Facebook has had a number of iterations since it first became the “thing” that almost everyone we knew was on. If you have been on Facebook long enough, you’ll recall the moment they pushed everyone who had a business to create a separate account for their business – apart from their personal account.
Then, it became a matter of accumulating followers for your business account. We all asked our friends to like our page. We would also use Facebook business accounts as a platform to discuss business subjects while keeping our personal Facebook account about personal activities.
Slowly over time, Facebook then launched Facebook Business Manager, which was meant to help agencies manage all the Facebook accounts they were assisting with. However, with so many fake Facebook accounts, Facebook cracked down and more or less forced everyone’s hand to use Facebook Business Manager. If you had someone assisting you with your page, you were then required to assign your agency or ad consultant to a role for your page.
Here is the real kicker… now that you have gone to all the work of inviting friends to like your business page, advertised for people to like you page, obtained followers, created great content, Facebook has decided they will show little too few of your posts to your own followers. In some countries, zero people will see a business Facebook post unless they pay for advertising.
Facebook Paid Advertising
Today, it is estimated that only 1% (or less) of your Facebook followers will even see your business Facebook posts. You might have already noticed that few of your friends even see your personal posts. The fact is, Facebook is running out of room in its news feed or as they call ‘real estate’, and therefore crafted an algorithm that chooses who sees what.
The algorithm is based on whether you have liked, shared or commented on a business or friend’s post, whether you have a particular affinity for a specific subject, whether that subject is a written topic or an image (Facebook scans images and assigns words to them to determine your interests). Facebook’s algorithm also reviews how much time you spend on Facebook within the news feed liking and sharing other people’s posts as your personal account and/or as your business account. Lastly, if you choose to take advantage of Facebook Live or a Video, it will show more often than an image or post.
Meeting these requirements to see and share more of what is important to you and your business requires more than just a little bit of thought – and can be at times, taxing.
Here are our tips to staying on top of the algorithm for you and your business:
- To start, create an editorial calendar that will assist you in mixing up the types of content you are serving up. Remember that your audience members will have their own preferences and in order to meet each of them, you want to provide content that those individuals will see – then hopefully like, comment on and share.
- Create Facebook Live videos when possible. Think out a scenario or set in which you can do a short Live. Tell your audience ahead of time that you will be hosting a live event and prepare them. Facebook will do the heavy lifting as far as informing people you are live so that they can join in, comment or ‘like’ what is happening.
- Always use quality images that are square. Yes, square images are clicked on more often than any other shape. Also, insert a link back to your website with your images within almost every post. Don’t forget to add a call to action. Simply putting up a stand-alone photo is a waste of real estate and effort.
- Pay for advertising. Even if you just need to promote your posts to the people who already follow you, you have to pay to play nowadays. If you want to go bigger, which we all do, you will want to have a Facebook pixel inserted into the backend of your website from which you can build retargeting audiences. The Facebook pixel will allow you to target people who visit your website, view specific pages or perform specific actions that you wish to monitor. The pixel can also exclude people who performed specific actions you don’t wish to monitor – such as checking out or completing a transaction.
With Facebook advertising, you can even create audiences of people who have engaged with your Facebook post for any amount of time – 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, etc. Facebook also allows you to build audiences around people who watch your videos, attend your Events, or simply live within a specific geographical area. The number of audiences you can build and fine-tune are almost endless. The more fine-tuned your audiences are – the better. This way you can see who is responding the best, and to what.
- Lastly, don’t forget to use your business Facebook feed to comment and engage with other businesses. This one is tricky as Facebook has made it difficult to figure out how to get to this place. Below is a screenshot that will show you where to click when inside of your business Facebook account, so that you can go to your page feed.
From here, you can scroll through your feed and like or comment as your business on other business posts. You can also “Like” other pages with the blue button above, by typing in the company name you wish to follow.
Spending time on Facebook, interacting with posts and being active also counts toward giving back to your real estate time. Just like it is on Instagram, the more active you are on the platform the more your posts are shown. Don’t forget that Facebook, as you know, owns Instagram.
So good luck until everything changes again on Facebook. These are the games we must play, as you know that over 80% of the United States population is on Facebook – just waiting to learn more about your business.
About: Pamela Ravenwood works as the Senior Digital Marketing Manager for SEO Essential Solutions, located in Sedona, Arizona.