Last night I came across a post about the Facebook algorithm for business pages from Mark Zuckerberg, and it made me mad. You can read it here: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104413015393571.

Over the last several years, Facebook has been playing with its algorithm (the formula it uses to decide how many and which people see the posts you put on your Facebook business pages in their personal newsfeeds). The number of people who see your posts that Like your page keeps getting LOWER AND LOWER AND LOWER. Now – I believe – it’s somewhere between 2 and 6 percent. This is before you promote your posts in any way.

In 2014, I had the pleasure of attending a live Facebook event in New York City, dubbed #FacebookFit. You can read the article here: blog.ebyline.com/2014/06/facebookfit-small-businesses-use-social-network-marketing-success. It was the start of a tour around the country for the social network to get in front of lots of small businesses and, I thought, an effort to show their support for small businesses. While it was a great PR spectacle, I’m afraid that’s all it was.

Ever since then, Facebook has NOT supported small businesses in two main ways:

1) NO customer service on the phone or by email unless you spend tons of money on advertising. In the past, there was limited support by email – not anymore. Why can’t a company that has more than 2 billion users worldwide and brings in billions of dollars in advertising not offer quality customer support for businesses?

2) The number of people who see your Facebook business page posts keeps going down and down and DOWN, making business owners (including me!) question whether they should even use the social network anymore.

SO, WHAT THE HECK IS THIS NEW FACEBOOK ALGORITHM UPDATE?

The bottom line is that Facebook is going to show people FEWER Facebook business page posts and more posts from friends.

This is, in part, what Mark Zuckerberg said in his email:

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.

For example, there are many tight-knit communities around TV shows and sports teams. We’ve seen people interact way more around live videos than regular ones. Some news helps start conversations on important issues. But too often today, watching video, reading news or getting a page update is just a passive experience.

Now, I want to be clear: by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

SO, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

There are several action items to consider in terms of your Facebook business page strategy:

1) Create FEWER promotional posts for your Facebook business page and more posts that are engaging – encouraging conversation and interaction such as trivia questions, Facebook Live videos, entertaining posts.

2) Consider focusing more of your energies on other social networks – where else are your customers and potential customers hanging out – Instagram? YouTube? LinkedIn? Twitter? etc…?

3) If you haven’t noticed already, it’s hard to get a large audience for your posts without spending money on Facebook ads thanks to Facebook algorithm. Consider upping your spending on Facebook ads – this will enable you to get your posts in front of more, relevant people for your business.

4) Think about starting a Facebook Group. Anybody can start a Facebook Group – these online communities don’t use the crazy Facebook Business Page algorithm and are great for generating leads.

If you have any questions about any of this, please reach out to me at 570-559-7224 or tim@sohnsocialmediasolutions.com.

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