Facebook First Aid For Brands – How To Survive The New Changes

West Bloomfield Photographer, Frameable Faces Photography, Metro Detroit PhotographerI wrote a guest post back in May for The Collective where I echoed the predominant thinking about how your blog (and website) should be the center of your online universe since you own them, as opposed to your pages on Facebook and Twitter that you don’t own.  You don’t know what might happen with those sites and you can’t control it.  Well something indeed happened to Facebook…

Money changes everything.

The short version is Facebook went public, it didn’t go well, and now they are scrambling to make more money – fast.  They have Wall Street investors to answer to now and everything has changed.  I get it – they are a business.  The problem is how they went about this.  Now stay with me here… They encouraged brands to build a following by engaging with their fans, and then once the brands acquired the fans Facebook took away the ability to reach the fans unless the brand pays to “promote” posts to the fans who were already following the posts.  A major bait and switch.

The dilemma…

Keep in mind that our philosophy at Frameable Faces like many others has been to grow our likes and our reach on Facebook in a totally organic way – steadily building relationships fan by fan without contests and cheesy promotions.  This suddenly has become more difficult and it raises a two part dilemma:

  1. I’m not in love with the idea of my peeps seeing my posts because I paid for them to see them.  I want them to see our content because they like it and the posts are worthy of being seen.  Facebook used to ensure your posts would show up in the news feed of people who regularly interacted with your brand.  Your reach was largely a result of successful engaging posts.  Not sure if that’s happening at all anymore…
  2. Even though we’ve had some success with diversifying on sites like Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter to name a few, we haven’t been able to ween ourselves completely from Facebook for reaching our peeps or driving traffic to this blog for example.
So what next?  First what NOT to do…

I read a great article by Ken Mueller on 10/22 that stated in part to “stop trying to game Facebook’s Edgerank” – in other words don’t try to cheat the system because shortcuts are not the answer.  People are trying to find ways to do this like moving brand content to their personal pages for example.  While I have used my personal page to promote our studio from time to time I’ve done it in a very limited fashion, and with a couple exceptions it’s usually when I’ve written a blog post that is more universal like tips on social media that I know everyone can use.  If you start doubling up your content on both your business and personal pages your message can start to get lost. Think of it as making a social call on your personal friends to market your studio to them – this isn’t the exact same thing but it’s similar – in real life it’s a little awkward, in online life it’s a little spammy. The people who subscribe to our page (personal friends or not) subscribe there to follow our studio, the people who friend me want to be my friend – not necessarily my prospect.

So What Next?  What TO Do…

The best bet seems to stay the course and focus on creating great content, and make sure all your eggs are never in one basket – especially a basket you don’t own like Facebook.  However Facebook isn’t going anywhere and it’s critical to be able to adapt to these changes.  One way to adapt unfortunately is to yes, spend a little money to promote a post here or there to make sure you continue to reach your audience.  Which leads me to the following tip.

A Specific Tip I Learned From Trial and Error

I paid my first 5 dollars to sponsor a status update to see what kind of result I would get.  The number of people it reached was a little disappointing, but here’s the tip – this was a post that no one commented on or liked (pretty pathetic I know). But misfires happen once in a while to the best of us, and these posts are NOT the ones you want to promote. Afterwards I came across an article by Jay Baer about when to sponsor posts and one of the things he mentioned was to only promote a post if after waiting 6 hours it’s exceeded a 1% engagement rate. Then give it a boost.  Don’t try to boost a dog that no one is responding to in the first place.  Promote a status update that is already proving to be engagement worthy.

Hope this helps!  Please comment with any feedback or helpful tips on this topic!

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