The impact of Facebook's new Explore Feed
As a constantly evolving platform, Facebook is prone to making big changes to how the social network works. Lately, they have changed the way in which the very basis of the medium works – its feed. This naturally has an impact on how companies reach their audience through Facebook.
Should you adapt your strategies to take these changes into account? Or will you still be able to reach your audience easily? We take a look at the possible impact on your business.
What is Explore Feed?
The newly rolled out Explore Feed gives users a chance to view content from pages they don’t follow. Facebook uses an algorithm to present content from pages they feel, having looked at the user’s likes and habits, that the user will enjoy. This is great for users wishing to find more content but as it means that there is lots more stuff appearing in front of YOUR audience, you have less room to grab their attention.
It is likely that the new segregation will make the site like 2 separate platforms. One for family and friends to connect (kind of what FB intended the site to be in the beginning) and the other a source of news and advertisements from companies etc. Some users will embrace this wholeheartedly and flip between the 2 sections easily, others may just ignore the explore feed and consider it like a spam filter.
Impact on organic reach
Facebook have been gradually culling the number of posts that appear automatically on the user’s feed for a number of years now as they are trying to encourage more and more advertising sales. The new Explore feed pushes this even further in what some are calling the final dance for organic reach.
It is more difficult to get your content in front of the target audience now unless you use the paid options available to you. This will especially be the case for the smaller businesses as they will have less spending power than the bigger companies. So what can you do?
How to reach your audience
The most effective way to grab attention on Facebook these days is through video. The Live stream is particularly useful for getting in front of your audience. Now maybe is the time to invest in a good mobile phone with great video capabilities. Streaming live or posting videos can capture 135% more views than an image alone.
2. Keep it short
Research has shown that by posting content that is 40 characters long garners 83% engagement whereas longer posts of 80 characters gain approximately 66% more engagement than longer posts. A rule of thumb is keep it under 2 lines of writing on a desktop.
Like with all digital marketing, branding and tone are essential. Keeping the content consistent will help you to retain and capture more followers. By deviating from your brand you run the risk of alienating those who already are fans and are less like to bring in the audience you require.
4. Target audience
Use all the amazing and diverse data that Facebook analytics provides you to really hone your understanding of your target market and who is following and liking you on the platform. It may be entirely different than the audience you have on other platforms or in your day to day business but by making sure that you target your posts to the people who are currently following you on Facebook, you have a better chance of getting a result.
5. Frequent posting
Posting once a week or every 2nd day will not keep you in front of your audience. Current recommendations are that you post twice a day. Usually it is good to post between 6 and 8 am to catch people travelling to work on public transport or having a quick look through their feed before getting out of bed or while eating breakfast. A second post should be targetted around lunchtime, when again people have a chance to take some time out and explore what is happening on planet Facebook.
Unfortunately, it is going to become more and more difficult to use Facebook as a free marketing tool, but all is not completely lost yet. Keep working at it, testing things to see what works for you while maintaining your current audience and hope that Facebook don’t mess with the platform more!
If you want to get some help with formulating a strategic plan for Facebook marketing or want professionally created content, get in touch with the ALHAUS team and let us help you to drive your business forward.