Back in 2012, when we first wrote a blog about marketers experiencing a drop in Facebook reach, we were all up in arms. Were the glory days of getting exposure to our businesses through this free social media channel over? Social media marketers scrambled to explain their drop in view and reaches of their Facebook page posts. Users complained about not seeing their usual updates from personal friends and business pages they “Liked.”
Three years later, we've all become accustomed to Facebook's regular changes, and marketers know that in order to be seen in these times of declining organic reach, we have to "pay to play" in the form of paid advertisements in our social media marketing plan.
The good news is that as a business page owner or Admin, there are ways you can help your content get seen and shared by more people and find out how many people are viewing your posts. It’s just a matter of playing the Facebook game and helping to educate your audience. With a few simple adjustments, your posts might get further reach than you think.
Facebook continues to give users more control over the content they see in their news feed. They've tried several tactics over the years (remember Interest Lists and Subscribers?) to do this, and continue to change their algorithm regularly even though a lot of these changes go relatively undetected by many users.
Just this month, Facebook announced more changes in hopes of bringing stories that matter the most to their users. Users will now be able to:
- Select which specific friends and Pages they want to see first in their News Feeds.
- Select which friends and Pages they want to follow and unfollow.
- Discover new Pages based on content they've interacted with in the past.
These changes are now available on iOS and will be rolled out to Android and desktop over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here's how to adjust your preferences using your phone:
- Open the Facebook app.
- Choose "More" in the bottom left corner.
- Scroll down to "News Feed Preferences."
Let's take a closer look at each of the new features:1. Prioritize Who to See First
Within News Feed Preferences, tap on a friend's profile picture to see their posts first. Going forward, you'll see any news stories that friend has shared since their last visit to Facebook right at the top of your News Feed. A star in the top right corner of their post will indicate why the post has been prioritized. Then, scroll down to see the rest of your News Feed like normal.
2. Unfollow People to Hide Their Posts
This feature is an update of a previous tool. Users will see a list of top friends, Pages and groups from their News Feed over the past week. You can then choose to unfollow any of those if you would like to stop seeing their updates in your feed. Don't worry, if you unfollow someone, you can easily follow them right back by reclicking on them, and only you will know.
3. Discover New Pages
This update helps users find new Pages from businesses, publishers, and artists they might be interested, based on the types of Pages those users have Liked and interacted with in the past. This is an effort to help people connect with new businesses and read content from them they might be interested in.
So, What's this Mean for Marketers?
Marketers are all wondering how to compete for precious real estate in the almost 1.5 billion Facebook newsfeeds with all of the noise, paid offers and clutter going on. Some B2B marketers are choosing to downplay Facebook and put their efforts toward influencer marketing, which is about targeting influencers in your industry to help spread your marketing message. Just think, the right "share" by the right person could significantly expand the reach of your social media content.
*This post was originally published on 10/30/12 and has been edited and republished on the above date to reflect updated information and for relevancy."