Facebook has changed the visibility of your business posts to your fans, once again, reducing exposure from 16 percent to a mere one to two percent. According to a study byOgilvy & Mather, that reach is going to hit nearly zero in the near future. Facebook explains that they made this change because users prefer to view posts from friends over posts from businesses.
The continual spurning of businesses by Facebook has prompted some to break up with them, deleting their profiles all together. For example, the online food delivery company, Eat24 recently posted their breakup letter:
Hey. It’s Eat24. Look, we need to talk. This isn’t easy to say since we’ve been together so long, but we need to break up. We’d love to say “It’s not you, it’s us” but it’s totally you. Not to be rude, but you aren’t the smart, funny social network we fell in love with several years back. You’ve changed. A lot.”
It’s frustrating because business owners have invested so much time and energy into Facebook, learning how to make posts that engage fans and increase reach such as funny images (also known as memes). Now Facebook is telling us that they are cracking down on “like-bait;” memes and posts that specifically encourage readers to “like” or “share” because they decrease the quality of the newsfeed for the average Facebook user.
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg is quoted as saying, “Before we get started, let’s just remember one thing: Facebook was created for people — not businesses.”
So, is it time to quit Facebook? I wouldn’t recommend it, instead here are some ways that you can adjust to these latest changes.
- Advertise: Facebook says that businesses who want to increase their reach will need to invest in Facebook advertising by paying to “boost” their posts so that more people will see it. In fact, Facebook just released new call to action buttons that you can use on your Facebook posts to encourage users to take action on your ad. The call to action buttons include: Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now or Download.
- Post content that is newsy, current, and personal. In my experience managing social media content for auto repair shops, I’ve found that timely posts that show pictures of what’s going on in the business in the moment get more visibility than advertising-type posts such as “Don’t forget, you can schedule an appointment online.” Post photos of your staff as they go about their day, or of your customers, sharing a little personal tidbit such as “This is Mary, she’s been coming to our shop since we opened 10 years ago. Every Easter she brings us homemade cookies!”
- Encourage fan generated content. Ask fans to share their photos, testimonials, and experiences with your company. Have a “caption this” contest with a photo from your shop and then pick the caption with the most likes and make a meme or image of it, making sure you give credit to the customer who thought of the winning caption. You can easily make shareable images on picmonkey.com.
- Mention fans by name. Welcome new fans to your page, or highlight a fan or customer of the week.
- Tap into popular hashtags. Don’t forget to take advantage of popular hashtags on Facebook such as #ThrowbackThursday. Invite fans to share throwback photos of themselves on your wall or share photos of your own.
Lastly, the changes in the Facebook newsfeed reminds me that it’s never a good idea to rely on only one or two marketing tactics to bring in new customers, because what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Make sure that you are using as many marketing tools as possible to get the word out about your business, and when changes occur you’ll see less impact.
Wendy Kenney owns 23 Kazoos, a marketing and PR firm that specializes in auto repair shop marketing. She is also the best-selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz. To learn more about Wendy or 23 Kazoos, email her atwnkenney@23Kazoos.com or visit www.23Kazoos.com.
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