What the New Facebook Algorithm Update Means for Your Business

What the New Facebook Algorithm Update Means for Your Business

Facebook announced an important update to its Newsfeed algorithm in January 2018. The update aims to make Facebook more social and meaningful to its users as it prioritizes posts from friends and family over posts from brands and business pages. This is a major change for businesses as the reach of their posts will most likely see a significant decrease and will thus make it harder for brands to communicate with their followers.

Luckily, there are a number of things brands, especially SMBs with a Facebook page, can do to make sure they continue reaching as many of their followers as possible when posting on their Facebook Page.

Post engaging content that sparks real conversation

For Facebook, engagement equals quality content, so logically posts that generate a high number of clicks, shares, comments and reactions will be seen by more people. Try these simple strategies to increase the engagement of your posts:

  • Ask questions to start a conversation. Instead of just posting to inform your followers about something, ask a question and make sure to reply and comment yourself. However, be careful to avoid “engagement-baits” and posts like “Comment “YES” below to participate in a contest”. Facebook notices these type of posts and will consider them as spam. Real conversation requires more meaningful interaction from both parties.
  • Post a live video. Live videos reach approximately six times as many interactions as regular videos. That’s why SMBs should step into the spotlight and consider posting short live videos every now and then to present new products or anything meaningful for the business and the followers.
  • Analyze your past posts’ performance. It’s always a good idea to look back at your old posts and the reach and engagement they’ve gained. You might identify certain types of posts that sparked more conversation or a specific time of the day that worked better in terms of reach. See what worked in the past and keep doing what performed well. Also, try analyzing the posts you see in your own Newsfeed. See what kind of posts made it to your newsfeed, think about the reasons behind the performance and use these insights as inspiration for your business page.

Ask you customers to follow your Facebook Page

The best way to ensure your customers and local community see what you post, is to make sure they follow your page on Facebook. Instead of just “liking” your page, encourage them to “Follow” it, too. And even better, if they choose the “See First” option, your new posts will always appear at the top of their Newsfeed.

Don’t be shy, but simply ask your clients to make sure they follow your Page, and advise them on how to turn the See First option on. Loyal customers will be happy to make sure they are the first ones to know about your news and promotions.

Invest in sponsored posts & Facebook advertising

If you haven’t already, now is the time to set aside a small budget and give your Facebook posts a boost with advertising. The only way to guarantee you reach enough people, and especially the right people for your business, is through advertising. The amount of detail you can use in choosing your target audience (age, gender, location, interests, job titles, your own website visitors etc.) is incredible. Setting up an ad is easy, but if you’re hesitant about your skills, local business directories and marketing partners usually offer simple Facebook advertising packages and will support you every step of the way.

Join or form a group around a relevant topic

Last, but not the least, Facebook posts in groups will start seeing higher reach and visibility. Many don’t know this, but brands can create their own groups and showcase relevant groups within their company page profile, which makes it easy for their followers to find and join them. Consider creating a group around the industry of your business with the scope of sharing ideas, insights and questions around the topic with like-minded people. Many groups are very active in their daily communication and this can be a great way to reach your audience. Just remember not to appear too salesy, but to focus on real, useful insights.

These strategies will help you increase the number of people who see and engage with your posts, despite the changes in business post visibility on Facebook. Just remember to always reply and keep the conversation going. Facebook aims to create more meaningful interactions between people, and luckily there are people working behind business pages as well – just let that show in your communication.

Facebook Advertising: How to Get Real Results with a Small Budget

Facebook Advertising: How to Get Real Results with a Small Budget

Facebook reaches almost every American on the internet.

That may sound like a bold statement, but it’s true. More than 214 million people in the US are active users of the platform and each one spends an average of 50 minutes browsing through their newsfeed every day. Safe to say Facebook is the obvious choice for any business, big or small, to reach their target audience.

And from the advertising point of view, not only are the reach and time spent on the platform impressive, but so are the possibilities Facebook offers for advertising.

First of all, unlike online listings or Google searches, Facebook allows businesses to build brand awareness and reach the passive audiences that are not necessarily looking for a specific product or service, but just casually browsing through their newsfeed. Most of all, Facebook allows a level of detail in targeting that is unprecedented. This is especially important for small businesses, who need to show their ads locally, and to a specific target audience in order to keep their ad budget under control.

And believe it or not, anyone can do it. It’s easy for small business owners to doubt their skills and the possibility to run effective Facebook advertising with small budgets, but the strength of Facebook advertising is the fact that every business will be able to create the right campaign for them. The key to obtaining real desired results is in the way the ads and the campaigns are planned for each specific business. It’s not one size fits all.

