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  • Three steps your tech consulting company can use to ignore the Facebook algorithm panic

    January 30, 2018

    David C. Smith

    You may have heard that Facebook recently made another update to its newsfeed algorithm.   It was announced by Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post that you can read here.

    What was said? And, importantly, why should you care?

    In the post, Mr. Zuckerberg makes the case that Facebook is concerned about the happiness of its community (the nearly 1.5 billion daily users of the application) and wants us to be more connected to our friends, family, and personal interests.

    Forgive me for being cynical, but when a company that has revenue of over $10.3 billion and a profit margin of higher than 45% (that’s approaching an estimated $20B in profit in 2017!) tells me they are concerned about my happiness and are willing to have me use less of their product (the Facebook app) I have to at least roll my eyes just a little. Facebook didn’t generate $10 billion in revenue because they are concerned about my happiness. C’mon man!

    That doesn’t mean I didn’t pay attention to what was said. Oh no. It is very relevant.

    Here are two snippets from the Zuckerberg post that caught my attention:

    “But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

    and

    “…you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.“

    Those points also caught the attention of others. If you are interested in reading more about this change, here are some of the opinions of the marketing experts I appreciate and pay attention to HubSpot , HootSuite , and Jon Loomer.

    Jon Loomer calls it right in his article and concludes: “What Does This Mean For Your Page? Let me make this easy for you: We. Don’t. Know.”

    Here’s the bottom line for me: If you are a technology services company that posts to Facebook using your business page this means less of your followers are going to see your posts.   That may or not be important to you.

    If you already knew that organic reach was in the low single digits (reportedly less than 3% according to this article), then it’s a big YAWN.   You probably are not relying on Facebook organic reach to do much for your business.

    If, on the other hand, you imagined Facebook organic reach was a significant tactic to reach your audience (ahem….based on the advice of that so-called “social media expert”) it may be time to reset your expectations.   In fact, this may be a SCREAM for you! It’s long been established that only a small percentage (maybe as low as 3%) of your audience will see an organic post. With this update to the Facebook newsfeed algorithm, the percentage has the potential to be even smaller.

    If you subscribe to any marketing industry blogs or personalities, you might have seen their reactions in your inbox.   The change created a lot of press and opinion (like the one you are reading now).

    Here’s my opinion: Your business has to have a strategy for Facebook and all social media that goes beyond Post&Hope (posting and hoping someone sees it).

    Here are three steps to consider if you want to ignore the Facebook newsfeed hysteria and add Facebook to your social media strategy.

    First, begin by understanding your ideal customer. After all, you are only using social media to improve their experience with your business, right?   If you understand how your audience uses Facebook and what they expect to get from that usage your criteria for success will be clear.

    For example, if your ideal customer really uses only wants social proof that you are a company that is viable and active then the existence of a Facebook page and consistent posting there is enough to reach that minimal level of success. (It’s my opinion that the majority of technology consulting customers may view your Facebook presence this way.)

    But, if your ideal customer expects to be engaged on Facebook in order to deepen their understanding of a subject or learn approaches to solving problems related to that subject you will need to understand what type of content and engagement works best for them. That could be traditional written content or video or a mix of both.

    The point to begin with the understanding of what your ideal customer wants and expects.

    The second STEP is to design your customer engagement and experience to satisfy the ideal customer.   If you read the Zuckerberg post, you may have noticed references to passive content consumption and the negative view of this category of activity.   This means successful Facebook results demand that you choreograph your customer experience.

    But what does that mean for a technology consulting company?

    The easiest and perhaps the most effective answer is Facebook Groups.   By creating a Group, you can gain the ability to engage your audience directly without relying on the Facebook newsfeed algorithm.  The members of your group have elected to join and now you can concentrate on designing the engagement preferred by the audience and your ideal customer. That could include sharing success stories, live and recorded video, surveys and polls, or any manner of engagement tactics.

    Additionally, you’ll need to design an engagement pattern that allows you to hone and tailor to your audience. Knowing your ideal customers wants and expectations will allow you to narrow your focus and eliminate ineffective tactics.

    The third step is to establish a budget for Facebook.    By establishing a budget for your Facebook channel you are joining the nearly 60% of businesses that have indicated that Facebook is the preferred social media play and “pay for play” has to be in their budget mix.

    What should you budget for Facebook marketing?

    That answer lies in the information gathered in steps one and two.   If the bar is pretty low (i.e., proof that you exist and are active) the budget can be low. On the other hand, if your ideal customer expects to expand their knowledge and learn from you and others the budget will obviously be higher as you’ll need to plan on content development, community monitoring and management, and design activities that get your audience involved.

    I hope this post has provided some guidance on how your technology consulting business can use Facebook and ignore the newsfeed changes that will continue to come.

    Want to learn more or talk about how you can benefit from social media engagement?   Let’s schedule a call.   Simply click here and pick a date and time we can talk. I’d love to learn more about your business and discuss ways you can successfully engage your ideal customers.

    Schedule a call: https://calendly.com/davidcsmith/social-media-discussion