Don't lose faith now - there is hope for businesses using Facebook as a marketing tool. Short-term pain will lead to long-term gain if you're patient.
Last week, I went into detail about the major changes to Facebook's newsfeed, outlining what they are and how they may affect you as a business owner. These changes have led to widespread fear and even a little panic among those who own businesses, small and large, who've made Facebook their primary means of marketing to and communicating with customers and clients.
It appears that Facebook, above all other social media outlets, is the most diverse the in the types of clients and customers it can reach. With television usage plummeting and people learning to psychologically tune-out the ads they see on websites and search engines, Facebook is the logical choice for most business owners and marketers in the online world.
These recent changes have left many of those people wondering, "Did I put too many eggs in the Facebook basket?"
If those worries sound familiar, keep reading. The trick to overcoming the recent changes to Facebook's newsfeed, ads, and algorithms is to leverage them in your favor. Let's look at how you can do just that.
Just Hang in There - It Gets Better
While spreading your marketing and social media eggs out into a variety of baskets is always a good idea you can rest assured that you don't need to abandon your Facebook efforts on account of these new changes. You simply need to adjust your approach to your Facebook page and your Facebook ads.
Instead of seeing Facebook as a place to passively post advertisements you need to see it as a place to actively interact with your community of clients and customers. The more you see your customers and clients as a community (one you are a part of) the more equipped you will be to use these changes to your advantage.
Better Targeted Content
Since Facebook is focusing on giving people more of what they want and less of what they don't want your business will benefit from reaching more of your ideal target audience than anything else. Despite being able to pick a target audience based on metrics such as age, gender, location, and (to some extent) interests, the manual targeting of Facebook ads still managed to bring content to a large portion of uninterested individuals.
Together with manual targeting, Facebook's new algorithms will make sure that the people who see your ads are those who are most likely to interact with those ads based on their interactions with previous content of a similar style. It's unclear exactly how the entire process works (and would probably take a mathematician to explain) but the evidence strongly suggests that this is a very good step for Facebook business ads.
More Involved and Invested Customers and Clients
Since these new changes are going to force businesses to create more engaging content the end result will be that customers and clients will become more engaged. It sounds like something everyone should have been doing for some time now and, let me tell you a secret, the bloggers are far ahead of the pack on this one.
About a year ago there was a major shift in the blogging community away from Facebook business pages toward Facebook groups. A major driving force behind this movement was that small blog owners weren't able to compete with larger companies to rank high enough to make it onto a Facebook newsfeed, anyway - something the rest of us are about to experience. Ever the clever ones, the bloggers found a way around the issue. They formed groups.
It wasn't long before they realized they'd stepped in a gold mine. Properly curated Facebook groups begin driving readers to blogs at lightning speed. Why? Because they were much more visible than business pages, and because they were much more engaging.
Though it may seem like quite a time investment, a bit of short-term pain in setting up and learning to properly leverage a Facebook group may not only help you overcome the lack of visibility you will now face, it will encourage brand loyalty through a feeling of community and comradery.
And If You're Invested?
It's no secret that Facebook's shares took a bit of a dip at the news that there would be less promotional content on its platform (and it, thus, may produce less revenue in the short term). However, market analysts and Facebook execs both predict that these changes will be good for the company in the long run.
The idea is that if people like using Facebook more (because they are getting better content) more people will use Facebook in general. Also, since these new algorithms will show people more of what they want to see in terms of ads and business page posts, the hike in ad rates will be justified and businesses will be willing to pay them.
Of course, no one can predict the future - this is all speculation. But the intelligent people at Facebook wouldn't have made such a drastic change if they weren't nearly certain it would work out in the end. With many business analysts backing them up, you can rest mostly assured that your investments will be profitable in the long term.