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Facebook Algorithm

Guest Post by:

 Holly MortimerHolly Mortimer: The Socialvert
Social Media Strategies For Small Business

So by now, you’ve heard that Facebook has made one of the biggest algorithm changes they’ve almost EVER done. And by now, you’ve probably also heard a lot of fear mongering and are completely re-thinking your Facebook marketing strategy. It’s true, there are a ton of new changes about to be implemented and some of them are slowly rolling out, but it’s not something you need to panic about. You and your business need Facebook. It’s the single most effective and affordable ad platform out there, I truly believe that. So let’s dive into the changes and how you can roll into 2018, totally prepared and ready to blow the top off your business.

The News Feed

Facebook newsfeedThe News Feed is being overhauled. Well, actually, all of Facebook’s products are subject to this change, but they’re rolling it out over the News Feed first. Facebook has decided that there is too much branding and unwanted content in the News Feed. It’s over crowded, there’s no more room for anything and so, all of the unwanted stuff has to go. That means getting access to new clients is about to become a whole new ballgame.

The News Feed is now going to be a place of meaningful community building, not selling. There will definitely be selling still going on, it’s going to look a lot different and sometimes not so different. Vaguebooking enough for you? If you’re interested in paying for ad space, you can still gain access to this new market, but if you’re not, it’s going to become extremely difficult to organically gain ranking inside the new algorithm.

Here’s how you’re going to do it. Remember that meaningful communication thing? Yeah, it’s your only ticket into the News Feed without paying for ads. Facebook is now ranking relevance (each post is given a relevance score between 1 and 10 – this score determines your ability to reach the most users as possible) by the meaningful conversations going on in the comments section of each post. Meaningful conversations between users, not you, the brand and users, but your clients talking to your other clients. Facebook wants users to start talking to each other, and, wait for it, in long form. The longer the comment, the higher the ranking. No one word answers are going to cut it.

So, now your job as the business owner is going to be a two step process. First off, you need to decide whether spending your time trying to sort this out without advertising is worth it for your business. Really take a hard look at your efforts and your results, and you may come to the conclusion Facebook isn’t your platform anymore. (Of course, if you’ve read my work, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Pinterest as your best alternative…just saying)

Okay, so you’ve decided this is where your people are, and you’re staying, come hell or algorithm changes. How in the world are you going to make this work. It’s going to take a shift of thinking about your posts. Here’s the other incredible kicker, video isn’t going to be favoured any longer. Watch for Facebook Watch to be the place to find video, not your News Feed. However, Facebook Live is still the most algorithm friendly post inside your News Feed. It’s time you figured out how to use it. (Completely shameless side note, I’ve got a quick little training on getting started with Facebook Live…and it’s only $25 y’all! Click here to grab it.)

Okay, so you’re developing a Facebook Live strategy that encourages conversation in your comments section between your fans, now what? Here’s my quick list of things to do and things not to do. For more information on any of these, catch me live inside my very own Facebook Group, The Socialvert Studio. You can request to join HERE.

Your Facebook Strategies

I’ve compiled a stock pile of other strategies to help you get aligned with the Book of Face’s new changes.

Whatever you do, do not implement a strategy that asks for comments. You’ll get demoted inside the algorithm no matter how great your post is. It’s called Engagement Baiting and it’s absolutely not allowed.

Choose your post topics very, very strategically. Come up with hot button topics inside your business, choose topics that encourage your audience to share their point of view, their ideas and their experiences. Of course, do this without directly asking them to. Insert giant sigh.

GIFs and Quote graphics are about to be a thing of the past. The emphasis is on your words. Of course, a great brand consistent image is a must to catch your client’s eye, but the algorithm is looking at your words and your engagement.

Post Likes no longer count for much of anything.

Hire a professional. It’s never been more important to get this right. However, make sure you vet your professional before hiring them. Make sure they are well aware of this algorithm change and have a strategy to combat it.

Get comfortable with the Ads Manager. Or, find a professional who’s both in tune with the new changes and understands the Ads Manager. It’ll pay off over and over again.

On the other hand, understand that ad spends are going to go up for a while.

Don’t think that switching all your posts to your personal page is going to trick the algorithm. The changes apply TO EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Personal pages are now subject to the same rules as Business Pages. As Groups. As Messenger. As Events. Doesn’t matter where you try to post, you’re going to have to get with their program.

