“Cause Thefacebook is cool and if we start installing pop-ups for Mountain Dew it’s not gonna be cool…” Mark Zuckerberg’s character uttered these words in the movie The Social Network. And although they might not have been his exact words in real life, we can surmise that they were most definitely probably his sentiments.
Flash forward to 2014 and Facebook has a slightly different, prepositionless name and a very different look. Advertisements (yes, even some are from Mountain Dew) abound. This was an inevitable progression. However, the new Facebook policies are making it difficult for small to medium e-ommerce sites to reach their followers.
FB previously promoted all pages organically. However, in a recent Facebook sales deck, the company projects that they “expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.” AKA, your company will have to buy advertisements if you want your posts to be seen.
Caroline Shannon-Karasik uses her Facebook page to promote a gluten-free lifestyle with recipes, yoga, and DIY projects that ultimately drive traffic to her site, Sincerely Caroline, where she sells her own books. Caroline echoes the sentiments of many, lamenting that, “these restrictions had grossly impacted the original intent of the social medium. Whereas Facebook was once a cool, free social medium for sharing interesting content, it has become much more difficult for people, especially businesses, to share their products and services with their followers.” Lucky for us, Caroline and others has gotten crafty. Below are a few o work arounds and a couple others best practices to cheaply maintain a strong Facebook presence.
1. Get posts seen by educating potential customers to not just “like” the page, but also to “subscribe.” This ensures that every post appears in the customer’s newsfeed.
2. Avoid writing posts with links. According to Facebook’s new algorithm, posts with links are seen less frequently by followers. Instead make your post and then comment on the post with the link.
3. Use your personal Facebook account to promote your business. For example, create a post from your personal account, then share that post from your business account.
4. Try to make your posts interactive. The more users that interact with your page, the more likely your posts will continue to populate their newsfeed. For instance, if you sell cooking utensils, a post like, “Ask us your most pressing cooking questions and our experts will answer” would create more viral potential than a simple statement.
5. In an effort to connect to more customers, “like” competitor’s pages. You can get a leg up on what the competition is doing and see what posts get the most action.
6. Don’t just post to post. If a follower hides your post, consider yourself toast. This is the number one way to get abolished. Design each post to be both relevant and timely.
Unfortunately, the good ole’ days are gone. The Wild Wild West has been de-wildized. If you have a particularly meaningful message, try out a Facebook ad. In the meantime, these strategies should keep you from being as scarce as a Friendster account.