Facebook has long been considered a useful resource for businesses, both large and small, giving them a place to advertise, communicate with customers and build a public presence with little need for additional budget.
However, an announcement made today by Mark Zuckerberg could be changing all of this, as Facebook attempts to become more ‘personal’ and less brand-centric by showing more user updates and less business pages in your feed – but is this change really what is claims to be?
According to Zuck, it’s all about the user experience and reducing feelings of isolation, as well as moving away from what he refers to as “passive content”. He said “We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos – even if they’re entertaining or informative – may not be as good.”
In reality, while Facebook’s intentions might seem lovey-dovey, what it’s actually related to is revenue. Companies who’ve successfully used Facebook as a free platform to gain exposure are raking in the cash and Facebook wants a slice of the pie.
We’ve seen increasingly in the last few years how updates from pages only pop up in a news feed when they’ve paid to “boost” the post, and this is just another way to gain further control over who’s making the money.
This might seem like bad news for small businesses who don’t have a huge marketing budget and one-man-bands who use Facebook as their sole method of communicating with customers, but the way to deal with it is to see your businesses Facebook page as a community rather than just a place for adverts.
Engagement will be key to getting value from your Facebook page and building a following with good content and lots of interaction should allow you to carry on using Facebook in a way which is meaningful to both your business and your customers.
It may be a good idea to set up a separate group that takes a more community-style approach, encouraging people to talk about issues in your industry, customers giving others tips, discussion and more openness than just pushing your brand’s services.
Or, you could just chose to step back on your Facebook activity and use Instagram instead to boost your brand presence.
For a personalised social action plan, whether you’re hit by Facebook’s algorithm update or not, Esse Marketing Services can help. Contact us for a free one-hour consultancy session where we’ll give you ideas to take your business to the next level.