Once again, Facebook is making some changes to its algorithms, according to a webinar from Retail Marketing Academy we sat in on in late August.

Here is a summary and breakdown of what was presented, starting with an admission from Mark Zuckerberg that the changes will reduce organic reach! “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like organic posts from businesses, brand and media. And the public content you do see will be held to the same standard to encourage meaningful interactions,” said Mark Zuckerberg.Pages creating posts that people generally don’t interact or comment on will see the biggest decrease in Reach,” Zuckerberg said.

Basically, this may mean that organic efforts and boosting posts are no longer effective by themselves.

What to do to Improve Organic Reach

Today, organic (free) reach is only reported as 1.6-2% max of your pages’ followers!

It is important to focus on meaningful interactions. More value is being placed on:

  • Reactions (eg Love, HaHa, Wow are more valued than Like)
  • Comments on your posts
  • Shared Posts (make sure you engage with shared content and reply to comments)
  • Links shared via messenger.

Avoid promotional posts

  • Posts created for the sole purpose of pushing people to buy a product
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions, giveaways or contests
  • Posts that re-use the same content for ads.

Other ideas to improve organic reach

  • Preference to video with high completion rates (people who watch to the end):
    • Facebook Live
    • Longer videos with higher completion rates will rank higher
  • Preference for authentic posts:
    • Penalizes posts with negative feedback, that have been hidden, or are overly promotional
    • Penalizes pages that have been unliked
  • Preference for timely posts:
    • Immediate interest
    • Current events
    • Trending topics
  • New features to improve interactions with your audience:
    • Targeting for individual posts
    • New placements and visibility options
    • New page templates to maximize exposure.

Best Practices

  • Schedule posts directly through Facebook
  • No outbound links
  • Upload videos directly … No YouTube links!
  • Create content that encourages interaction:
  • Remember, your customers want to share content that puts them in a positive light
  • Hot news
  • Motivational or inspirational
  • No more boosting posts!
  • Very low conversion value
  • Does not target users most likely to purchase
  • Just targets any user online at the time.

How Else Can I Improve Reach?

Facebook is an effective revenue generator for your business if done properly. In this regard, paid Facebook advertising is the only other way to reach users. According to G/O Digital June Study, 58% of consumers engage with a Facebook or Instagram ad at least once before spending money with a small business. It’s definitely worth considering as it’s still the least expensive form of advertising.

Why Do I Need to Invest in FB Advertising?

  • You have to spend money to make money
  • You want to build momentum asap
  • You want to edge above your competitors who aren’t taking advantage of FB
  • 58% of consumers engage with a Facebook Ad first before making a purchase
  • 73% of consumers are influenced by what they see on Facebook when making purchase decisions

What Are Business Owners Doing in 2018 to Increase Revenue?

49% report Facebook Ads as the #1 factor that has increased revenue in 2018 (Source: SME 2018 Industry Report). Remainder of split:

  • 28% Instagram
  • 11% LinkedIn
  • 10% YouTube
  • 7% Twitter
  • 3% Pinterest
  • 2% SnapChat

This information is a summary of what was presented in the webinar. Facebook seems to change from month to month so make sure you keep up to date on how any changes may impact your reach and ability to advertise or sell through this medium.

If you have any questions, please give us a call.

Kylie Ross Sibert
VP, Corporate Communications, Retail Alliance
Email: ksibert@retailalliance.com
Tel: (757) 455-9323

Alex Walker
Marketing & Events Coordinator, Retail Alliance
Email: awalker@retailalliance.com
Tel: (757) 455-9324