Have you heard that Facebook is changing the way that posts for businesses are being displayed in the News Feed? And have you seen all the posts that explain how Facebook is screwing us over? It’s the end of the platform? They’ll leave Facebook? How it’s all a scam? How you should pay them money to beat the new changes? How many did you tick? Now, I for one am SICK of all the posts that get published of this nature. Facebook scaremongering I call it. There is no need to be scared. Or feel all is lost. And I’ll also explain why I hate the Facebook scaremongers.
So what’s a Facebook scaremonger? And why are people Facebook scaremongering?
I’m just going to clear this up now, before we hang out together for the next few moments. There are the ones who pretend they can see the future of Facebook and it’s bleak (you know, because they’ve read something). These people use a lot of different wording but most revolve around the ‘I told you so’ and ‘you’re screwed unless you pay me money to help you’ idea. Let’s just take a breath here. I’ll explain my take on this and any other tweak in the algorithm and how we’re going to deal with it. Like rational humans. OK?
If Facebook loses its audience its of no use to anyone.
Most of the changes that Facebook make involve protecting their community. The 2 billion plus people who use the platform. They need to protect these people because the people make the platform. Facebook with no people is a billy-no-mates convention. If the community gets fatigued and detached from the News Feed and what they’re doing, they’ll come back less often. The news from Facebook states that: ‘we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people’. And let’s just think about this phrase in relation to what Facebook is all about. Connecting people. If they’re not chatting and having meaningful interactions, it’s not working. It’s not a community.
Now, let’s pretend Facebook didn’t protect its community. Our feeds would be filled with engagement bait and general rubbish and it would become a whole heap less interesting. And when people get bored they don’t keep coming back. And if the audience goes, what use is that to anyone?
Your reach might suffer
Yep. The news item states that too. Depending on the content you create and promote, it could hurt. A lot. But you don’t need to lose your mind here. You need to innovate. You need to read what the news item says. The one on Facebook, and look at what it’s saying. There are themes that we’ve all known have generated better engagement for a while, and these will probably help us to get the exposure. The content you put out on social should be good. It should aim to engage people and spark conversation. Because you can post every minute of every day, it really doesn’t mean you should. You should look to put out your best work, your most useful content, the posts you think people are actually going to care about.
So, why are we not panicking?
Because Facebook is continually tweaking what it does. We’ve all noticed changes on our pages and profiles, different functionality, new things, different things, etc. And we adapt. If a post doesn’t work the way it should, you learn and try something else. And if you’re not doing that then you’ve been doing social media wrong! Social media is all about engagement. The clue is in the name. So if your posts haven’t been getting engagement, you need to change what you’re doing anyway. And if you haven’t been, this is your wake up call. Crack on.
So, Facebook is screwing us over?
Nope. Facebook is a FREE platform that was developed to help PEOPLE connect with PEOPLE. We, as small business owners, are beyond lucky to have the chance to engage with customers and potential customers for free. Yep. Zero cost. Zilch. And if we want to increase a post’s reach, or target different people, we can throw £1 at it and that happens. £1. I mean, I’d suggest you spend more than £1 if you’re serious about it, but you get my point. Can you do that in a magazine? Can you attend an event for that? Do a leaflet drop? Reach someone on a different continent who has similar interests to your audience? Nope. Facebook isn’t screwing us over. It gives us amazing opportunities each and every day, and we need to respect it and that. And if we have to ‘pay to play’ and up our content game, then so be it. Facebook is a business at the end of the day. It needs to protect itself and the asset it has (people’s attention and engagement) which it converts in money through advertising. I’m good with that.
What if you rely on Facebook for your whole business?
It blows my mind that some people rely on a platform that they do not own to support their entire income stream. If you’re in this boat, you need to get on the other social platforms, get yourself a website and OWN your own brand NOW. That isn’t Facebook’s fault, it’s something you can thank Facebook for as it’s given you warning. If my sole income relied on something that could literally vanish tomorrow, I wouldn’t sleep at night. Seriously. Take control of your own destiny. And part of that is having your own owned platform that you can promote yourself from.
I hope you’re feeling a bit calmer?! This is something that I will be chatting to my coaching clients about in the coming weeks and months, but that is NO DIFFERENT TO NORMAL. We are always reassessing what’s working and what isn’t and building on it.