Facebook recently announced that it has again made some changes to its News Feed algorithm. The changes mean content on a user’s news feed will “focus more on friends and family”.
The new algorithm will learn and adapt to users’ behaviours over time to ensure only stories that are relevant and unique to the users will appear on top of their News Feeds. So if you tend to like photos from a particular person, Facebook will start putting that person’s posts closer to the top of your feed to ensure you won’t miss anything.
This latest tweak will affect all types of content – including links, videos, live videos and photos – to weed out misleading, spammy or un-engaging content. Facebook is expecting a drop in reach and referral traffic for brands posting on Facebook. This means, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.
How do you still get seen on Facebook without spending more?
According to Facebook’s research, after friends and family, people have two other strong expectations when it comes to News Feeds:
- It should inform. Facebook insists people value stories that are informative and meaningful to them. This could be a post about a current event, a story about your favourite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe.
- It should entertain. Social media, particularly Facebook, has become a new form (or source) of entertainment. People log in to the network every day to get their daily dose of entertainment from the celebrities they are following, as well as the live videos they love watching and the funny photos they like sharing with friends.
Since what people find informative or interesting varies, no one rules applies to all. It is important to learn from the actions of your own audience. Look at which of your posts they like and share the most and which ones generate a lot of positive engagement.Then, do more of those.
Another strategy is to generate high quality visual content that resonates with your fans. Several studies have shown that people respond better to visual information than plain text. This is where “Facebook Live” comes in.
Some ideas and hints for using Facebook Live
You have probably have noticed more live streaming videos on Facebook. This strategy was used quite widely during the recent federal election campaign. While online live streams have been around for some time, it’s never been as easy to shoot or view them on a platform as massive as Facebook.
Live videos are a fun and powerful way to connect with your audience. Because it’s real time, Facebook Live videos are increasingly becoming popular. They’re ranked higher in the News Feed.
The good thing about Live is that it’s not so hard to master. To get started, you’ll only need an Apple or android mobile device, a fast internet connection, and of course a creative idea. You can broadcast Facebook Live through your profile or through the Mentions app.
To take your strategy a little further, here are a few tips for video streaming success:
Tell fans when you’re broadcasting ahead of time
Although surprises are good, building anticipation amongst your fans will boost audience turnout. One day’s notice, according to Facebook, gives people enough time to tune in.
Go live when you have a strong connection
Needless to say, don’t push it when you have crappy connection. Check the app to make sure that you have a strong signal before going live. If you have weak signal, the ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out.
Come up with a catchy description before going live
It not only has to be informative, it also should be great in capturing your audiences attention. (For example: “We’ve got some exciting new products for you. Tune in to see them first!”)
Ask viewers to subscribe to Live subscriptions
Now, that you’ve got their attention, you have to seal the deal. Remind your audience to tap the Follow button so that they can get notifications the next time you go live.
Encourage comments from viewers as they are watching your stream and respond to them by name as they come through. Your audience will be glad to know you are reading their comments and speaking with you directly in real time.
Facebook allows you to broadcast for 90 minutes at a time. You can maximise this time or stick to the recommend length which is at least 10 minutes. Remember to create a balance between talking about your business and giving people a peek at who you are outside of work. This creates a stronger connection between you and your audience.
Once the Facebook Live video is published on your wall, you can go back and edit it. It’s like editing any video you’ve uploaded to Facebook. Choose a thumbnail. Facebook gives you 10 image options or you can upload your own thumbnail. Select a category. Add a call to action (for example: Shop Now, Learn More, and Sign Up).
Repurpose your video
Write a blog post with some of the highlights and embed either the Facebook post itself or just the video. Then, share it on all of your social media profiles.
End your broadcast with a closing line
Don’t abruptly end a video stream. Keep watch of your time so that you can finish with a closing line, such as “thanks for watching” or “have a great weekend”.
Stream videos as often as you can
This is a sure way to stay top of the mind with your audience. Moreover, try different types of broadcasts (for example, unboxing, Q&A, hot topics, a tour or behind the scenes) to keep your audience engaged.
Social media platforms are constantly adapting to their users’ behaviours; a change in the algorithm shouldn’t throw you off balance. Plan a new strategy, such as using live streaming to reach new audiences in new ways, and don’t forget to measure the results accurately. This is how you stay relevant in your marketplace.
Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.