Why it’s not enough to be on Social Media if you run a business

Or: Why you absolutely must have your own website – however small your business is.

Facebook announced that it was going to change its news feed algorithm on 29th June 2016 – potentially a huge blow to the marketing strategy of small and medium sized businesses.

It’s nearly a month now, and if you run a business page on Facebook, you may have noticed a slight drop in the number of people your posts reached if your audience is not the kind of sharing-commenting-by-all-means bunch of people.

In this article, I’ll explain what this change actually means for your business, why Facebook did that (yes there is a very real and credible reason!) and I’ll give you some concrete steps to take to minimise the ‘damage’ this may cause.

The facts

Facebook’s new algorithm will show friends and family updates first in your news feed, business pages and other stuff afterwards.

As the news feed is an infinite page, your stuff will come up eventually, but clearly, the higher the post appears the more people it will reach …

The consequences

You business page posts are likely to rank down a little, and even Facebook doesn’t try to hide it:

“Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.”

How exactly this will impact our pages depends on the composition of our audience: If they tend to share the content you post, and love to comment, you won’t notice much change.

However, if your audience is rather shy, you’ll most likely see a drop.

Why did Facebook do that? Are they mad?

No, they are not mad, in fact, they are super clever.

First of all, they try to stay true to their values:

Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.

They know that they must serve their community if they want to stay in business, and if their community is not happy, that could lead to Facebook’s fail essentially. We’ve seen many social media platforms to go bust because they failed to stay on top of their game.

Facebook listened to their community and came out with this update having the community’s satisfaction and needs in mind. This is what every sensible business would do.

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So shall we continue to use Facebook as a platform for our business?

Absolutely. We should still continue to use Facebook and I’ll show you a few great tips we could follow to make the best out of it.

But this update is a powerful reminder that if you don’t own your own platform, you’re in trouble: You are effectively exposed to Facebook’s or LinkedIn’s or whatever platform’s decisions about how your post will be displayed and you can’t do much about them.

If you have your own website, you’re behind the steering wheel:

You make the decisions about how you want to change it to make it more digestible and customer friendly, you can build a subscription list and you can publish content. So make the best out of it and use Social Media as a tool to help you to reach more people. But your aim should always be to lead people to your website and get them return there.

What should you do now?

  • Set up your own website where you are in full control.
  • Regularly publish content, in the form of News or Blog.
  • Share your content across Social Media platforms.
  • Ask people to like, share and comment (caveat: you MUST publish great content!)
  • Build a list through your website.
  • Write content your audience won’t be able to resist to share …
  • Screenshot_2016-07-27-19-47-12-1+1: Let your followers know how that they can still keep up with you if they want to be informed of updates first hand: They need to select “See first”:

I personally wouldn’t go with this method and certainly wouldn’t build a campaign for it. However, I’ve taken the time and selected a few pages whose posts I want to see first in my news feed and that’s a great tip for you too if you don’t want to miss something important or really interesting and relevant for you and your business …

I hope this post will help you to build a marketing strategy where you can be in full control.

And now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you noticed any changes in the number of people your posts reach on Facebook in the past month?

Do you have any other ideas to utilise Facebook’s news feed that I’ve not thought about? Please share your insights in the comments below. You contribution might just help someone struggling with making the best use of social media marketing …

Thank you so much for reading and I hope to catch you next time.

With love,

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