How Facebook is forcing business to be more authentic

Despite some rocky moments in 2018, including a hack which compromised the personal details of over 30 million users, the Facebook juggernaut continues to roll on, with an 11.3 per cent increase in 2018 to an astounding 2.23 billion active users.  And while much has been said about the growth of Instagram and its suitability for business, Facebook is still the most used app by consumers on a daily basis, with 79 per cent using Facebook and 32 per cent using Instagram.

Earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg announced sweeping changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm aimed at making “meaningful social interactions” from family and friends appear at the top of user’s timelines as opposed to “relevant content” or public videos, posts and photos shared by businesses and media outlets. In August further tweaking took place, with Facebook introducing greater transparency for customers by asking some businesses to confirm their identity with their driver’s license and/or mailing address.

As business adjusts to the new algorithm, there are some strategies that have emerged that will help brands and businesses to increase their reach and engagement.  For a start, here are some things you should immediately stop doing on your brand’s Facebook page.

  1. Don’t post “calls to action” e.g. Click here; call now; sign up here; shop now or visit our website.
  2. Don’t post external links; e.g. Your website, other websites, promotions, giveaways or competitions.
  3. Don’t post anything that uses the same content as your Facebook ads.

Now that you know not what to do, here’s four things you can do to improve your brands’ reach and Facebook page’s performance.

  1. Reply to comments on your posts as much as possible. Mark Zuckerberg made Facebook’s intentions clear when he said, Pages creating posts that people generally don’t interact or comment on will see the biggest decreases in Reach”. So the message is this; interact or reply to every comment on your posts. The algorithm will boost posts with replies to comments, to ensure conversations are continued.
  2. Use Facebook live video. Facebook is encouraging this aspect of the platform and claims that live videos get up to six times the interaction as recorded video. If you post pre-recorded video, try to subtitle them.
  3. Make the content as relevant, authentic and engaging as possible. Facebook is looking for posts that elicit reactions over likes, which means if your posts are boring or lacking any imagination it’s highly likely they’ll be seen by fewer people. If your posts spark debate or gather lots of comments, you’ll appear much higher in timelines.
  4. Be timely and local. If you can be across what’s happening in your city or country, you’re much more likely to be rewarded with a more prominent position in your audience’s timeline. Facebook has indicated that local news or events will get priority in timelines over national or international events, so try to focus on your neighbourhood, city or country.

Brooke Vulinovich, Social Media Expert, www.villamanagement.com.au

Feature image courtesy of Kate Drennan Photography www.katedrennan.com

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