Change generally brings about one of two reactions: resistance or resourcefulness. But with this particular change to the Facebook algorithm, those who commit to their content have a golden opportunity.
And of course, you’ll find my insight as well. I’m Tara Zirker, founder and owner of Successful Ads Club.
Laura, set the stage for us!
“Let it never be said that Facebook doesn’t tell you what it wants! They were very clear in their announcement of this algorithm change that if you want your Page’s posts to be higher in the News Feed, they should SPARK CONVERSATION in their audience. Pages that successfully prioritize that type of engagement are going to reap some serious benefits from this algorithm change.
In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense that Facebook would announce this algorithm change just a few weeks after announcing that they’ll be restricting reach and demoting Pages for posts that qualify as engagement bait. (Posts like, “Comment ‘Yes’ if you love dogs!”) Facebook is committing itself to rewarding Pages that get not just engagement, but high-quality engagement.
Want to use these changes to your advantage? Post updates that’ll get people talking to you and to *each other*! Ask questions. Share juicy guides and news stories that’ll invite conversation. When you share a link, invite people to sound off by commenting on your update! Host live video and encourage viewers to share their thoughts and questions in the comments.
If it’s quality content that successfully sparks genuine conversations, Facebook is going to reward it with higher visibility. (And if you share an update that sparks a great conversation, don’t be afraid to share it again in the future, so new people can see it and have *another* great conversation!)”
Laura Roeder is the founder and CEO of MeetEdgar, a social media management tool (that I, Tara, personally love!) that allows you to reshare your status updates.
So let’s talk about those conversations. You’d be lying a little if you said you weren’t inspired by my friend Amanda Bond’s business page. By her correct assessment, engagement is KING! So how do we do it? How do we create meaningful and active engagement? Up next: A tip and a strategy for you by none other than Amanda Bond.
“Alright, interwebs friends… the biggest strategy I have for you, it’s a doozy. Ready? …
BE-freaking-HUMAN when it comes to your Facebook content.
Full stop. That’s it.
Obviously I’m being a bit facetious but the key takeaway here is to stop treating Facebook as your own personal megaphone and start creating relevant content that inspires your brand community. Create platform. Facilitate discussion. Essentially… do the dang work to get people fired up over what you’re throwing down.
An actionable way to understand what content resonates with your audience is to measure the results of each and every post you put out (whether it’s a paid post or organically to your page).
How? You measure results using something called your Engagement Rate. In a nutshell, that’s the percentage of people who dig your content so much, they do something about it—react, comment, share, click—after seeing your posts in their news feeds.
Here’s how to find out how much engagement each post gets:
- Sign in as an Page Admin to view your Facebook Page Insights.
- Add the number of clicks (blue bar) + the number of reactions, comments, & shares (red bar) together to get the total number of post engagements.
- Divide the total number of post engagements by the total reach.
- And, then multiply that number by 100.
- The resulting answer is the percentage of people who took-hella-action on your post!!!
For the first example in the image: 2,200 + 321 = 2,521 / 15,2000 = .166 x 100 = 16.6% Engagement
Then, your only job on Facebook is to keep experimenting with your content to strive and maintain (or beat!) your current engagement rates. Then the next time they change the algorithm, you have an arsenal of content you KNOW performs well for your audience. #takeyourpowerback
To supercharge these tips, try Engagement Looping. It’s a ninja little trick when responding to comments on your posts. Instead of just giving their comment a like, respond to each comment with an open ended question creating an open loop in conversation. Many times the original poster will come back to continue the convo. This results in an audience full of raving fans all while appeasing the algorithm gods along the way.
Amanda Bond is the owner of The Ad Strategist helping people to stop guessing and starting getting results with their Facebook ads.
Hel-lo! Being human is possibly one of the best marketing guidelines out there. Let’s dive in deeper here. I brought in my colleague Krista Lettko to talk about that. She’s one of the best in the business when it comes to building authentic followings. She has a prolific track record building extremely visible brands that grow to hundreds of thousands and then millions of followers. Chances are good you follow her clients on Instagram.
“I, for one, am excited about the opportunities this new update will bring for my clients. Look at the brands that have continued their success even as the algorithms have evolved over the years and it’s no surprise that these brands all have one thing in common: authenticity.
People recognize when content is authentic. It resonates with them.
How do you create authentic content?
- Find your ‘Why.’ When people buy into your why, they will buy what you are selling. Why do you do what you do? Why should people care about what you are selling? Why do your customers experience something different and more meaningful from that of your competitors? Have the founder write a personalized message about why they started the company. Talk about a company-wide initiative and why it’s important to you. Don’t have an initiative that ties back to your ‘why?’ Get one.
