A couple months ago, Facebook once again shook up the marketing world and announced it was changing its algorithm. This time, the goal is to make the social network more, well, social, through prioritizing posts from real people as opposed to brands and publishers.
While any changes to the platform’s algorithm gets brands’ hands wringing, I believe these changes simply point out the social media best practices we’ve been talking about for quite some time now: build content that sparks a conversation, develop relationships with influencers, and leverage the power of paid media to boost your presence.
#### Create content that sparks conversation
Brands sometimes forget that social posts need to incorporate a human element and a great, relatable story. The kind of thing you’d share around the coffee pot at work. Like Jimmy John’s, which posted a great piece of user-generated content about a couple who enjoys their date nights at the sandwich chain. During their wedding, the minister pulled out a hoagie in the middle of the service to make a point. Later, when the couple welcomed a baby, the little one had to be swaddled in a Jimmy John’s blanket. All this makes cute, fun and human social media fodder.
Brand communicators should mine their organizations for these kinds of stories. If you aren’t doing this, you run the risk of digging yourself a hole, since Facebook actually penalizes brands that post content that gets little engagement. And, commit to quality content versus flooding your feed with posts. The more more posts you have with little to no engagement will only hurt your brand’s ranking on the platform.
#### Find influencers
With a cultivated, micro-targeted audience, there’s never been a better time to build relationships with key influencers. This starts with recommendations from friends and family, which, according to this research, hold more sway than any other form of advertising.
When looking for influencers with a broad following, start with solid research to find out who has an audience in your space — it’s important to do the research to ascertain who holds sway with your audience, keeping in mind there’s quite a few fake influencers out there.
The tips we shared in this blog post still are valid. We’ve helped clients like Jumper Brands and Everything But the House research and develop strategies to support their influencer marketing programs.
Also, don’t forget your biggest pool of influencers — your employees. An engaged workforce has the power to multiply your message and reach new audiences.
#### Boost your presence for greater reach
While we might think Facebook was created merely for our enjoyment (or to cringe at our friends’ political views), it’s a profit-making enterprise. And, remember, they joined Facebook, not your page. So, there’s often no way to avoid opening the coffers. Boosting posts, including those from influencers, helps build your reach. We found during last year’s Safety Week campaign that simply boosting content and posting a user-generated video more than tripled our reach.
There’s a saying that history doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it rhymes. Roughly every 18 months Facebook announces changes to its algorithm, but having a strategy of staying connected to your audience and offering engaging content will consistently keep your brand in the conversation.