If you use Facebook for business marketing you’ll probably have noticed a steady decline in the number of people that your posts have been reaching. Facebook regularly tweaks its “News Feed algorithm” and for some time it has been focusing on only showing content that it thinks you want to see.
Facebook for business got harder
Facebook tries to second guess what content you want to see in your news feed and shows you this content first. It does this by prioritising updates from people that you regularly interact with i.e. those whose posts you normally engage with in the form of reactions, comments and shares. It deems content from everyone else as less important and hides their updates from you.
Business pages that receive little interaction/engagement rapidly slip down the popularity rating scale. Facebook determines their status updates to be of little interest and limits the number of people that see the updates in their news feed. Unfortunately it seems to be a case of ever decreasing circles. The less people that see your posts, the less interaction there will be, the less interaction there is, the fewer people will see your posts and so on. Until eventually your posts slip into a black hole of oblivion.
It’s a pretty bleak picture for businesses trying to use Facebook for brand awareness and engagement. Only those businesses that have a great following and manage to post really engagement content have been winning. Well they were..
Facebook for business just got even harder
At the end of June Facebook announced that is “building a better news feed for you”. Content from friends and family will come first:
Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why if it’s from your friends, it’s in your feed, period — you just have to scroll down.
Not only is Facebook making sure that content from friends is present in users’ news feeds; it’s also prioritising content:
To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, we put those posts toward the top of your News Feed.
The new prioritisation of friend content is going to make it even harder for businesses to get a look in.
Of course Facebook claim this is all about user experience. The cynical amongst us see it as another push towards paid advertising. The only way to ensure you get the reach you want is to pay for that reach.
How to react?
If you’ve spent a large amount of resource building your Facebook following then don’t throw in the towel just yet. Facebook has developed controls to allow users to customise what they see, which could help you.
Under each business page that a person has ‘liked’ there is an option to ‘See First’. If selected Facebook will always show the updates from that page in that person’s news feed.
Let your page followers know about this option and encourage them to change their settings.
Continue to focus on engaging posts (read our tips here), don’t over post and schedule your posts when most of your followers are on Facebook.
Finally, focus your marketing efforts on driving people to your website where you are in control. Try not to be over reliant on social media platforms to drive brand awareness and engagement.
My prediction is that eventually Facebook will be worthless to businesses as a marketing tool unless they pay for the privilege. They did a good job of giving it away for free and sucking businesses in. Now those businesses that are reliant will have no choice but to pay.