Written by: Katie Lipsett, Content Marketing Strategist
Times are changing in the world of Facebook. It seems like the second we get used to the new normal, something changes again. What once was a best practice is now an easy way to get pushed to the bottom of your followers’ and your target audiences’ Facebook News Feed.
These changes are all stemming from Mark Zuckerberg’s resolution to fix the systematic issues with Facebook in the wake of abuse and hacking. His goal of making the platform a safe space and one that’s better at connecting with family and friends is a great thing for consumers and business alike; as long as businesses understand how to deal with the changes.
In order to make his goal a reality, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s News Feed would start prioritizing content that sparked authentic conversations and meaningful connections. What does that mean for businesses? Well, clickbait and engagement-bait language that asks for shares, tags, or comments that once were well-practiced tricks of the trade are now penalized. This certainly makes things a little extra tricky for all of us Facebook marketing strategists out there.
Create Authentic Facebook Content
Thankfully, there are ways to rise above the changes and create those authentic conversations the Facebook Algorithm is seeking. For one, when creating Facebook content, we recommend avoiding captions that sound like you’re provoking users to increase reach. These might include “Share this post”, “Tag 3 friends”, “Comment with your favorite” and “Like this post if you agree”.
Instead of using these “forward-asks” for engagement, follow Facebook’s new guidelines and focus on authentic dialog. Get users to interact with your brand within the platform and contribute meaningful stories. Some examples of Facebook-friendly content include:
1. Use Premier Live videos.
Do you want to participate in Facebook live videos but get nervous in front of a live audience? Update alert! Facebook just added a new live video posting feature. Using the new Premier feature, you can still get the benefits of live video without actually having to go live. Record and edit your video ahead of time, and as you go to schedule your video post, click “Premier”. The post will go up at the exact time you set it to and will premier as a live video. The video will also be saved as a page post, just like live videos are.
2. Make posts that naturally elicit meaningful conversations, like local news and events.
When making your content calendars, fill it with posts that spark an emotional response, posts that make people think, and posts that get people talking. When thinking about the visual and the caption, think about how you can frame the post to extract one of those feelings, and the conversation and engagement will naturally happen without you having to ask for it.
3. Produce public content that garners a lot of comments (as opposed to passive likes and shares) using video, GIFs, or images without outbound links.
The goal is to keep users on the Facebook platform, which means using fewer outbound links. It seems backward to what we’re used to, as one of the goals of social media marketing is to ultimately get users back to your website. Instead, set up your Facebook page so that it’s extremely easy for those who visit your page to go to your website. You’re able to put a big blue button on the top navigation bar, which you should use to your advantage. Make your posts so good that somebody will want to visit your page, and fill your page will great content that will give users a clear view of who you are, what you do, what you value, and how they can shop from you.
4. Create the kinds of posts that Facebook wants to promote.
There are many other valuable Facebook tips to keep in mind when creating a post.
- To increase the likelihood of clicks by 66%, keep posts between 40 and 80 characters. Short and sweet, easy to read while scrolling, and enticing enough for people to slow their scroll and read more of your content.
- Questions perform well on Facebook; they prompt discussion among your customers. Just make sure that it’s not a question that is obviously asking for comments. An example would be, “What do you think of the new changes to the Facebook Algorithm?”.
- When it comes to Facebook, skip the hashtags. Sure, they’re fun, but they don’t do anything for engagement or metrics, so keep them to a minimum and use them for visual emphasis only.
- Boost engagement by up to 2.3 times by adding an image or video to your post. Social media is all about the visuals today.
- The ideal video length for Facebook is two minutes or less. This makes sense, as people are on social media to get their scroll on; not to pause for a long video.
So there you have it. If you’re a social marketer, make sure you’re staying on top of the ever-changing ways to optimize your Facebook posts. Use these tips and tricks for higher organic reach and stronger engagement and reap the benefits of more brand awareness, long-term customers, and brand advocates.
If you need assistance, contact us! We’d love to help.