If you’re using Facebook to help promote your communities, this is a post you’ll probably not want to miss. So, that means basically everyone. Back in December, Facebook changed its algorithm that drives their News Feed feature. The News Feed is the central content area on Facebook or the Facebook app. It’s where many, many brands and individuals would post updates in hopes the throngs of their “fans” would see it and purchase whatever they were selling.
According to Facebook (you can read an article from Business Insider here and the official post from Facebook here ), they changed it because users are really only interested in seeing news stories that are relevant to them and their network of friends (posts that people engage with). There is too much information flowing through a news feed for people to really engage. And of course, they want to make more money, duh!
Think of the change this way. Imagine you are in a room full of microphones and all of your fans. Before the change, you could say whatever you wanted and the folks would hear you pretty easily. Whether they engaged with you was a whole other issue. After the change, the room’s microphones disappeared. You could try and get everyone to listen but more than likely the fans are more engaged with their other peers. So, saying “Happy Humpday!” and hoping those that heard you would like you post has drastically declined. Now, should you say, “Happy Humpday! Post your favorite camel picture and tag us,” engagement would probably increase a bit.
With the microphones gone, how are communities going to engage their residents and their peers with their Facebook posts? Well, the first thing to forget is that it’s really not about how many “likes” your community has. Penetration to your fan base has probably dropped over 50% after the change. Second, your social media team needs to rethink their Facebook strategy and perhaps add a Boost campaign (paid ads) to be seen.
Finally, as they say, don’t put all the eggs in one social media basket. There are plenty of media channels to promote your community. Test things out to see what works best for your audience. Building a sophisticated marketing plan may be daunting, but the data gathered and results achieved will be far stronger in the end.