- Provide value. If you are constantly calling people to action with buy, buy, buy and do, do, do, you are nothing more than a salesperson when what you want to be is an EXPERT. Share industry knowledge with your audience. Educate them. How are things changing? Where are they going? What meaningful conversations can you start in your online community? Open up. Don’t be afraid to have a perspective.
- Start doing LIVE feed videos. Many businesses spend a lot of time editing complicated videos shot on expensive cameras, but the truth is all people really want to see is you. According to Mark Zuckerberg, LIVE videos will be shared more as the new algorithm rolls out. One of my clients spends about $2,000 per month on video content. Lots of time goes into editing this video every month. She also does on-the-fly Facebook LIVE sessions. Guess which one gets more views? The lives! Why? She is authentic in who she is and has a ton of value to provide her current and future customers. When she sits in her house, with no make-up on, and just speaks from the heart, her engagement goes WAY, WAY up.
- People crave simplicity. They crave authenticity, connection, meaningful conversation, and engagement. If your brand has a meaningful ‘Why’ and if you believe in what it is you are selling, this algorithm will work in your favor, save you money, and present an amazing opportunity to create an authentic relationship with your audience. Be transparent, share your ‘Why,’ and earn the trust of your customer. They will stay with you forever.”
Krista Lettko is the co-founder of Authentic Audience: a marketing and Facebook ad agency that specializes in yoga and wellness businesses. Authenticaudience.co.
We’ve talked what FB is looking for, engagement, and authenticity, but what about how to find things to talk about? Most of us could use an idea or two. For that, I turned to Jess Walman, an ad strategist friend of mine.
“Find hot topics going on in your industry and spark a conversation on it. Not only spark a conversation, but provide your unique viewpoint and don’t be afraid to be controversial. Ask people their opinions on the topic. From there be sure to interact and engage with the comments throughout the day. The more interaction, the more Facebook will favor it with higher visibility.
This even works if you want to find a hot topic going on globally, whether it’s politics, socio-economic, or the Kardashians. Find something that’s currently relevant in the world, tie it back to your industry and message, and create a conversation.
A client of mine created a post that went viral because she tied an Olympic athlete (during the Olympics) to parenting (her niche) and created a discussion on how his parents parenting affected his life and reaching his goals. She was relevant and unique! Now, not all of your posts will go viral by doing this, but you will create better quality posts this way and get higher visibility with Facebook.”
Jess Walman is an ad and sales funnel strategist. You can find her work at www.jessicawalman.com
And that leads me to…myself. Let me tie this together with a couple of tips for LEVERAGING Facebook. ___
Listen folks, Facebook wants our branded content to feel native (think NATURAL) to the newsfeed. Consider the stories you LOVE and instinctively respond to: weddings, pups, babes (I mean babies, but ya know, whatever that means to you), social causes, reunions.
These are the posts that pause your feed and make you think, reflect, and relate.
These are the posts that prompt you to engage.
Do this for your audience. Forget the filler and fluffy material. Spark great conversation that reminds people about your ‘Why’—as Krista so eloquently put it.
Even for ads? Yes.
Especially for ads.
Those who figure out HOW to use their Facebook presence (pages, groups, ads, and, yes, personal profiles) in a way that supports the community will prosper. Be helpful, connect people, provide recommendations—again, ask questions—inspire and show up for the party. What would you talk about over dinner with friends? Business? Life? That’s a great starting point for how to BE on Facebook.
I’ll leave you with a couple of tips on building your Facebook community in a way that serves your needs, too:
#1) Consider keeping people ON the platform. For example, share your blog posts on Facebook versus directing people off site. Worried about losing traffic to your pixel? Don’t. You can retarget your ads to anyone who engaged with your page (and Instagram profile, watched videos, interacted with your brick and mortar location, etc.). Your blog post (posted in its entirety vs. as a link) can be an engagement magnet on Facebook, thus making the algorithm happy.
#2) Support your other marketing channels with authentic ads. Your anchor emails (those with calls to actions for events, launches, etc) should always be complemented with fantastic ads to cover all your bases—aka, to find your followers where they are.
I recently attended a mastermind event in NYC with someone I wanted to work with more closely for awhile. I’d been following her prior to the event and, somehow, the email announcing this opportunity got filtered off to a folder. BUT she had an ad, with much of the same content as her email, sent out to people on her list. I saw that and signed up 24 hours later.
#3) And, finally, this is your warning bell. 2018 IS the year to master Facebook. It’s still a bargain and one of the best digital marketing opportunities of this decade, but it will get increasingly competitive and more expensive. So come join the fun while it’s still a great deal.
How has the algorithm update affected you? What’s your big takeaway from this here? Share in the comments on Facebook! And please SHARE this with those you know who would benefit. xx