Article written by FORBES Business Communication Council
In January 2018, Facebook announced an algorithm change designed to “bring people closer together and build relationships.” The social media giant’s ranking system now prioritizes posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” But for brands that already struggle with organic Facebook reach, this update could push them even further down the news feed.
While smart brands have always made follower engagement the goal, it has now become even more important to post content that your audience will care about and react to.
We asked 13 members of Forbes Communications Council how they’ll be updating their social marketing strategies to ensure their Facebook posts are still being seen.
1. Leverage social sharing programs.
We plan to increasingly leverage our social sharing platform to offset this change. By empowering our employees, partners and fans to share our content through personal posts, we hope to offset the Facebook shift away from corporate posts so that our content can still be found on social channels organically. – Jennifer Best, ConnectYourCare
2. Create content that encourages meaningful interactions.
Businesses have been told from the beginning that Facebook is a community. In the face of the algorithm shift, encouraging meaningful interactions means keeping your content valuable and relevant to your channel’s audience and community. Encourage conversation, sharing and comments. Facebook is practicing Darwin’s concepts and we are up for the challenge. – Sean P Finelli, The Roman Guy – Italy Tour Operator
3. Feature individual users in your content.
Facebook’s new algorithm gives preference to posts that are shared by individuals and receive early comments and engagement. To make sure our content is prioritized by the algorithm, our strategy is to focus on our users and their stories. It gives our users a chance to be in the spotlight and increases the likelihood that they will share our content with their personal networks. – Mandy Menaker, Shapr
4. Provide something compelling, authentic and useful.
Many marketers spend time chasing the latest changes to Facebook, Google and other platforms’ algorithms. You need to be aware of general trends, but if you’re trying to exploit every little hack to get your content higher up in feeds and searches, it might be time to rethink your strategy. Focus less on ever-changing formulas and more on creating compelling, authentic, useful content. – Brandon Ortiz, Salesforce.org
5. Engage influencers.
As always, content that is targeted and relevant to your audience is crucial for engagement. To counter the Facebook shift, we look to engage influencers who will share content and effectively spread the word to their networks. The power of the combination of personal and professional networks (Facebook and LinkedIn, for example) enables us to push our narrative across multiple channels. – Tracey Grove, Microsoft
6. Play ball with Facebook and use its new tools.
Facebook wants you to play ball. Don’t fight it; you won’t win. Engage with and participate in new products rolled out to help increase reach. Facebook Stories are a sure way to beat the algorithm. Even if consumers are not seeing your posts in their feeds, they will still see the stories at the top. Use Facebook Live, Messenger bots, Groups for Pages, profile frames, video and donate. – Julie Behr, Marbaloo Marketing
7. Create and upload videos that prompt conversation.
The algorithm shift ensures your posts will be viewed if they prove to have meaningful interaction. Videos uploaded directly to Facebook that prompt conversation are the answer. At least that’s what the data is telling us. Billions of videos are watched on Facebook every day. – Laurie Ehrbar, ServiceNow
8. Enhance your own personal brand.
A strong personal brand is the key to corporate brand awareness. Start building a loyal community around your personal professional brand by providing expert content, free consultancy, useful tips and helpful giveaways. But don’t forget about your corporate pages. If you manage to make valuable sources out of them, subscribers will visit them intentionally. – Galina Grigoreva, LoyaltyPlant
9. Target specific audiences with tailored messaging and visuals.
We’ve seen this before with Instagram’s changes, and now Facebook. We’ve learned it takes savvy strategy to ensure your message is being seen. It’s important to engage new and existing customers by using content that is relatable to them. By targeting specific audiences using messaging and visuals that are tailored to their interests, brands can reach potential customers in an authentic way. – G’Nai Blakemore, Mattress Firm
10. Use your content to solve your audience’s problems.
How Facebook prioritizes content is similar to how a search engine does: by the value you bring to its users. To get them to engage with your brand, focus on providing content that solves the questions and problems they already have. Don’t lead with announcement-style content. Rather, lead with questions your target audience is asking, or the direct answers they seek. – Christina Crawley, Forum One
11. Focus on employee advocacy.
Facebook’s algorithm shift increases the importance of a more organic distribution strategy for marketing content. Marketers need to distribute content in a way that mimics viral user-generated content. To do this, we are leveraging the social profiles of employee advocates to seed and interact with new content. – Jesse Williams, ExecVision
12. Consider a paid Facebook marketing strategy.
Now is the time to pull together a paid social media strategy for Facebook, if you can. If you want your content to be seen on the primary Facebook user’s news feed, organic content is not the best way to go. Spend just $25 on a post to guarantee your content gets seen. If you are able to spend more, don’t hesitate. – Chloe Politis, Mount Sinai Health System
13. Incorporate user-generated content.
As Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes friends and family content, it’s going to be more important than ever for brands to encourage the creation of user-generated content within their loyal customer base. This can be as straightforward as creating social contests, or take a subtler approach by focusing on creating quality, shareable content that provides information and education to users. – Jennifer Levanduski, Revel Systems
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