For businesses that have invested significant time and effort into cultivating a Facebook following, the recent news about the declining visibility of business Facebook posts is a major blow.
One study suggests that as recently as two months ago, just 6% of your fan base saw your posts. Experts speculate that organic exposure will drop to just 1 – 2% over time. While the move is dedicated to forcing businesses to increase advertising spend, there’s a real gap emerging in terms of what businesses can and will do.
What should businesses do when they don’t have major advertising budgets, and leaving Facebook entirely isn’t feasible?
How to Fight Decreasing Facebook Visibility
Migrate Away From Text Only Posts
While Facebook hasn’t revealed the overall extent to which algorithmic changes are impacting page visibility, they have been public on one change affecting small businesses. Text only posts have less visibility than other story types.
In a statement, Facebook said:
“This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”
Garner more exposure by focusing on videos, images, and link-based updates.
Follow Facebook Insights
Anecdotally, many small businesses are noting a difference in content type. For example, some have suggested that including a promotional link in a comment to an update – rather than the update itself – has resulted in more visibility and better engagement.
Watch your Facebook Insights for a more granular look at what’s impacting your business, and the kinds of content that are getting the best traction.
Encourage Followers to Visit Your Page
Algorithmic changes are having an effect on what information followers see in their newsfeeds. You still control the real estate on your page, however.
The best Facebook strategies will make use of Timeline tools such as custom tabs and highlighted posts. It’s also important to find ways to encourage fans to regularly visit your page. Competitions and exclusive content are two approaches that can keep fans engaged over time.
Run the Numbers
How valuable are your Facebook followers? Look at your analytics to better understand whether these customers have an impact on your bottom line.
If Facebook as a network sends you customers that tend to make purchases and a decline in this traffic flow will cause your business to take a hit, it’s time to evaluate your advertising options.
Depending on the priority of Facebook as a marketing platform for your business, it may be time to devote some budget to advertising. Start with cost controlled experiments to test the return on investment (ROI).
Diversify to Minimize Your Risk
Another important strategy is finding other social platforms that will help minimize your risk over time. Investing all your energy in any platform that you don’t own creates a potential hazard for your business. The rules can change at any time, and you’re unable to change it.
Consider tools like HootSuite that allow you to centralize your social media management, and target multiple networks with your social media activity. It’s also helpful to invest in cultivating the channels that you own – primarily your blog, website, publishing relationships, and your email list.
For many businesses, Facebook’s power play for advertising is both frustrating and a potential threat to revenue and profit. It’s important to determine how important Facebook remains to your business, decide whether advertising investments are likely to pay out, and take steps to maximize what exposure you do have on the network.
Have decreasing Facebook page views impacted your business?
Facebook Photo via Shutterstock
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It’s an interesting article, thank you.
As you said, if your Facebook audience plays an important role to your bottom line, time to consider advertising. Otherwise, focus on other platforms. There will come a day, very soon, when paying to play will be of the essence on Facebook, anyway.
I have a couple of FB pages. The decrease in visibility is not motivating me to give FB my money, but rather look at setting up and promoting my own web property and driving people to that via FB and other platforms.
With this new facebook algorithm change I will focus on posting high quality posts including video
and images and I will tell my follwers to visit my page; a call to action will be for example visit our page
regularly rather than to say like us. And of course I will also focus on promoting contest and sweepstakes with facebook ads to engage more with our fans and their friends. Another solution like ebele said is to drive visitors from other social networks to our websites and not only focusing on facebook alone.
You have some good tips there, Chawki. I don’t usually ask people to follow my page, so that might be something for me to start doing. Thanks.
Over the next couple of months, I want to look at other social networks – invest more of my energies there and on my sites, and a bit less on Facebook.