Part 3 of 4 - How to Use Facebook's Algorithm to Your Advantage [Series]
When engaging in business-to-business marketing efforts, social media can be a very effective tool. However, in order for your efforts to have maximum reach and visibility, you have to have an appreciation of the different algorithms that power each of these networks and their content delivery. This is part three of our four-part series on the subject, in which we’re discussing the inner workings of Facebook.
Losing Favor with Facebook?
Businesses were quick to realize the power that Facebook had in promoting their services and engaging with their audience, and Facebook responded with functions that encouraged more businesses to do so. The platform offers improved analytics specifically to benefit marketing activities, with the capability to track interactions in order to better determine the trajectory of the buyer’s journey. This is demonstrated by the ability marketers have to utilize Dynamic Ads, which reference exactly which products a user had displayed interest in, based on their browsing history.
However, Facebook has also had a problem with low-quality content and other issues that make it more difficult for honest businesses to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool. To its credit, Facebook is constantly making changes to its algorithm to resolve this.
Some of Facebook’s most recent changes to their algorithm were made to directly impact the effect of clickbait, reducing how much is displayed on the user’s feed. While bumping spammy and low-quality content down could give quality content an organic boost, Facebook has also made it so that posts from personal connections will receive more of a boost than a business will. In fact, this shift is drastic enough that organic reach could foreseeably drop to as low as 2 percent.
There are a few reasons that this is the case. First of all, there’s just too much content (and therefore, competition) on Facebook. The platform has simply become overloaded with information. To counter this, Facebook has done its best to formulate its algorithm to show userss the content that is most relevant to them, instead of barraging them with all of it.
There is also some question over how much a “pay-to-play” strategy by Facebook factors into these decisions. After all, Facebook is a business, and so if they can profit from businesses trying to use their platform as a marketing tool, they’re going to do it. While this has not been officially confirmed, it only makes sense.
Leveraging Facebook’s Tools
Fortunately, there are steps you can take in your marketing that allow you to sidestep some of these effects and still reach out to those that follow you on the platform.
First of all, you should make sure that you have your audience clearly in mind, and that your posted content is directed specifically to them, their pain points, and their needs. You should also encourage your followers to interact with you more as well. There are a few ways for them to do so, with little effort on their part (which is ideal when you want someone to do something to benefit your marketing).
Naturally, there’s the usual activities of liking, sharing, and commenting on the content that you’ve posted. Including a call-to-action to do any of these things in your content is an effective means of getting your audience involved. There are also a few methods for them to see your content directly that you should remind them of. Your audience has the ability to either enable notifications for your page to alert them of new content, or to navigate directly to your Facebook page via the Pages widget on the left side of their feed.
Secondly, you should be using video content on Facebook. This includes using Facebook’s livestream option, as they are watched three times as long while they are being broadcast as compared to later on. However, you must be sure that your message is delivered both audibly and visually. 85 percent of video content on Facebook is viewed without sound, so you will want to be sure that you are communicating clearly with or without audio.
Third, you should leverage the content you have on your website to populate your Facebook presence. Sharing what has been posted on your business website is not only an effective method of keeping your Facebook presence from going stale, it can also provide invaluable inbound benefits if your audience decides to explore your website further. Spreading your blog and service article content is a great method of generating positive impressions as a knowledgeable solutions provider.
Finally, don’t underestimate the effectiveness that Facebook’s paid advertising system can have. The social network provides you with all the tools you need to target exactly who you need to target, for a set budget. If you want to make 500 impressions, Facebook will get you those 500 impressions. For more information about advertising on Facebook, check out that series here.
Putting Facebook to Use
Despite some of the more recent changes that Facebook has made, it is still a considerable force to put behind your marketing efforts. If you’d like some assistance in doing so, reach out to us, we’d be happy to talk to you about it.
Be sure you also stay tuned for the conclusion of this series, as we examine how to most effectively use Instagram based on its algorithm.