Now we have “Don’t Fear the Reaper” stuck in our head. Whoops.
In all seriousness, the changes coming to the Facebook New News Feed are raising a lot of questions and discontent. It’s understandable, given that at first glance, it looks like business pages are going to be swallowed up and relegated to a separate feed that supposedly no one will ever see. Businesses are fretting over the fact that they may have to pump money into a site they largely regarded as free publicity.
First: there’s no reason to panic. Yes, we need to take note of the coming changes and alter our approach to how we market businesses on Facebook. No, it’s not the end of the world.
Next: Let’s break down how the new feed works and how we can change our strategy to match.
At this point, we’re all aware that one of the big changes to the interface of the News Feed will be the separation of content into different feeds. People will be able to view updates from friends, photos only, music only, games, and more that will likely be incorporated at a later date. Where do businesses fit in?
It appears the “Most Recent” and “Following” feeds are where business pages will be most likely to show up. The big fear is that users will avoid these feeds because they’re not interesting. This is where your strategy has to change.
Too many businesses put minimal effort into Facebook, posting random updates without a real marketing plan in place – just enough to get the name out there and hope someone cares. This approach is not going to work moving forward (and arguably has NEVER worked). If you want users to pay attention, you must be worth paying attention to. If you do well, you could potentially get a coveted add to a custom list, and therefore a custom feed.
Find your value. What is your page providing to users? Why should they look for your posts? Think outside the box. Often, businesses think this means throwing up an offer or freebie. You have to push deeper than that. Will you be a source of news? Event announcements? Entertainment? Beautiful pictures? Great advice? If you’re providing something they want, they’ll seek you out.
Get visual. Everything about the new news feed is getting bigger, bolder, and higher resolution. Videos, photos, ads, events, and more are going to incorporate a visual element that you’re going to have to select carefully. Eye-catching thumbnails and images that tell a story are going to be a must. No more blurry meme photos. Go big or go home.
Consider multimedia. Pay attention to the new feeds Facebook is incorporating. It might be time to figure out how you can weave video and music into your business’ social media presence. Perhaps an appropriate Spotify playlist for your fans? We don’t yet know for sure how these things will be displayed, but once we have it figured out, jump on it.
Craft sharable content. Everyone says this, we know. No one tells you how to do it, we know. That’s because there aren’t any concrete rules for sharable content. You have to figure out what your audience wants, what resonates with them, and what inspires them to react with a Like, Comment, or Share. Every reaction to your post increases its value, and every share spreads your brand to people who would otherwise miss it. Teach yourself how to tell the story of your business in a single photo, or a single sentence. Then figure out how to make it appealing enough to be worth sharing with your friends.
Invest in advertising. We know you don’t want to do this. We get it. But if you are truly invested in being successful on Facebook, you must consider it. Ads and Sponsored Stories are receiving more weight and more space. Your task is to figure out how to craft an ad that creates the reaction you want without making users roll their eyes. Spend your money wisely and put reasonable effort behind your Facebook marketing, and you’ll see positive results.
Many people are worried this direction is making Facebook even more superficial; rewarding content creators for being clever rather than encouraging social interaction. This point has merit, though only time will tell what the outcome will really be. The bright side is that businesses ARE content creators. But are you up for the challenge?
If you need help navigating these new changes, coming up with a comprehensive social media marketing plan, or are looking for someone to manage your ad campaign, you can contact us here at Zenergy Works for Social Media Optimization!