Much like Google, Facebook is a tech company whose livelihood depends upon improving user experience and keeping them happy by making their product better. Unfortunately, that can spell trouble for businesses who are looking to connect with consumers through search engine optimization or social networking. Businesses can’t just develop a strategy and sit back on their laurels. With all the changes afoot, they’ve got to have a proactive social media marketing manager who identifies possible pitfalls and adapts the strategy to industry changes.
It behooves your company to pay close attention to Facebook in particular, as they’ve now overtaken Google as the top source of referral traffic online. And, despite concerns that the relevance of business pages have been systematically diminished over the years, there are still a solid billion people visiting branded sites within the platform each month.
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Most recently, Facebook has announced several changes to their newsfeed that affect businesses hoping to maintain exposure by using Pages:
– Users will be able to decide which friends and brands appear at the top of their newsfeed
– Users will have increased opportunities to un-follow brands they feel are “spammy.”
– Users can more easily search similar competitor pages to friend.
– Businesses will be able to send personal messages to commenters on their pages.
– People can now directly message pages through local awareness ads.
– Responsive businesses on Facebook will be rewarded.
Watch this video by Facebook explaining the latest newsfeed updates:
1. It’s not too late to tweak your strategy.
“Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time,” says Facebook. The social network explained that people want to “see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.” Much of that “promotional content” comes — not from the closely regulated sponsored ads — but from newsfeed posts of brands they follow. Facebook provides the following examples of overly promotional posts — which many businesses are guilty of writing from time to time:
So what actions should you take? For starters, it’s helpful to consider what Facebook has considered as “spammy” in the past — explicitly asking for shares, likes and comments; posting other people’s content that has been heavily shared or posting the same content over and over; and linking to misleading ad pages, rather than your official business page. Don’t worry about combing through all past posts, but do turn over a new leaf in all posts going forward.
Tips: Avoid terms like “buy now” or “shop now” in your posts. Check out these tips on posting quality content. Also, BuzzSumo has a great article packed with relevant tips from experts for weathering Facebook’s algorithm changes. Visit the pages of top brands on Facebook to see what they’re doing. Most experts recommend tailoring your posts to individual segments of your audience for better engagement.
2. It’s a good time to take another look at Facebook video.
Video can be a more creative way to promote something. Imagine how much more effective Tiger Therapy’s DVD would have been had they posted a clip from the DVD and included a quick blurb at the end that let watchers know how they could buy the full program. Wouldn’t it also be so much better to see the Bunny Puzzle Cube in action?
Facebook has taken steps in recent months to boost the prominence of video on the site. When determining the reach of your video, they not only look at standard measures — likes, comments and shares — but they also consider whether people turn on the video’s sound, finish watching the whole video and make the video full-screen.
Tip: Use tools like Animoto, Prezi, GoAnimate, Magisto and PowToon to create stand-out videos promoting your business!
3. Save your promotional content for sponsored ads.
Of course, Facebook wants you to invest in their advertising platform. It’s long been clear that “there’s no such thing as free lunch,” even when it comes to social media, which seemed like the promised land for businesses in need of a great free leveraging tool. If you haven’t purchased ads in the past, now is a great time to get some skin in the game. Business Insider says that the new Dynamic Product Ads offer more capabilities than ever before: showcase your product catalog on Facebook and target certain products to particular audiences based on past visits to your site, location or interests.
Tips: To get started, you can spend some time sifting through Facebook’s guide to sponsored content, check out this helpful post from The Content Marketing Institute, or contact Mod Girl Marketing for one-on-one consulting and/or full implementation.
4. Put someone in charge of social media response.
Direct messaging for brands can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it will be much easier to avert very public disasters, as more people discreetly complain through a personal message, rather than on your newsfeed. On the other hand, you could be inundated with a flood of new messages from people seeking customer support.
As you prepare for this change, it’s possible to turn off the direct messaging feature. However, we do recommend ultimately appointing a dedicated person in charge of social monitoring and promptly responding to all conversations on Facebook — if you haven’t already.
Facebook recently announced: “Pages that respond to 90% of messages and have a median response time of less than five minutes will now have a ‘Very responsive to messages’ badge on their profiles.” This metric will ultimately act as a sort of “Angie’s List” testimonial of how your company does business.
Tips: Keep a pulse on social media activity using these 10 monitoring tools. You can monitor your response time progress via Page Insights. If you find a lot of people are sending in similar types of messages, you can save and reuse responses to maximize your time.
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5. Don’t go it alone.
Maybe we’re a bit partial as social media consultants, but we truly believe two heads are better than one when it comes to digital marketing. Perhaps…
– You are full of glorious ideas, but could use a third party sounding board of experienced advertising experts who can help you filter out the stand-out strategies and weave them into a cohesive overarching marketing plan.
– You are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that has to be done to keep up with all these changes and need a little legwork to implement your social media strategy.
– You want to tap fresh creative minds who can look at your brand’s assets and translate them into stories that compel and sell.
– You wonder about the latest social media marketing tools to save time and money, while also improving the quality of your marketing.
– You are taking in data, but not putting it to good use or you are not conducting marketing research at all but need to.
Whatever your reason, there are many paths that lead you to the decision to hire outside digital marketing help. There’s no shame in that! Your competitors are doing it, so why shouldn’t you? With case studies suggesting that outsourced marketing can double your revenue, there is little reason to struggle alone anymore.