Recently, Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, put out a memo regarding his big focus for the platform for 2018. With users down 1 million for the first time in a long time, many people are wondering how this platform will evolve and what these changes will mean for business owners.
Here are some excerpts from Zuckberg’s Facebook memo….
“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness.
But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.
The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.
Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.
For example, there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.
At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections. By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent.”
The big question after this rollout is what does this mean to your business, and what relevant changes do you need to be making now to get in front of these massive changes. Here are some ideas from the Hyperchat Social team.
- Ask your followers to change their news preferences– What you want to ask them to do is to go into their news feed and hit edit preferences which will open up their choices on the news feed. You want to tell them to click the ‘prioritize who to see first on the news feed’, and then list your business page as a priority on this news feed. Most of your followers will forget they did this down the road and probably haven’t even used this feature since they joined Facebook. Using this strategy will really help you from having your business Facebook page being vaporized with the changes Facebook is making right now.
- Content needs to get people to take action– One of the big changes with Facebook is that business pages whose posts don’t receive meaningful likes and comments will see a decline in their post’s reach. Remember, Facebook is not looking for real engagement rather than just number of likes. So, if you have a ton of likes on your business Facebook page, you will need to get much more creative in the way you produce content and make sure you are asking more of your fans to comment on the articles.
- Beware of ‘engagement bait’ posts– One of the changes with Facebook is that they don’t want posts of any type that Facebook would consider to be engagement bait. This means that you need to avoid using phrases like “like this to win” or “comment below” or “tag your friends for a chance…”. Use open-ended questions like “What do you think?” “Which friends do would enjoy this?” to encourage users to take the same actions.
- Is it time to start a closed group?– There is a big difference between a fan and a member. With a closed group, comments are 800% greater and you can maintain whatever dialogue you want with your members. It is not advisable to get rid of your Facebook page, but consider making some sort of VIP group or a closed group of members. This will allow you to continue to communicate with your constituency without the new algorithms standing in your way.
- Get better at advertising– Why do most businesses really change their business model?? It is to get their customers to do more business. Zuckerberg knows that you will inevitably spend money to advertise to get your core audience if you can’t get at them directly with organic content. You should consider setting aside some of your marketing budget for advertisements on Facebook.
Ultimately, if you have a small business and you can’t figure this out (or you just don’t want to), then turn to sign up for a demo and see how we can help you turn social into sales™.