The Facebook news feed is changing, and it’s going to impact every small business in America.
Now, hold on, there’s no reason to act like Chicken Little just yet. First things first – there’s no reason any of us should be all up in arms on Facebook over changes. As one of the most prominent digital institutions ever, Facebook needs to change as new technology and interests develop.
In other words, we need to all act like we’ve been here before. Because we have.
Let’s unpack what this means for small businesses. Every small business already knows the value of Facebook and showing up on the Facebook news feed. It’s vital to engage your customer base at home and on the go. Daily posting requires little effort, and advertising can provide immense benefits to your growth potential.
The primary change coming to the Facebook news feed will be the reduction of clickbait articles. Some business uses these stories to fill space on their pages, giving their fan base tangential “news” to share. Problems arise when the vast majority of these links are not only full of spam content, but their comments sections are full of automated bots meant to drive up engagement numbers falsely.
If you watch or listen to the news, you will likely have heard the terms bots before. Simply, bots are one central person or spam program that copies tens, hundreds and even thousands of profiles with the same message on different stories. This inflation is why you are seeing Facebook and Twitter are starting the crackdown.
Growth potential hasn’t changed, however. The possibility to drive engagement and increase organic followers remains intact, but by different means.
Valorous Circle extolls the value of Facebook Live every other month. And for a good reason. Facebook’s live function notifies followers when you’re recording, let’s them interact with you and each other, and automatically uploads the videos when you stop streaming.
This blog is an excellent example of what should be on the Facebook news feed. It’s not clickbait. It’s informative. And it’s consistent with our brand messaging. But it can do more. Blog posts achieve slightly higher reach than standard posts, which are seen by roughly 10 percent of your total following, on average.
People like to share and read blogs but are too often moved away from Facebook at the first click. The power of engagement lies in the preview text. Adding only the headline on Facebook doesn’t improve your posts’ SEO, so it’s better to spruce up the language. Add a question to your blurb or possibly something divisive and shocking (within reason).
Photos will now, and forever, be integral to good Facebooking. Your Facebook news feed is, after all, a place to see what your friends and followers are doing. Are they on vacation? What did they do, where did they go and what kind of food did you eat? Life-changing events, birthdays and new babies always get the most likes while even the plainest Instagram post will drum up and few hearts.
Your friends and family come first to the new Facebook. But who knows, if too many publishers and advertisers flee, it may revert to how it used to be. Or maybe we’ll just have to wait and see what the next monster change is right around the corner.