Jan 22

Facebook Changes + Best Practices

Facebook recently made a huge announcement that could affect how brands are viewed in the newsfeed.

In a post, Mark Zuckerberg shared that the primary change will be in what content is displayed in your newsfeed. Content from friends, family and groups will be given priority over passive, branded content. This doesn’t mean that brands won’t appear at all, but they are going to be secondary in priority.

The goal is to prioritize content that promotes “meaningful engagement and thoughtful comments.”

It seems as a part of this is in response to the negative backlash social media has been receiving lately as well as for the foreign involvement in the election. As always, Facebook, is somewhat vague in its announcement, but this could become a roadblock or, at the very least, mean having to change content strategy.

In reading this announcement, it’s a good reminder to always be thinking about the principles of good social media content and not just relying on the latest click-bait trick.

It seems that everyday while scrolling through my feed I find myself in awe of what social media managers are passing off as “engaging content.” I think part of being a good social media manager does entail internalizing certain truths about what has proven to work. So, as we start out the New Year in the wake of Facebook shaking things up again, here are my five top tips of what you need to keep in mind to create an effective Facebook post.

Use visuals

Just do it, please. Words alone don’t work anymore. I think the PR industry has had a bit of a hard time adjusting to this – for so long we relied on telling a whole story with just a well written story. And yes, this is still vital – and in some instances, should be thought about more, but nothing immediately captures a mood, a feeling a story like a compelling image. Bonus if they are faces of actual human beings.

Be social

Too often, brands feel like they have to have a call-to-action or reiterate a key message for every social post they develop. It seems that this is one of the key crackdowns Facebook is going to implement because social media, at its core, is social. That means fun! The investment you make in crafting a post is very small beyond the time it takes you to create. It’s not like print, where once it’s out the door, you’re in hot water if there are any mistakes. That means your social feeds are a great way to let your proverbial hair down. Post an image of your team doing something goofy, ask your followers a question, share a funny video related to your brand. It’s OK to experiment with your social feeds – as long as you have a firm grasp on your brand voice.

Go native with video

This is one of my biggest pet peeves on Facebook – when a brand shares a YouTube link to a video. Facebook has been trying to dominate the video-sphere (hence the deluge of videos in your feed in the recent years). It loves video, it gives preference to video and it can really get you some nice engagement. The trick is you have to upload it directly into Facebook. So next time before you share that beautiful video you created, take a moment and get it into Facebook natively.

Tag, tag and tag

It’s so important that when you are talking about other brands, you should always tag them, if they have a Facebook or other social media presence. This is the best way to ensure they know you are talking about them – and hopefully secure a like and a share. For instance, if your company held a team volunteer day or collected goods for a local charity, the organization will most likely share the post or, at the very least, comment to get engagement going if you tag them.

Link back

Using your Facebook feed to drive traffic to your website is a very effective strategy. You should not be giving your followers the whole story on Facebook – just a little snippet and a link to where they can find more information. Having a regular social media presence increases your SEO, which in-turn, can lead to greater profits. Be sure that there is an associated image with your post when you share a link.

I hope that these five simple tips will help you craft a better post the next time you share something with your followers. And we’ll continue to stay on-top of the Facebook situation so check back for updates on that.

What would you add to this list?


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