If you spend your days working in the realm of digital advertising, content marketing, and social media, chances are you’ve heard about the upcoming changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm. If that’s the case, there’s also a good chance you’re in somewhat of an up-in-arms tizzy about it. If you haven’t heard about this update, here’s the skinny:
In an effort to promote content from friends and family, content from brands and publishers won’t be as easily accessible. This means you could miss out on an exclusive Facebook promotion from your favorite brand. Or if you’re a small business, your post reach might not increase as rapidly as you’d like.
On June 29th, Facebook’s VP of product management, Adam Mosseri, told the New York Times that Facebook’s News Feed was designed to show users relevant updates from friends and family. Though friends and family updates may have been the original intent, the News Feed has strayed from that significantly. With so much content marketing and brand advertising, the News Feed has become more of a scrolling billboard of products and brands rather than photos of adorable nieces/nephews and summer vacations to stalk.
The growth and competition in the publisher ecosystem is really, really strong. We’re worried that a lot of people using Facebook are not able to connect to friends and family as well because of that.
– Adam Mosseri, Facebook
If the News Feed is a place to inform and entertain users with a friends and family first approach, what does this mean for local businesses, national brands, and publishers? Finding a solution to this is important to us since our agency works with several businesses and brands to help create original content and strategically place it on various social channels – Facebook being one of those. Here’s a list of 5 ways local businesses and brands can stay ahead of the Facebook News Feed update and keep their content in front of their target audiences.
Know your target audience
It’s important to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Know the age and gender demographic, specific interests of your target consumer, and their online behaviors. Familiarize yourself with the Facebook Insights feature. Navigating your way around Facebook will be much easier if you can pinpoint what time of day most of your audience looks at your page, what region the users are from, and if you have more men or women looking at your page.
Produce interesting, entertaining, and relevant content
Once you have a deeper understanding of your target audience and their online behavior patterns, use that information to produce content that is interesting and relevant. If your business sells a product, create content that informs your audience of it’s value. If you run a non-profit organization, share content that educates your audience on the mission and values, as well as related content that falls under the organization’s umbrella. Whatever you share, make sure it entertains or informs your audience, while being relevant and timely with current events.
Tell a story
Creating informative content doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffy. Find creative ways to share content through storytelling. People are more likely to latch onto a story than a statistic. Whether it’s your business/brand story, or something unrelated, find a story within the content you want to share. Here’s a great example from the Kleenex brand. They used video and music to tell a story totally unrelated to tissues, but it makes sense.
Use great visuals
Speaking of videos, use high-quality photos and videos to create more compelling content. In fact, research shows that people who simply hear information are likely to remember only 10% of the information up to 3 days later. However, when a relevant image is paired with the information, people retain 65% more of the information up to 3 days later. (HubSpot)
Another great resource to review when preparing visuals is this eBook from Venngage. Download your resource guide for free!
Be authentic and let your audience in
Finally, be transparent with your audience. Facebook users will be able to see through inauthenticity. Strive to be a brand or business that continually pulls back the curtain and lets your audience in on your process. Maybe you sell a product that can be found on Amazon or another online marketplace, but if you’re continually surprising your audience with authenticity, they will be compelled to shop directly from you because of your brand personality and honesty.
As if content marketing wasn’t already important, having a strategic, story-based content marketing plan is more imperative than ever. What it comes down to is making sure the content you produce is worthy of being seen. By following the 5 steps above, your business or brand should have no issue staying in front of this algorithm update to the Facebook News Feed. If you find yourself in need of help, creating strategic content marketing plans is something our team does regularly. Be sure to get in touch with us if you need consulting, and pass this article along if you know others who would be interested.