Facebook is constantly evolving. Like any good company, Facebook adapts and changes the world around us. And as I see it, the social media world too. Now, while some changes to Facebook can leave you disappointed or angry, some can actually benefit marketers. Whenever a new update happens, a lot of marketers are left assessing the potential affects. How will this change things for our team? How will our strategy need to adapt in order to stay current? Is there anything that we can gain from this change?
Not too long ago news spread about Facebook's latest attempt at two separate feeds. One feed for friends and family and the other for Pages. For now Facebook is testing the two feeds outside of the United States, so they can better understand if people prefer two separate places: one for personal content and one for public content. However Facebook was quick to clarify that they have no plans to make this a global change. Mainly because the organic reach for Facebook has been on the decline for years now.
THE EXPLORER FEED COULD AFFECT MARKETERS
In addition, the Explorer Feed rolled out in several different countries outside the States on October 23. The purpose of the Explorer Feed is to allow users to discover more content beyond posts from friends and pages that they already follow. So could this affect marketers? There's a possibility that it could. As of right now, there's just speculation. However, it's always a good idea to prepare yourself just in case. With talk of the new Explorer feed, it important to take a look at how this can really affect marketers. There needs to be a genuine attempt to consider what the best practices are for organic reach. The goal is to think ahead. Below you'll find some insights and potential solutions.
Implications for Advertising
The good news is that Facebook's Explorer Feed isn't set to go global just yet. However, if it does there might be a shift in the way that Brands could counter this move. They could have employees and influencers share posts as a way to increase organic reach. Though from an advertising standpoint, there could be some fallout. Especially because the News Feed is a highly effective placement for ads. Particularly for smaller, targeted audiences. Which means you just might have to make more placements like on Instagram.
You might have noticed that Facebook is inching closer to a similar approach to Google Adwords (i.e. a bidding war between advertisers). Big companies will most likely not feel any negative affects, but this could greatly impact small businesses and even smaller brands. It's already hard enough to advertise against major competitors online. Especially if you are working with a minimal budget. What makes Facebook different from search engines is the fact that you can like a page and get updates. Even if the brands aren't marketing heavily, there is a better chance of being seen. Mainly because the user Liked their page. This could change with the Explorer Feed.
With two separate feeds, a smaller page's paid post will be hidden behind the companies with more money to spend. As a result, organic posts might never been see again. It might sound a little doomsday, but it's a possibility. Which is sad because even though a lot of people enjoy the content from smaller brands, it doesn't always mean that they will remember to check on those pages. Especially on a daily basis.
Social Strategy and Explorer Feed
Now it's true that organic business pages have seen a decline in reach on Facebook for the last few years. However, there has been a variety of ways in which brands were able to increase organic engagement. With tactics such as Livestream, events and quip-y motivational videos. If the Explorer Feed is widely implemented, it could seriously affect small businesses and they won't be able to pay in order to get their posts seen. So it leads one to wonder in what direction the new feed would take. It could go one of two ways: users simply adopt it as a news version, similar to Apple News. But the problem is that they have to manually check for updates, blog posts and articles to share. Which means there's a good possibility that the would disregard it all together.
Best Practices for Organic Reach
With all of that in mind, here are some great things to make sure that your brand's Facebook strategy aligns with the best practices for organic reach. We're sharing a few tips that can do just that...
Be Consistent and Timely. The first rule of thumb is to post frequently. It can mean different things for different brands. Some brands really excel with two posts a day. It's a good place to start but it's important to remember to do some trial and error. Your results will help you determine what's right for you. When posting twice a day, it's a good idea to post every morning (6AM-8AM) and around noon (10AM-1PM). The goal is to post frequently. Especially if you want to build engagement and post impressions.
But why does that method work? The average Facebook feed generates hundreds of content from favorite companies and the people you follow. This is why it's crucial to not overdo it when it comes to posting. Two posts a day guarantees consistency and a higher chance to be discovered without coming off as annoying
Keep Your Posts Short and Specific. Posts shouldn't be too long. In fact it's a good idea to keep your organic posts to about one to one and half lines in desktop view - two at most. But be careful, because two lines could also appear too-lengthy. The goal is to keep your audience's attention. So whenever you add a few extra words it might do more harm than good. Most of the big-name brands have success with shorter, more concise content. That's why it doesn't come as a surprise to know that 40-character Facebook posts receive 86% more engagement over others. Whereas 80-character posts receive 66% more engagement than others.
Understand Your Audience. Your audience on Instagram can be completely different than your audience on Facebook or Twitter. So it's really important that you format your messaging with those differences in mind. For LinkedIn and Facebook, you should ALWAYS change the message, despite having the same asset. This is why you should study your audience and know exactly how to target them. A few things to take into consideration whenever you make tailored posts is to focus on their age, gender, region/location, etc. Ultimately it's about finding what content works best for YOUR audience. Not someone else's.
Transparency In Advertising. Not too long ago, Facebook announced ad transparency and authenticity features. People will be able to click "View Ads" on a page and view the ads that the page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. They can do this even if they aren't in the intended target for the ad. This means that all pages will be part of this. It makes it so all ads will be associated with a Page as part of the ad creation process.
Ultimately, time will tell how these changes will actually affect marketing. Even if Facebook does bring their Explorer Feed to the masses, there are still so many unknowns. But until that time comes, you need to focus on your marketing efforts and be open to any changes that might come in the future. Are you concerned about the idea of Facebook's new Explorer Feed affecting your business? What are some of your concerns? Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss.