Changing Facebook algorithms change little for small business ads

When Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to Facebook algorithms to make the social platform, well…more social and not so businessy, whispers of uncertainty soon turned into outright fear. Many small businesses believed the changes to news feeds could be the end of their business.

But nothing has really changed for small businesses who are investing in paid ads. The changes are not going to ruin businesses despite some saying it is going to be harder.

The point is that yes, the algorithm has changed so that organic has less reach. And yes, this has affected businesses which had previously grown large numbers of fans so that their organic engagement was strong. But for most businesses, who don’t have enormous fan bases to start with, they always had to invest in paid advertising to get reach.

47 per cent of small and medium businesses are on Facebook, with 64 per cent of consumers being more likely to trust a brand if it interacts positively on social media.  The whole point of Facebook is about engagement. It was started to enable people to interact with family and friends. Then it became a great place for people to do business.

The best use of the algorithm is all about pay to play; you must put money down. So, the best way to get traffic is to engage with the right people for your business. It’s about showing your content to people who react with ‘I like this and want to know more’ and want to keep in touch; that applies to businesses as well. There was never ever going to be an easy way to get organic engagement whereas the ad platform helps you find the specific people you want.

The changes just reinforce the fact you have to pay to promote your business; the scare mongering is moot because nothing has changed from a business perspective. Before the algo change, if you had 1000 people on your page, then only two per cent, or 20 people, are going to see your content. Now it will be slightly less, but on those numbers, you always had to invest to get decent reach.

But a word of caution with regards to boosting posts. It is the biggest waste of money and only goes to lining Zuckerberg’s pockets. Boosting is the biggest crock and does no favours to any social-media strategy. You can’t track it or do anything with the results, if you get any. We always advise our clients against it.

If you are going to invest money into Facebook, then do it right.  Set it up properly. Follow these tips instead to create ads that convert:

  1. Choose your targeting – understanding your audience is always vital.
  2. Always have retargeting set up, or you risk leaving money on the table.
  3. Display multiple creatives – you will never know which works best unless you test.
  4. Headlines and copy that are quick to the point will ALWAYS convert better.
  5. Imagery should be relevant and uncluttered.

Phoebe Wright, Founder, Whitespace Marketing

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