So if the experts are saying that the new Facebook algorithm won’t affect your business page’s traffic if you already have a loyal audience—what do you do if you don’t have that regular audience yet?
Kelly Allen, Director of Strategic Communication at Q Strategies, says now may be the time to narrow your approach, or even switch social media platforms, so that your advertising dollars are well spent and match your ideal custumer.
“Too often, Facebook is seen as a magic solution to so many communication and marketing dilemmas,” Allen says. “Plus it is ‘free’ to use! But as I tell my clients, time isn’t free and so neither is Facebook.”
The latest changes to the Facebook algorithm may put more pressure on small businesses to pay for boosted posts and advertisements in order for them to obtain a regular group of followers, but Allen says that businesses should thoroughly research their ideal customer, or even consider whether or not Facebook is the right social media platform for them, before doing so.
Trend: In terms of time management, do businesses need to spend even more time managing their Facebook pages with the new algorithm in mind?
Kelly Allen: I would encourage small business owners to monitor what takes the most time and provides the least value. Then consider how they can outsource or remove that barrier. If one activity like payroll takes a big chunk of time but doesn’t do anything to grow your business, consider if outsourcing will free up time to network, pitch your business or connect in person with potential buyers.
Trend: Should employees be encouraged to engage more with their business’s Facebook page now that the algorithm is more focused on personal posts?
Allen: Certainly business owners may ask their employees for additional likes and shares, but social media is highly personal, and business owners shouldn’t expect employees to use their social networks to promote the company product or story unendingly.
Instead, consider how featuring your employees on the social media page can create a natural incentive to share and engage with the page. An employee spotlight, publicity for internal awards and recognition of a job well done will be popular with your staff and your followers.
Trend: What if my business considered moving on to other social media platforms?
Allen: If your target audience is other businesses and your sales cycle is long, would anyone notice if you dropped Facebook and focused on LinkedIn instead? If the answer is 'probably not,' you may want to shift your time and focus. More time should be spent on the right channels. If a business has done the hard work of identifying their target audience and have seen past success with Facebook they certainly shouldn’t ignore the platform now. However, Facebook isn’t a solve-all so more time may be needed on other platforms.
Trend: What other online methods of communicating with potential customers would you suggest?
Allen: Google certainly isn’t going away, so answering customers’ questions before they even know what they should be asking on either your website or in your e-newsletters is a priority. Considering additional channels like texting or geo-targeted ads could also be a good fit for some business owners.
Learn more about Q Strategies here. They're a different kind of PR & Marketing agency growing organizations and solving problems with research-based strategy and never a hunch, where everything is questioned and nothing is ignored.