I’m working with a client at the moment looking at their social media strategy and how we can maximise their social media so that it builds their business. We’ve had some goals set so we know where we’re heading and we’re going to be using social media to reach those goals.

Whilst we’re looking at a cross-platform strategy, they know from their own research that a lot of their customers primarily use Facebook and their Facebook page insights are beginning to show better reach and engagement than what they’re currently getting on their other channels (mainly Twitter), so our current work is to build on the existing Facebook work and drive even better engagement, reach and potential customer targeting.

facebook gameNow Facebook reach has always been a little tricky. In fact it’s a bit like playing an addictive game – the more your play it, the more the reach and the more you want to play it to hit higher reach targets. This is a great strategy for Facebook as it ensures people stay within the Facebook ecosystem longer as they constantly post and tweak their Facebook activity to build as much reach as possible. It also encourages you to invest more in Facebook advertising as a quick reach fix – but maybe that’s a sceptic’s view.

However, getting big reach is difficult – there’s speculation that less than 10% of your followers (people who have liked your page) will get to see your posts in their newsfeed and that’s assuming they actually scroll far enough in their newsfeed to see it. But it’s about to get a heck of a lot worse!

Facebook have recently announced that they’re changing their newsfeed algorithm to favour posts from friends and family. It makes sense – after all Facebook wants users to enjoy using Facebook and if their newsfeed is full of uninteresting content they’re going to look elsewhere for their social media fix. Hey, it’s the same principle that Google use to decide how to rank pages – whilst they’re algorithms are somewhat more complex and well established, Google wants to provide results that work for the searcher, otherwise Google users will disappear, ad revenue will drop, and so on…

The #facebook newsfeed is changing - it's all about friends and family #socialmedia Click To Tweet

So whilst a good thing for your every day Facebook user, the change they’ve announced is going to make it even harder for business pages to appear in newsfeeds – unless of course friends or family have shared the page post…

So the Facebook game has just got harder.

The #facebook game just got harder! #socialmedia Click To Tweet

I don’t think it’s the end of the world for Facebook pages, and yes, perhaps boosting posts and other advertising on Facebook might rise or indeed be a quicker and easier option. But what doesn’t change is that if you generate content that’s interesting and engaging it will get shared and if friends are sharing it with friends there’s no reason your Facebook page content isn’t going to appear in newsfeeds everywhere. The trick then is to build up an armoury for building great content (video is increasingly the way to go) and perhaps tell your friends to like and share your content.

As for my client. We need to be mindful of this change and the challenge it will present, but with the right strategy, the best content and the right analysis of what works and what doesn’t we should still be able to make a good go of using Facebook to grow their business – that’s all part of the game, the challenge!

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