The Facebook & Instagram Changes just keep coming…

Yesterday I had an appointment with a client that requested I teach her staff EVERYTHING I know about Social Media and she would pay me for the hour. I kind of laughed and tried to explain that social media doesn’t quite work like that. I can definitely teach what I know specific to their business, but it’s a process and what I (and anyone in Social Media) have learned has taken years of studying it.  Actually, digging deep into it, not just running our own personal pages, but learning what works and doesn’t work for certain businesses, having successes and failures while running A/B testing, and staying on top of the daily changes that happen! Yes DAILY!  I have said it a hundred times and it feels like a million times…I may say something one week and the next week it’s completely different when it comes to Social Media. That’s just the nature of this beast and in a weird way, it’s what I love most about it (even though it will frustrate me to no end as well!)

So I’ll make this pretty sweet and simple for you on what some of the changes are this week alone. Here’s a list of things NOT to do (because Facebook will penalize you for doing it):

  1. Schedule Your Posts Directly Through Facebook. I’m one of the ones who has used Hootsuite and love it. I’ve been on the fence of just using Facebook but there are reason I like the outside platforms. However, now, everything will be done inside of Facebook.
  2. Post Manually To Instagram. Again…goodbye Later!
  3. No Outbound Links.   This one doesn’t surprise me as much because Facebook made some changes in July that prevented us from doing this, so I kind of saw this coming. But don’t post a link to your website or shop anymore. Keep the links within Facebook.
  4. No Content That Is Too Salesy.  This means to create content that encourages engagement and customers want to share. Don’t make it come off as you are trying to sell something to your followers
  5. Quit Using “Like”, “Share” Or “Comment” To Encourage Engagement. This one is not really a new change, it’s been around for a while, however, it’s worth mentioning again. I often see contests run on pages…”If you like our page, comment, tag a friend, share this post….you are entered to win!”  This has gone against Facebook Policies for years. It’s just not allowed. Sure, a ton of people do it, they also create a business page by using a personal profile. They may get away with it for a while, but if caught, you could lose everything.

So What Should A Business Owner Do?

Here are some things that Facebook will give preference to and will show up higher on feeds:

  1. Video will have a higher preference rate and video with a higher completion rate is even higher! What that means is that video is still it, however now Facebook added a new twist and videos that are more than 90 seconds with a 60% view rate will rank higher.
  2. Preference to authentic posts If you attended my  workshop, then you know this isn’t a big surprise. I did my own testing and saw how it gave priority to telling a story and my reach was improved. Well, now it’s legit. This is because, Facebook doesn’t want to be a place that is all about sales. It’s about relationship building and being well…social.

Just another note…..if you create a post that causes people to unlike your page, hide the post or comes off as overly promotional (see #4 above), Facebook will penalize you and show it less.

Here is a little more functionality that is #goodstuff

  1. You can now (or will be soon if you don’t have it) have the ability to target for individual post and scheduling. Use this! Make sure that only those who are relevant to your post see it. For example, if you are a clothing store and have plus size clothing, target those people only in your post that also are a fan of Lane Bryant.
  2. Messenger Communication. Now, you can get your posts to show up in Messenger. I’ve seen examples of this, but I don’t think this has rolled out to me personally, but I will share once I am able to use it!
  3. Full Screen Experience with your ads. You can create an ad that fills the entire screen. That means your post will take up the entire page on the mobile device and the end user won’t see anything else.
  4. Oh…and there are rumors that Instagram is testing a 4 grid instead of a 3 grid design. For some, it may not be a big deal…but if you’ve curated your page to fit the 3 grid, then you may be upset about this change. Now, Instagram hasn’t officially said anything about this, but there is chatter out there for people who are experiencing the transition. It could be just testing or it may be coming…I guess we will all see soon enough!

Here are my final tips:

  • Use social media to bring value and build relationships the same way you would if you were face to face with a person
  • Be authentic ALL OF THE TIME
  • Create ads that captures email addresses and use your newsletters to strengthen those relationships by bringing value to them
  • Break through the noise…know WHO to target and HOW to offer value. STAND OUT in this noisy crowd
  • Remember that Facebook Ads show up on the #2 spot of a feed, so don’t run away from doing this.
  • Identify your target – Grab their attention – Build relationships- Follow up- Close the Sale.