Went the panicked cries of online marketers the world over in January.
The announcement from Facebook said that they intended to tweak the algorithm to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people”.
So even though we didn’t know how that might roll out in the short term, in the long term we are seeing this change as positive overall. Because it just so happens that that “meaningful interactions between people” is also how you create a successful and sustainable business.
We’re seeing this change as a call for those advertising on Facebook to be better business people. Initially reaching people with your message was incredibly easy on Facebook and the get-rich-quick folks showed up in droves. And there are plenty of them still around working harder to “hack the algorithm” than to deliver a quality product or experience to consumers.
With this change, Facebook is asking marketers to refocus their attention on what is meaningful and important to clients and customers. It’s saying simply flooding the marketplace with your message, especially if it’s sensational and clickbait-y isn’t good enough and won’t get results.
This is great news for marketers invested in doing right by the people they serve.
Because people are who buy from us. Prioritizing people and human interactions is absolutely the right thing to do.
These changes are an opportunity for us all to step back and refocus.
Remember why we got into business in the first place? To help, to solve a problem, to make the lives of our customers better or easier somehow?
As business owners, it’s not that hard to get lost in the ‘whats’ & ‘hows’ of the day to day tasks and lose sight of the ‘whos’ and ‘whys’. Since we spend much of our day navigating the ads manager, we know that getting very involved in the ins and outs of the infinite combinations of metrics can draw you in. So we’ve welcomed the opportunity to step back to the bigger picture.
After reflecting from this bigger picture perspective for a bit and looking at what’s working here at Martin Marketing we’ve come up with five ways you can better interact with your customers on social.
- Have a community manager in place to respond to questions and comments on your posts and ads. Many consumers see the comments section as a window into what they can expect from their experience with a company or brand. Don’t neglect this first impression.
- Create a monthly ritual to regularly get back into the mindset of your customer. Remember, you aren’t selling widgets or webinars, you are selling a widget or webinar that solves a problem for your customer. Answer a series of questions from their perspective, or better yet, spend time with them, and ask them questions! Bring yourself back to your WHY regularly.
- Create and deliver valuable share-worthy content regularly. When you do the above (2.) consistently you’ll have better ideas of what your customers want to see and learn about.
- Use Facebook Live videos to deliver the content – not only has Facebook indicated this is a good strategy (read: the algorithm will likely reward this) but it gives potential customers a great way to window shop the experience they’ll have with your company. True story: I once hired a coach with a ‘hell yes’ after watching her live broadcasts. When I had looked at her website a year earlier it had been a ‘nope’. I got a true feel for her and what she was offering via the live broadcast that I had missed in a static webpage.
- Diversify – try other platforms and mediums. Instagram and Instagram Stories have great potential with the highly visual medium – you know what they say about pictures… a 1,000 words and all that… ;).
These suggestions will help you deliver long-term results for your business. They’re not short-sighted ‘hacks’ that you’ll find elsewhere. Reconnect with the human-to-human experience and you’ll weather any algorithm storm that blows your way.