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Changes to Facebook and Instagram – make sure you’re in the know

Social media is ever-evolving, that is the beauty of it. As a user, and more significantly, small business user promoting through social media – you need to be up to date with any relevant changes, rules and regulations.

The average consumer uses nine apps a day, and the two most popular are Facebook (79%) and Instagram (32%). Facebook has 2.23 billion active users, and of these users, it is the number one social media platform in contributing to revenue with 84% of businesses present feeling it is the most important to promote their services or goods. Instagram comes in second with 66%, and is now owned by Facebook.

That’s why it’s vital to know about latest changes to Facebook (and subsequently Instagram) – and the best way for your business to combat them and succeed from using the app.

Facebook wants to focus more on transparency for consumers, and let them see more about the owners of business pages. Page owners and administrators may be asked to confirm their identity formally with a passport or driving licence.

As long as you complete anything relevant on your profile and stick to the rules, this will all be straightforward.

The biggest change comes with the announcement that business page posts will get less reach organically if the post:

  • Is not engaging with people – no likes, comments, no replies to comments, no shares
  • Is over-promotional – links to outside of Facebook, not much content
  • Is not positive or current

So let’s discuss each of these and what you can do to ensure you reach as many people as possible and get business out of your page.

Content is not engaging with people – no likes, comments, no replies to comments, no shares

Likes and comments on your posts should not to be ignored. When someone likes your posts, why not use the links via messenger function and send them a thank you as well as a link to a promo you are currently running? Reply to all comments (even negative ones – unless abusive) and focus especially on meaningful interactions.

Here’s an example; you run a bakery and your latest post receives a like or comment from a lady who makes birthday cakes – this could be a potential customer who may be looking for somewhere to buy her cake ingredients. Acknowledge that interaction, like their page, say hello, send them a relevant link. Do not ignore.

If Facebook sees you engaging, and vice versa, your post is more likely to reach further than the alternative.

It doesn’t stop at the initial interaction – you do not want to be forgotten. A follow up email collector form for anyone who engages with you could be an option. It just needs to ask for name and email. You are starting a relationship now.

Content is over-promotional – links to outside of Facebook, not much content

According to Facebook, research shows that consumers want to see more content and less promotional posts.

Your content needs to be relevant to your customer and you need to show that you know this. The content type is important – videos and images are always good for people’s interest, they are generally more exciting, and take less effort than reading text in a post. One thing to remember though is to add subtitles to all videos as most will be watching on their phones at work or on the train and don’t want to turn the sound on.

Remember to try all of Facebook and Instagram’s functions to increase interactions – as stated earlier, social media is ever-evolving, so keep up to date with all the latest technology and features. There’s the stories function, which is good for showing images or short videos, and also shows exactly who has looked at it. You can post a story on one of the apps and share it to the other app, maximising your audience.

The targeting and scheduling features are great for really specifying your customer on a particular post. Let’s say you’re a boutique and you have a sale on your plus size range. After creating your posts, you can go through your list of followers/likes and click everyone who has a shared interest in plus size shopping, for example.

Apart from having good content, you can also avoid over-promotional posts by not linking to outside of the social media platform, e.g. visit our website, call us now etc. You can link to your page, and you often see on Instagram posts ‘link in our bio.’

Content is not positive or current

A positive and current post needs to include keywords and trending topics. Link your posts in with something current in the media, or ensure you include popular keywords in the text. It needs to have immediate interaction to give it a chance of maximum reach.

Facebook will penalise for any posts that make a reader hide your posts or unlike your posts – negative content is more likely to do this!

Don’t let any of these changes put you off using Facebook. It is still a very affordable way to market a business, and click through rates remain the same.

It is just about knowing your customer, getting their attention, building and maintaining a relationship and making the sale. If you do this, you have it cracked.

At Essex Marketing Services, we can offer advice and tips for you and your business on strategies to improve your posts organically as well as perfectly position your paid advertising.

Contact us to find out more.

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