Marketing on Facebook is one of the best things you can do for your small business. It’s also one of the most frustrating. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and the algorithms Facebook uses to decide who will see your posts change about as often as the average Hollywood A-lister changes romantic partners.
So what’s a befuddled business owner to do? We have the scoop on what the algorithms prioritize (for the moment, at least) as well as some tips on what you can do to even the odds of getting seen.
Facebook Values Explained
Facebook likes money — but they also understand that without customers, that money is going to run dry pretty quickly. This means that Facebook wants to put people first. You come to the platform to keep in touch with your family and friends, not to have a million different products and services shoved down your throat.
After friends and family, Facebook prioritizes posts that entertain and inform, and it uses your reaction to these posts (likes, shares and comments) to help “learn” what you do and don’t want to see.
According to Facebook itself, other values include a platform for all ideas, authentic communication, a user-controlled experience and progress in the form of constant iteration — a commitment to improving the process.
Facebook Dos and Don’ts
If you want to be seen in people’s news feeds, there are some specific things you should and shouldn’t do.
- Create content that can generate a ton of likes, shares and comments, both immediately and over time.
- Encourage your audience to interact with your page — not by begging, but by making your page a place they want to come back to. (The more a customer visits your page and/or interacts with your posts, the more likely they are to see it in their newsfeed on a regular basis.)
- Fill out your profile completely.
- Keep your finger on the pulse of trending topics.
- Be a click-bait curator. A recent update to the algorithm penalizes pages who regularly share fake news or posts that don’t deliver what the headline promises.
- Beg for attention. An influx of posts saying: “Please comment to keep us in your feed” will get you knocked down a few pegs. And don’t even think about sharing engagement bait, either, because Facebook has started cracking down on those, as well.
- Be spammy. (Enough said.)
- Share content irrelevant to your business or community just because it was popular on another page.
- Be overly promotional. Yes, you’re trying to make money, but if every post makes you sound like a pushy used car salesperson, Facebook is going to notice.
Tips to Help Make Your Small Business More Visible
If all those dos and don’ts sound difficult to remember, don’t worry. There are only a few hard and fast rules you need to follow to make Facebook’s algorithms work in your favor.
Create Original and Useful Social Content. Go places no one has thought to go before. Don’t just share a random how-to article; create your own, using your unique voice and perspective. Solve a problem, answer a question, entertain or educate. Make your audience come away from your page knowing more than they did when they began.
Make Your Page a Destination. No matter how well you do social media, the fact is that you won’t show up in everyone’s newsfeed every time. There’s just too much competition. However, by making your page a destination, you increase the chances that people will come to you rather than the other way around. Host contests, create a sense of community and change things up often. If you can make your audience think “Hmm … haven’t seen Company XYZ in my feed lately, wonder what they’ve been up to,” then half the battle is already won!
Mix It Up. Use a variety of mediums in your posts. Video and infographics are infinitely sharable, but that doesn’t mean a picture or a link to a blog post is any less valuable. Facebook wants to show people what they like, and we all like different things. By mixing your mediums, you have the chance of connecting with an entirely new segment of your audience!
There is no secret to social media. (If there was, we’d be rich!) At heart, it’s a mixture of trial and error and keeping your finger on the pulse of the often-constant changes.
Looking to be more visible on Facebook or any other social media platform? Mischa Communications can help! Get in touch and we’ll work together to make you stand out in the crowd!