In a fast-paced social media world, it’s not just important to stay up to speed; it’s an absolute requirement. The relevancy of your business is critical in the digital landscape, and there’s no place that shines brighter than through Facebook.
It can be hard to keep up with such a rapidly-changing social world, especially for smaller businesses without a lot of resources to devote to marketing. Worth it? Definitely.
So if you haven’t been keeping up, here is a little cheat sheet detailing a few of the biggest changes Facebook has rolled out so far this year that are affecting brands:
Pay to Play
This is the big one that has all the brands and marketers talking. It’s true, organic reach of business Facebook posts are plummeting. While most businesses jumped on the FB bandwagon over the last few years because it was easy and produced great results, it was an easy decision because it was also free. It’s still easy and continues to produce great results, but now you have to pay for them. A major algorithm switch this year pushed brands to the bottom of newsfeeds. No longer can brands have the expectation that because fans like their page, they will be able to see all posts show up in their newsfeed. In the pay-to-play world, being strategic in selecting posts to sponsor – and ensuring the content is always great – will always work in your brand’s favor. Free posts were nice while they lasted, but the truth is the small fees associated with sponsored posts can produce some really great results. It will be interesting to see how the change plays out in the months to come for big and small businesses alike.
Brand to Brand Tagging
Let’s say TKG posted a status update and tagged another brand, like Google. FB recently changed the algorithm so that status may show up in the newsfeeds of people who like that page as well. So TKG’s post may reach some of Google’s much larger audience. Until that switch, users only saw the posts of those they followed directly. This is a great marketing win, and opens the door to many new possibilities, such as brand-to-brand partnerships and cross-promoting. This only works for brand pages; an individual can’t tag a brand and get that same audience. All that said, while this sounds great in theory, I haven’t seen a lot of first-hand successes yet. Stay tuned on this one.
You may have noticed the “Trending” section to the right of your desktop newsfeed. Facebook has indeed jumped into this Twitter favorite. It’s being rolled out in batches, so it isn’t available to all FB users yet. Click on a trending topic to see what others are saying about it right now (note: Status shared in the Trending feed are only those set to be shared as Public). This addition offers some interesting options for brands, and makes real-time marketing an essential. It can be another way to join a larger conversation in an effective way.
Some layout changes rolling out this year should allow Facebook admins easier access to information and insights. Rather than the two-column layout for business pages, the info will stream in an easier-to-read single column. An additional column will include the business basics (hours, likes, photos, contact, etc.). All the info about your business will display nicely in this format. The tabs currently shown under your cover image won’t be there – they will show up in a drop-down menu. And, wait for it, new visitors to your page will get prompted to like the page to see your posts show up in their newsfeeds. Among the new insights available to admins is a Pages to Watch tool. Admins can create a list of pages similar to their business and compare their performances. The layout change has just barely started to roll out, so we’ll see if it implements as well as it appears.
This list could go on and on about FB changes for businesses in recent months. Has your business been affected by any of the changes? I’d love to hear what is (or isn’t) working for your business. Share in the comments or on our Facebook page!