You may have seen that the Facebook algorithm just changed. And it might be the year 2018 or it might be the year 2030, it doesn’t really matter if Facebook is still around I can almost guarantee that the Facebook algorithm has changed recently. Facebook is always innovating, which is why it’s the most popular social media platform.
I’ve been on Facebook since 2006. When I joined you had to have a “.EDU” email address to register. Facebook was an exclusive place for college kids and college graduates. I have to admit I wasn’t very impressed when I first joined Facebook; I didn’t think it had much potential. Unlike MySpace. I couldn’t customize my background, and unlike AIM, I had to use my real name and a photo of me as my profile picture. I honestly didn’t see the appeal of Facebook but it was my freshman year in college and my dorm’s RA told me that was a great way to keep in touch with new friends so I created an account and started adding my classmates and the friends I made in the dorm.
Now if you weren’t on Facebook in the early days, it was pretty awkward. People poked you constantly… I’m still not sure what poking was all about. You also had to update your Facebook posts in the third person. Instead of prompting you to update your friends by asking “What’s on your mind?” You got a prompt that said
“Katie is ________________.” (but replace my name with yours)
If I look back at my old status updates from when I first joined they look awkward. Why was I talking about myself in the third person? Why didn’t I capitalize the beginning of my sentences? Why did I use so many exclamation points? (Unfortunately, I can’t blame the last one on Facebook.)
You can check out your early Facebook Posts by going to Facebook.com/onthisday, you’ll definitely be able to see how different the platform was back then. Facebook has made thousands of small modifications over the years and I’m sure that someone from the year 2006 wouldn’t even recognize Facebook in its current state.
If you’re thinking Well that’s all well and good but what about my business? There’re few things you should keep in mind. First off, Facebook is a business, and their highest priority is to keep their customers happy. If all a Facebook user sees when they go on Facebook is ad after ad after ad they’re not going to keep coming back to Facebook. People tend to leave social media platforms when they no longer feel like they can connect their friends.
In early days, businesses weren’t allowed on Facebook. Facebook was a place for friends to interact with each other and that’s still what it’s supposed to be today. In order for Facebook to stick around it needs to be a social platform, and needs to be a place where real humans connect with one another. It isn’t a free marketing platform and never has been.
Now if you’ve gotten the impression that I’m recommending that you leave Facebook you couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook is an incredible platform for businesses that you need to understand why the algorithm changes, and how to succeed year after year as the platform continues to shift.
How to Beat Facebook’s Algorithm
Connect with your audience
Now there’s a right way and a wrong way to use Facebook groups. I see people going to another person’s Facebook group and start spamming posts about their business and services. I can guarantee you this won’t work. Not only are you likely to get marked as spam and booted out of the group, you’ll leave a bad impression to any potential customers. Instead, I recommend showing your services in action.
For example, if you’re a dog walker it would be appropriate for you to join local Facebook groups. If you saw questions about how to care for dogs or questions about great walking spots in the area, you be the ideal person to answer that question. If you can find an organic way to throw in the fact that you are a dog walker, you’ve just impressed a potential customer.
Create Shareable Content
This strategy works for any social media platform. If you can get your ideal customer to share your content, they’re marketing your business for you. This is why having an effective blog is essential for marketing your business on social media.
I also recommend that you double check that your website has an easy way for people to share your content on social media. If your customers have to copy and paste the link in order to share your article on Facebook, you’re going to lose a lot of potential traffic. Make sure that somewhere in your blog posts you give specific call-to-action. For example, if you wrote an article about different types of coffee, a great way to get more shares would be to say “Share this post if you can’t start your day without a good cup of coffee.”
Pay for Ads
Part of any successful business is marketing, and marketing costs money. For some strange reason, people feel like spending money on Facebook ads is cheating. Just because you have a friend who’s gotten 100,000 fans on their Facebook page without spending a penny doesn’t mean there hasn’t been the cost for their work.
When it comes to marketing, you’re always either spending time or money.
Growing your business organically on social media is getting harder and harder. And while it might feel like you’re cutting in line by paying for Facebook ads, what you are really doing is making a smart choice for your business.
The old adage “If you build it they will come” is an absolute lie. Not only do you have to build the business, you have to work to get in front of your audience. Then if you have a good product you can start making money.
Facebook ads are a great way to get in front of your audience, and if you can communicate the value of your product, the cost of advertising on Facebook will be negligible compared to the business it can bring to you.
For your business to succeed on Facebook, you need to pay. And whether you’re paying a social media marketer, paying for Facebook ads, or sinking a ton of time into Facebook groups there is a cost to marketing your business on Facebook.
The good news is, Facebook ads work, and compared to other marketing avenues you can get a high return on investment.
If you’re struggling to figure out what you should post, check out my free course Social Media Planning the Easy Way.