Events and Groups are going to be great places to hang out as business owners. Why? Because inside these products (yes, they are separate products inside of the Facebook umbrella) there are a ton of meaningful conversations going on.

Get familiar with bots. Messenger is going to be your growth product, and being able to take the conversations offline with bots is going to be a huge advantage for your business.

Don’t panic, evolve. Understand everything you can about what’s happening and evolve. This could be a huge win for you if you can figure out a way to start conversations!

So, ditch the anxiety and figure out if your strategy is to stay on Facebook as a piece of your social media marketing strategy. Then, implement these changes and report back. I’d love to hear your success stories!

Are you looking for a group that offers answers to your digital marketing questions? Guidance, support and education? And you’re a woman in business? Check out Your Business Evolution, my new community for women who are running a side hustle or a full-time gig and looking for their tribe AND a ton of help improving their digital offerings. Incredible access to myself and your peers for a great price, along with webinars, group coaching and guest lectures!

About The Author:

 Holly MortimerHolly Mortimer: The Socialvert
Social Media Strategies For Small Business

With a background in sales and marketing, Holly has been advising businesses, both large and small for the past twenty-three years. She has been the Business Advisor In Residence for the Stratford Perth Centre for Business, offering start-ups and existing businesses guidance and training, specializing in the area of digital marketing. Holly has written and published six novels, and currently operates two businesses, The Socialvert and Mortimer’s Travels alongside her government post. She is an accomplished public speaker and enjoys furthering her passion for teaching teen and tween girls how to build a business and be the CEO of their own entrepreneurship dreams.

grow-email-list

Easily Grow Your Email List With These 6 Strategies:

Email marketing is at the top of every entrepreneur’s list these days. Building an engaged and loyal list is one of the most important parts of creating a successful marketing strategy. And for a lot of businesses and organizations, it’s also one of the most challenging.

An email list can be considered an extension of your right arm if you play your cards right. Yep! You can actually make money with a strong list that believes in your products or services. But, like anything else in business, it takes a bit of work and planning.

In this post, we’ll show you 6 easy ways to grow your email list of online BFF’s:

Gather Emails at Your Next Event: The easiest way to gather emails from local businesses is to hold a raffle at a networking event. Have everyone throw their business cards in a pile and draw the winner(s) the next day. Add all the the participants to a separate list in your e-marketing software (Constant Contact/MailChimp) and send out an e-blast announcing the winner. Always have an opt-out option just in case they’re not into it.

Put a “Sign Up” Form on Your Website: Duh! This is a no brainer but you’ll have to be creative with your messaging and Call-To-Action (CTA). Simply asking your audience to “sign up for my newsletter” may not attract as many interested people as “Sign up to receive freebies + exclusive access to our upcoming events”. Read more about Call To Action Best Practices in this post.

Create a Killer Opt-in: Speaking of freebies, offering a free gift in exchange for an email address is common practice now and it works! It builds relationships and it so easy to do. Find a topic your audience would gobble up and write some compelling information about it for people to download.

Example: A local brewery may want to suggest “The 5 Best Homebrew Kits” for all those beer lovers willing to give brewing a try at home. The brewery will establish themselves as an expert in their field, and you’ll have happy beer enthusiasts brewing at home and following your advice for next time. It’s a win win situation.

Follow this link to guide you on your way to writing a killer opt-in:

Use Facebook Paid Advertising: Now that you have a free gift to offer and a rock solid opt-in strategy, spend a few bucks advertising it on Facebook. Your budget can be small to reach a large audience so think about your goals and create an ad. or boost a post to get maximum exposure. **Be sure to have your Facebook Pixel on your website before doing this. You’ll want to track all traffic and those who chose to opt-in and those who chose not to. More on that in another blog post…

Join an Online Group Specific to Your Business: Facebook is an excellent source for this! There are groups for entrepreneurs in all business fields. These groups will act as a sounding board for your ideas but also will help with list building by offering and sharing your services with the group. You can test out your freebie, ask questions about your target audiences, and EASILY engage with other business owners that are interested in collaborating and using your services.

Host a Co-Marketing Offer: Chances are you collaborate or partner with other local businesses, especially around the holidays. Host an event (online or in-person) to draw interest from both audiences. Cross promotion always works but don’t forget to incorporate some on the ideas we’ve listed above – raffle, freebies, social media.

6 types of video to use in your online marketing