At Dream Local Digital, we pay attention to industry trends and constantly adapt to changes that affect the results we achieve for our clients.
As the marketing world discusses the implications of the new algorithm announced by Facebook earlier this year, we have been working to insure we make inline changes to keep our client brands visible and continue to help small businesses reach their online marketing goals.
In short, Facebook has said that the new algorithm will showcase much less public content from brands and businesses and much more content from friends, family and groups. The content that is most likely to remain in newsfeeds is that which encourages and generates meaningful conversations.
Is this a meaningful change?
The average person does not get up in the morning and grab the smart phone to see what local businesses have posted and promoted since yesterday. If you own a reasonably new car, chances are you are not interested in deals and promotions at your local car dealer. This isn’t breaking news. People are on social media channels to be social and interact in social circles, not to find their next home services company or purchase a new car. While this has always been the case, businesses have found that advertising on social media channels is effective because there are lots of people watching. People don’t watch television for the commercials either, but since there are lots of viewers, brands still pay to advertise on TV.
What does the Facebook change mean for businesses?
Our tactics differ depending on client goals, but one thing is the same, we have been able to reach a lot of people and target the ones most likely to benefit our clients’ businesses through Facebook.
Through Facebook, we:
- Claim, optimize and maintain a well-branded presence for our clients
- Post content that is relevant to the target audience, including
- Educational content
- Promotional content
- Content that positions our clients as industry experts
- Content that showcases our client’s involvement in their local communities
- Behind-the-scenes content
- Engage in conversations on our clients pages to answer questions and respond to requests
All these practices will continue to have value; the question is how to leverage them. Although organic content will reach fewer people, for many small businesses with small fan counts, this is nothing new. A Facebook business with 500 fans may only have an organic reach of 35 for a recent post, which is not very helpful for a roofer trying to find which of the 40,000 homeowners in the area needs a new roof. There are three key factors to keep in mind when viewing this abysmal statistic.
First, people who hear about a business and then find it on Facebook will still see the business and all the great content and history it is providing. When friends or acquaintances talk about a business, it is common for people to search Facebook and other places to learn more. When this occurs, it is important that a business page is well branded, has good reviews, and a steady stream of content showing reasons why a prospect should choose to spend money with this business.
Second, fans can still follow a page and select “See First” in the follow window in order to see content from pages they are interested in having show up in their newsfeeds. This is something that businesses can encourage followers to do in order to stay up to date with specials, promotions, events and more.
Third, paid ads still work. While Facebook likes us all to believe it is only interested in the quality of the newsfeed for their patrons, this is only partially true. The quality of the newsfeed is critically important to Facebook, as it wants to maintain and increase users. However, Facebook is a for-profit company. It will always be interested in selling businesses the opportunity to reach all of the people on the platform. Currently, Facebook does an exceptional job of allowing businesses to find their target audiences through demographic, interest, website traffic, engagement and email targeting. In 2018, Facebook ads will become even more vital to any business on the platform. At Dream Local Digital, we will continue to incorporate paid social ads into our management for our clients and work with them to target their audience effectively through ads in order to reach their objectives.
As the Facebook Algorithm rolls out, there will undoubtedly be new tactics, recommendations and ideas that are developed to help small businesses. Even while that occurs, it is important to realize that businesses that combine a well branded presence with quality content, engaging conversations and a good paid budget will continue to have an opportunity to reach their audiences through Facebook. These are the same tactics that historically have benefitted businesses. Now it’s time to double down on them and ensure your team continues to get results.
Don’t run from the algorithm change; analyze your current marketing strategy. Are you posting the right types of content to position your business as an industry expert, engage your audience, and promote your goods and services? Are you providing your marketing team or agency with the events, specials, photographs and videos they need in order to generate quality content? If you are not, it’s past time to start.
- Make sure your online presence is up to date, well branded and engaging
- Make sure your business is posting quality content and engaging with prospects
- Increase your ad budget and test multiple ad tactics to gain the best results.
Don’t keep all of your eggs in the Facebook basket
While I recommend a robust Facebook strategy incorporating all of the items detailed above, I also recommend that you deploy other tactics for your online marketing strategy.
- Use multiple social channels frequented by your target audience
- Gather email addresses and send quality, useful content to subscribers
- Be sure that your website is up to date, user friendly, and provides information needed for purchases
- Use multiple ad platforms to reach your target audience.
All of this can be a lot to digest and manage as a business owner. Your primary responsibility is running your company, not staying on top of Mr. Zuckerberg’s latest announcement and changes. At Dream Local Digital, our client services team will guide you though strategy and tactics as well as give you the information you need to give us content our strategy teams need to help you succeed online and reach your audience. We’re here to partner with you as an extension of your business and to provide our expertise so your marketing leads to more revenue.