Engage-Listen-Connect. How to Help Your Local Business Partner Stay Visible on Facebook - BrandMuscle

Engage-Listen-Connect. How to Help Your Local Business Partner Stay Visible on Facebook

By now, you’ve probably heard of Facebook’s new algorithm change. You may have even noticed the effects, with more posts from your friends and family in your news feed, versus the brand and news posts that all but cannibalized Facebook mere months ago.

By now, you’re probably getting a little concerned. The fam has seen every outfit Aunt Karen’s bought her Yorkie, but your company has all but disappeared.

Brand organic reach has been steadily declining over the past few years, because let’s face it, Facebook has encouraged a pay-to-play environment for brands, but this change could very well likely set in motion a freefall in reach, engagement, and traffic over time. We’re not saying everyone’s going to feel the impact immediately and consequences will surely vary from business to business and Page to Page, but the more you know, the more you’ll be able to better prepare your local business partners’ Facebook marketing strategy for post visibility.

So, what can a business page do organically to ensure visibility from some of Facebook’s 2.07 billion monthly active users?

1. Post content that propagates conversations and interactions. Live videos are typically a hit, generating six times more interactions than regular old videos. Think “how tos” and other talk tracks that come natural for your local business partners. The more thought provoking and conversation-inducing your content is, the more likely Facebook will show your posts in the News Feed.
2. Listen to your audience! Know what they are interested in and create content that promotes and fosters discussions, comments and replies. If your content is important to your audience, it will drive meaningful conversations. Don’t forget to ask your audience questions, and by all means, answer theirs!
3. Create events and post relevant local updates to connect even more with local communities. If you work with philanthropies or other local business partners, be sure to tag them in relevant posts.
4. Ask your followers to click on your page and select ‘See First’ rather than ‘Default’ in the ‘Following’ dropdown menu. It might be difficult to get people to take action, but those who appreciate your content and topics are more likely to make sure they keep seeing you in their News Feed.

There will probably be an influx of Pages paying for content visibility through Facebook ads now that it will be more difficult to be seen organically. Could that be one of the real reasons for these News Feed changes?

Facebook has seen a decline in usage since this algorithm change hit. Less time spent on Facebook could mean less available ad inventory. CPC’s and CPM’s increased immediately after the announcement. On the other hand, if those who were dissatisfied with the platform return to see more posts from their friends and family, ad inventory could actually increase. If people are more engaged overall, that is good news for advertisers, even if they have to pay more to get a spot in the News Feed.

Is there anything that a small business Page should not do?

Yes! Do not use engagement bait to get people to interact with your posts. Statements like “Tag a Friend!” or “Please Share!” are classified as spoofing. Facebook strongly discourages against this type of tactic and will penalize the author by burying or in some cases, omitting your posts from the News Feed.

Just like past algorithm updates, no one knows exactly how these News Feed changes will impact small businesses. Only time will tell.

Our recommendations for small businesses:

1. Have a sound social strategy in place and be in-tune with your Facebook community; they will tell you what content they find most interesting
2. Be open to diversifying your organic strategy and looking to viable alternatives like Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.

More than 60 percent of local business partners find Facebook to be an effective local marketing tactic according to BrandMuscle’s