Last year Facebook announced that they were making changes to their News Feed algorithm in order to enable people to see more content from their friends and family. Facebook recently launched a series of related tests in small countries such as Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. The test centers around the introduction of 2 separate news feeds; one for your friends and family and the other named the Facebook Explore Feed, consisting of content from pages and companies posting about their products or services.
Early results from these small country tests show that businesses operating on Facebook with separated feeds achieved 2 thirds less organic reach and 4 times less interactions with posted content than they were previously.
Facebook insist that the goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content and that there is no plan to roll this out further. Regardless of this announcement, small businesses across the world have started to wonder if they will be able to continue to generate sufficient levels of organic reach on the Facebook platform moving forwards.
So how do you future-proof your content and plans to ensure that you are ready? Follow our 3 key steps:
3 key steps to achieve greater organic reach
There are 3 key steps to follow to ensure that you show up higher in the Explore News Feed and achieve greater organic reach:
By 2019, it has been predicted that 80% of all Internet traffic will be videos. A recently published study indicates that Facebook share data for publishers has remained static over the last 12 months. However average shares of video have more than doubled in the same time period due to the emphasis Facebook is putting behind its video strategy. With this in mind it’s important to include branded video content, animated GIF’s and real time story telling through Facebook Live, as part of your strategy. Keep your videos short, (60-90 seconds) and relevant to your audience, as Facebook will prioritise those videos with a higher completion rate in the Explore Feed. Upload them directly through the Facebook platform and try to steer clear of You Tube or 3rd party links.
- Authentic and timely posts
Facebook will give preference to those posts which are authentic, relevant and timely and penalises any posts which are deemed overly promotional or linked to 3rd party content. This is an extension of the work done recently to remove click bait and fake news posts, which target the “you won’t believe what happened next” style content. Keep your posts relevant and link to major events which may be trending online where possible, as Facebook will rate your post higher on its feed. Finally, if you schedule your posts, do this direct through the Facebook platform scheduling tool as Facebook will prioritise over those 3rd party scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite.
- Achieve greater interaction with your audience
Facebook are launching new features that will help you to achieve greater interaction with your audience. More likes, shares and comments, indicates to Facebook that your posts are good quality, that people like you and in turn your organic reach will increase.
- Targeting and scheduling – New functionality will allow you will be able to target your audience, to allow you to reach people who are more likely to interact with your post. E.g. if you are a children’s clothes retailer launching a new range of clothes for children aged 3-7, you can use the tool to target people who, like your page, follow your page and only those people who have children aged 3-7.
- Messenger communication – Use Facebook Messenger as an alternative way to communicate with your customers. Create sponsored posts and adverts to customers using the full screen experience, reducing the amount of disruption and increasing your chances of interaction.
Facebook advertising – Paid for Reach
With 80% of users preferring to connect with businesses on Facebook, it continues to be an important platform to include in your digital strategy. Facebook advertising provides small businesses with the opportunity to reach large audiences at relatively inexpensive costs. It also allows users to target their audience effectively and jump back into the personal news feed.
HoneyBadger’s experts in social media can help you grow your business by using Facebook and Instagram to maximise your brand coverage and build a long-term, sustainable and trustworthy brand for your business. Our Quick Start offer enables you to get up and running quickly and cost effectively. HoneyBadger also has a video first strategy with all of the adverts we create for our customers. Check out some of the great video adverts we’ve created.
Whilst Facebook policies and conventions may change, the principles of an effective and focused campaign endure; provide the information the consumer wants in an exciting, interesting and informative manner. The great news is regardless of whether the Explore Feed is judged to be successful or not, using video, placing authentic and timely posts and encouraging interactions with your audience remains central to an effective strategy. So whether you are looking to increase your organic reach or invest in paid-for ads, you can be assured that Facebook, should be a part of your strategy now and in the future.