Here’s a list of six Facebook advertising tips to help you get real results on Facebook:

1. Be specific with targeting

It might seem tempting to show your ads to as many people as possible to maximize the possibility that at least someone takes notice and reacts, right? The truth is that “going big” is just a waste of money. Instead, you should make sure that only the relevant people see your ads, this way you won’t waste your budget on views or clicks that bring no value to your business. Take advantage of the detailed targeting Facebook offers to find your exact target audience:

  • Location. Target locally in the immediate surroundings of your business. You can define your target radius down to a few miles around your desired address, or target specific zip code areas. The closer the people are to your business, the easier it is for them to come and pop in, or to make a booking.
  • Demographics and interests. Choose the specific type of audience most relevant to your business, your ad or your promoted offer. Even if a sports store has a wide range of products for the whole family, a specific ad promoting men’s golf clothing targeted to men who are interested in golf, will surely hit the target and draw more attention rather than a general ad directed to a wide audience. You can define the age, sex, interests and “liked pages” among other things, when defining your audience.
  • Custom audiences. If you have a database of your existing customers, or people who have subscribed to your newsletter or have visited your website, you already have a specific audience you can choose to “retarget”. Upload the list on Facebook and reach the same people with your ads – this is a great way to make a re-sale or to inform old clients about new products and services. Remember to include an offer or another good reason for an actual store-visit or a booking in your ad, so you drive real action instead of just awareness.

2. Offer a reason to try your product or service

In order to avoid wasting your precious advertising budget, make sure you make the most of it. That means creating a specific message that resonates with a specific audience, and drives real action and a sense of urgency: a promotion, a limited offer, a free give-away or anything that best works for your business. This is the best way to make your ads noticed and gives a reason for your targeted audience to act on what they see. So to make full use of your advertising budget, instead of promoting your store, choose a specific offer or a message to focus on.

3. Pay attention to your ad copy and creative

It goes without saying that the way you present your message makes a difference, especially when your targeted audience is not searching for you, but just casually browsing through the crowded Facebook Newsfeed. Your ad needs to pop out, attract attention and be interesting enough for them to stop browsing and read through the ad. The right image and the right text make the difference. Make sure you clearly state your offer both visually and in writing. It’s good to also highlight your location to make sure that your target audience knows you’re nearby.

4. Select the right ad type for your business

Facebook offers a great variety of ad and campaign types. Simply clicking on the suggested Boost Post option Facebook automatically offers on your page may seem like the easiest way forward, but usually they don’t deliver the desired results because your posts are not optimized for your objectives.

It’s important to choose the type of ad that works best for your business and for the goal of your campaign. To make a complicated choice almost too simple, consider making a decision between these very efficient options:

  • Carousel ads: This ad format allows you to show up to 10 images or videos within your ad, and is sure to attract attention when used with a straight-to-the-point ad copy and a few selected eye-catching visuals. The multi-image option gives you the possibility to showcase specific details of the product or service you’re promoting, and to include a map with directions to your store. It is guaranteed to draw attention when done right.
  • Lead ads: If the service or product you’re promoting is expensive, complicated or otherwise requires a bit more evaluation or information before the final purchase decision, lead ads can be the right ad type to choose. These ads allow you to collect information from people interested in your business right away within the ad, so that you can then contact them yourself and continue to the next step of the sales funnel. This format works well for more expensive purchases, such as home repair & renovation, real estate and car dealerships.

There are many more ad options available of course, but these are a couple of the easy options to start with. Getting real results with your ads means identifying your business needs and the best-matching ad type to meet those needs.

5. Remember there’s always help available

If the idea or experience of managing Facebook ads still causes cold sweat on your forehead, remember that there are always effective and affordable managed options available that suit any SMB’s budget and requirements. Most business directories and local marketing partners that offer turnkey Facebook ad solutions that often include professional ad creation and campaign options, which are not directly available to small advertisers, such as frequency control or reach & lead optimization – guaranteed to deliver specific results even with smaller budgets. So whether it’s lack of time or the stress of extra work, you can always choose to outsource your advertising to professionals and focus on your core business instead.

6. Enjoy your results

Whatever you find is the best way for your business to run Facebook advertising, you can be sure that as long as you pay attention to detail and choose to be specific in your offer and targeting, your ads will definitely reach the right people with the right message and thus also deliver real results!

Measuring the results in online engagement and clicks is easy with automated reports, but when you aim for real results, like sales and bookings, you need to be more creative. To be 100% sure about your offline results, the easy tip is to make sure your offer is only advertised on Facebook. That way you can keep track of each new sale or booking that happens with the promoted offer and you can be sure that if your clients know about the offer, they must have seen your ads.

Be creative and stay specific, that’s the easy secret to real results – no matter the size of your Facebook advertising budget.