.
Page and business owners, including myself, are going to have to think outside of the box on ways to engage and interact with their community. How can we build relationships with the people who come to visit our pages? They need to see behind the curtain of our brands, and we need to care about them, and what matters to them.
I hope this post was helpful to you as we navigate the newest changes to the feeds, and work to reach our fans and customers through our pages. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the changes, or if you plan on trying any of these tips, were any of them helpful to you?
Thank you for being here, as always, and let me know of any other topics you’d like to hear about on the blog. Wishing you the best,