Your social media strategy will need to get a whole lot smarter if you want to reach your customers and advocates.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently implemented a new algorithm for the type of content members will see; he stated that the network will help people have “more meaningful social interactions” versus finding “relevant content.”
For users, this means more content from family and friends. For businesses, brands and media, this means less of their content is shown, which is why many have dubbed this algorithm change the “Facebook Apocalypse.”
Here are four tips to navigate the apocalypse.
Focus on “Meaningful Interactions”
Since Facebook wants to build “personal connections” and “meaningful interactions,” businesses and brands need to follow that lead. Community management just got a whole lot more important, so rather than simply being a company who broadcasts content, you must engage with your audience in a way that feels authentic and real.
Any content you create should support this same idea — connect with people and build relationships. Be more selfless, provide value, and Facebook will be more likely to promote your content. Additionally, your consumers are more likely to do business with a company who they feel a personal connection to, so everyone benefits.
One way to build relationships and improve communication with your followers is by hosting (more) Facebook Live events. When doing these events, be authentic and don’t shy away from showing your audience who you really are. Avoid over scripting and don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
Facebook is ultimately asking us to be better partners rather than simply churning out self-serving content. Once we find the best way to break through, we’ll ultimately have a more captive, relevant audience. With great responsibility comes great power.
Strengthen Your Strategy
Just because your primary goal is now personal connection with your audience, it does not mean you have to lay aside your existing Facebook strategy. In fact, it gives you a blueprint for creating relevant content and should improve the way you connect with consumers.
Review your existing Facebook strategy and brainstorm ways to infuse those efforts through that “meaningful” lens.
If you planned on creating content every week, for example, what are ways you can make that content more personal and include an invitation to connect with people? If you normally only publish links to a blog once, find ways to create more consumer touchpoints in terms of promoting content.
Plan, Measure & Optimize
Make sure you have an editorial calendar that outlines campaigns and messaging over the next year with your enhanced Facebook strategy now in place. This calendar should be aligned with planned email campaigns, events and other marketing or public relations efforts.
Next, create specific, measurable goals centered around engagement, driving website traffic or increasing event attendance. As these changes begin rolling out over the next few months, you will be able to see which aspects of your strategy are working versus which are falling flat.
Pay to Play
Facebook advertising has always been a great way to reach specific audiences, increase engagement and drive conversions (sales, foot traffic, signups). With these new changes in place, it’s only going to become more relevant as companies try to find new ways to communicate.
When you’re developing a paid ad strategy, leverage the insights you’ve gained from your organic efforts to influence messaging—if it creates “meaningful interactions” for free, you’re going to get a lot more mileage out of it when you pay to promote it. Likewise, if you fail to make those personal connections organically, paid advertising is going to do little in the terms of driving your efforts forward and you’ll have wasted your money.
If you are creating more comprehensive paid campaigns, maintain that focus on quality content and discover new ways to provide value to consumers. Be different. Be personal. Be meaningful.