At the beginning of this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the focus of the platform was shifting to make sure that authentic connections and relationships were being built. As Zuckerberg posted, “...we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience.”
Changing the focus on Facebook from business to people is a positive move for everyone...but how will these changes affect the 65 million business pages currently on Facebook? Well, over the past few years, Facebook has already made moves toward this shift by filtering business content so that average users are not constantly being hounded in their newsfeed. This means that over the past few years Facebook decreased the percent of reach for your business postings and content to under 10%. Simply put this means if you have 100 followers, every post will only appear to around 10 or less of those followers, rotating them as you post. This reach increased only through paid advertising or boosting of each post on the business page (If you're curious about the best practices for using paid advertising on Facebook, you can read this blog post).
Each time you post on your Facebook page, the content is ranked and based on that ranking the post will be more or less successful. Content and posts that focus more on family, friends, and genuine engagement receive a higher ranking causing them to be seen more often and be more successful. Business-only content and posts will be pushed down, making them appear less often and become more and more expensive to boost and advertise.
All of these changes can seem overwhelming and confusing, but this does NOT mean that you should simply abandon Facebook as part of your practice marketing. It still holds a lot of power and influence over your patients (and potential patients). Instead, what it simply boils down to is a return to valuing quality over quantity in content on Facebook. To make this reconstruction easier for your practice, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your content and ads for Facebook:
- Focus on engagement and interaction. Find and create content that people won’t just scroll past, but instead stop and comment. Your audience can interact with your post through likes, video views, shares, and of course comments. Which one will Facebook rank higher? This is no contest—comments win hands-down. Make sure your content is thought provoking, creating conversations, and connecting members of your audience. To avoid making your practice political or take a particularly controversial stance...ASK the questions and then let your audience discuss. Facebook has features that will be updating soon that will help with this, asking for recommendations, sharing videos with discussion, and more.
- Test content on other platforms first. Before posting to Facebook, post the same thing to platforms that have less strict ranking factors like LinkedIn and Twitter. The content you post on those platforms that perform the best will also be the better performing content on Facebook. Keep only the best content for Facebook and you will reach the most people by being known for strong quality of content.
- Don’t over post. On Facebook part of the ranking algorithm is the engagement on all of your posts. If you post frequently the posts that are not higher quality and have low engagement will lower your overall score and hurt the reach of your entire page. Post quality content and post an effective amount. A recommended amount of posts for an average page is 3-5 MAXIMUM per day.
- Don’t bait your audience into engaging. A seemingly easy response to Facebook's new rules would be to reward interactions like comments, likes, and shares. Unfortunately, Facebook is on to this technique and will ding you for doing so. These interactions need to happen organically and be authentic. It can be fun to reward your audience with prizes for being active and participating, but after this announcement Facebook announced that it will be penalize any pages that post this kind of content. Here at Solutionreach we like to have contests for our followers, and now with these updates we are adjusting to find other ways to reward our audience. *Stay tuned!
What it comes down to is this simple truth: Facebook was built to bring a world of strangers together and build relationships and connections. When creating your content, ask yourself if your posts are contributing to this goal or distracting from it? Quality is the new North Star...so stay on the path of social media and follow that star...and you will navigate your way through this update to the newsfeed without crashing. Remember, you are not alone...Solutionreach is here to help. Let us know what other questions you may have in the comments and we'll get you those answers.
While you're figuring out the new Facebook changes, read more about other ways to look awesome online in our free guide.