What Facebook’s Algorithm Change Means for Small Business Social Media Marketing

Several weeks ago, Facebook announced a major change to the social network’s algorithm. It was upgraded, or rather, amended, so the content a user sees on his or her newsfeed comes mainly from friends and family, and not from brands or adverts.

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For content marketers and publishers, this brings forth huge challenges. Many have relied on Facebook to share content like blog posts, or to drive traffic to dedicated landing pages. Facebook is now focused on severely limiting advertising links and penalizing clickbait. This raises interesting questions regarding how companies, especially small businesses, can continue to market on the world’s largest social network.

Assessing the Impact

A good majority of marketers rely on Facebook for significant amounts of traffic. If a business used to rely on clickbait headlines (“click here to see this”) to drive traffic to landing pages, that practice is no longer viable. Brand reach is now limited on Facebook. Brands have to disclose partnerships, which slightly reduces the impact of native advertising. (However, advertisers will get better access to individual post data using social media analytics tools.)

There are plenty of things to consider cost wise as well. Advertisers will need bigger budgets in the future to buy Facebook ads to increase reach. Also, Facebook ad costs will most likely go up as well. In this environment, how can a small business with a limited budget continue to market on Facebook?

How to Drive Traffic on New Facebook

Small businesses need to rethink their Facebook strategy in light of the algorithm change. However, if you understand what’s changing and what’s not, it’s still possible to run a successful Facebook marketing campaign without spending an arm and a leg.

Improve Quality of Content

The biggest way to boost your content on Facebook without getting penalized for clickbait is to improve the quality of the content. Rather than publishing a dozen insta-articles per day, focus on publishing a handful of top-notch articles per week. Aim to provide genuine and interesting information to readers, rather than aiming to get them to click. From now on, use social media management dashboards to assess how people respond to your posts based on quality, not clicks or views.

Focus on Making Business Page Better

The Facebook profile pages for businesses are still a huge deal. Facebook itself has recommended businesses to focus on these. This is the best place to create brand awareness posts that resonate with audiences. Instead of peddling your products on the Facebook page, try to generate real conversations. Instant brand awareness will follow.

Get Shares Using Word of Mouth Strategy

Instead of relying on strategies like click bait to get shares, rely on word of mouth. Facebook is prioritizing friends and family over businesses. That means your small business has the best chance of appearing on a user’s newsfeed if a friend of the user shares one of your posts or mentions your brand.

Don’t rely on tired old methods to continue to promote your brand on Facebook. Unless your small business has plenty to spend on ads, carefully consider the above points.

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