Here’s What Small Businesses Can Do to Keep Their Facebook Marketing Strategy in the Game

By Donné Torr

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Image by shehan peruma via Flickr
Image by shehan peruma via Flickr

In 2015, Facebook is changing the way the News Feed works for its users. These changes will specifically affect brands and the way they conduct Facebook marketing campaigns through their Facebook Pages. These changes can affect your company’s social media marketing plan, so to help your business adjust, we have outlined some common questions and their solutions. It’s time to prepare your Facebook marketing strategy for changes in 2015 and develop a plan to expand your reach.

Common questions about how Facebook marketing will change in 2015

Question #1: What are they changing in the Facebook News Feed in 2015?

Have you started noticing that your Page posts aren’t showing up in News Feeds as much anymore? Have your company’s engagement levels decreased on your Facebook Page? This is because Facebook is implementing a change intended to improve the News Feed experience for users.

According to the recent announcement on Facebook’s official blog, Facebook is going to start reducing the number of overly promotional page posts in users’ News Feeds.

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

Here are some of the traits that make Facebook organic posts feel too promotional:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

This also means that organic distribution will decrease, so if you want to promote your services and products, your business will have to go the route of Facebook for Business: Facebook advertising. If Facebook Pages are an important part of your business’s Facebook strategy, this change means that you will need to use Facebook ads to get the same engagement on organic posts that promote your products and services.

For more information about the changes, please read Facebook’s announcement here.

Question #2: What do these changes mean for small businesses that don’t have the budget to spend on Facebook advertising?

If you don’t have budget to spend on Facebook advertising, here are few suggestions to help you move forward.

  1. Evaluate your Facebook marketing strategy and create content that will be seen on Facebook. This type of content needs to provide value to your audience—content that they can learn from, share, and engage with.
  2. Use the correct link format when posting links on your Facebook page instead of burying links in photo captions.
  3. Run a Facebook posting test to see what kind of posts gets the most engagement. For example, many of Hootsuite’s audience are social media managers and small business owners. Instead of posting more general stuff like “Happy Thanksgiving!”  we try to post content that contains valuable advice related to the occasion, such as:  “Did you know that during Thanksgiving small businesses can increase sales by doing this…”
  4. Post images and videos on Instagram and cross-post to Facebook
  5. Use a social media content calendar to organize posts on Facebook

Pro Tip. Timely posts get rewarded with a higher place in people’s News Feeds

Question #3: What if my business has a small advertising budget?

One of the benefits of social media advertising is that it’s flexible and better able to accommodate budget constraints than traditional media. By targeting your ads strategically, you can achieve much greater efficiency than any billboard. Businesses with small advertising budgets can also use Facebook boost posts to target your posts to the right audience in order to increase your reach.

Facebook marketing strategy to expand your Social Reach

Know your Facebook audience
Use Facebook Insights to find out the demographic breakdown of your audience. This data is useful as it gives you insight about content that resonates the most with your audience, and what communication style your audience responds to the best.

Don’t focus on selling on Facebook
One of the main reasons why Facebook is changing its algorithm is because more and more businesses are posting sales-driven content, as opposed to resourceful content that will provide value to their audience. Facebook is trying to steer away from this model, as they want to make Facebook’s user experience more enjoyable. Therefore, if businesses are prompted to change their Facebook marketing strategy, there will be more valuable content given to their audiences.

Post your best content on Facebook
Facebook wants people to see only the best content on their News Feed. Which means that in order for a business to see engagement on their posts, choose content that has been successful on other social media channels or your business’ content marketing platform. Content that has the most retweets, clicks, and traffic will more likely also do well on Facebook (and remember the golden rule: the best content is the content that provides your followers value).

Empower your employees to engage with your Facebook page
One of the simplest way to increase your Facebook organic reach is to empower your employees to engage with your Facebook page. The more engagement, likes, shares, clicks, your Facebook posts receive the more you can increase your Facebook organic reach.

Don’t forget to respond
If you want to receive engagement on your Facebook Page, you need to also engage with your audience. If you receive a comment, reply to that comment; if you receive a post on your business Page, reply back to that post. Adding the human touch can help your Facebook presence drastically.

Now that you are prepared for the changes to Facebook, use Hootsuite Pro to help you manage your Facebook marketing campaigns.

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