Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead!

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Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead!

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Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead!

By Michael Griffiths

Created: 22.01.2018 00:00:00, last updated: 07.05.2018 00:00:00

Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead!

Recently there has been an announcement that the Facebook algorithm is changing. There are business owners all over the globe right now in a panic because they think their company is going to drop off of the Facebook map.

Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead of the competition on Facebook in 2018. - By Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design

Are you one of the millions in a flap right now? Are you worried that your journey with Facebook is coming to an end?

Well fear not because I have some good news for you. Yes the algorithm is changing, yes the business orientated posts will get reduced reach, but no this does not mean your business has to suffer. In fact the purpose of the update to the algorithm is supposed to increase the quality of the content on Facebook. If you are posting quality content that your audience is loving then you have nothing to worry about.

If however you are a bit of a spammer then you need to watch out as your days of spam glory are drawing to a close. But don’t worry because I am here to help you wean yourself off the spam and start making decent content that someone other than your mum and your wife will want to read.

The first thing we need to look at is your strategy. What is your ultimate goal when it comes to using Facebook? Is it to earn more money? Generate more custom? Build up brand authority?

For most of us it’ll be all of the above, although the first one (about more money) will be the number 1 reason. So we have:

  • Earn more money.

  • Generate more customers.

  • Build up brand authority.

Awesome we have a clear set of goals to move towards but now what? At this point I want to state that although you will feel like earn more money is the most important goal it is not. The most important goal for your business when using Facebook is to build authority, so that is what we will concentrate on. More customers, and therefore more money, will follow on organically when you have built up some authority.

Our next step is to figure out how we can break down our main goal into small, manageable chunks. We need to break it down so that we can do 1 or 2 things a day to gradually move towards it. So to build authority what can we do every day that will push us towards the goal? Posting regularly and having something worth saying.

What makes something worth saying? To figure that out we need to take a moment to think about the purpose of Facebook. What is Facebook really meant to be used for?

Socialising is the number 1 (and 2, 3, 4, etc.) point of Facebooks existence. It is meant to facilitate communication between people regardless of their geographical location. With that in mind I want you to think about something else, when you go to the pub for a drink with friends do you fly into sales mode and start flogging your gear to your friends? Obviously the answer to that is no, unless you hate having friends. However when talking to your mate Dave at the bar he tells you that he is looking at new houses and he has found one that he loves. For the sake of the example let’s pretend that you are a mortgage advisor. Dave wants this new house and you now want to help him get the right mortgage for him. At this stage we have identified everyone’s position within the conversation, we have established that there is a need, and now we need to fulfil said need. “Alright Dave”, you say, “I can help you with that mortgage if you’re game?”

There is a brief pause as Dave takes a large gulp of his drink and buggers off home, “Sorry lads but I came out for a beer, not a mortgage”. Everyone agrees that at the bar is not the place for that conversation, Dave goes home, and everyone’s night has been ruined by your need to sell.

Obviously you wanted it to go down differently, who wouldn’t right? So let’s rewind a little and go back to the point where Dave tells you all about this beautiful new house he saw today. Your aim at this point is to keep the conversation going but in a social and casual way so that it doesn’t feel like a sale. You ask Dave a few questions about the house, did the wife like it? Is there enough room for the children? Will the dogs like the garden? And most importantly, is there a pub nearby?

You have showed an interest, not in making a sale but in Dave’s life. He’s your friend and you’ve let him know that you DO give a shit. The conversation begins to move on to other topics but just before it does you let Dave no that you are more than happy to help him find the right mortgage for him with a couple of friendly tips, and that you know a decent surveyor (and anything else you might need to buy a new house). Dave knows you and he trusts you but at this point the last thing he wants to talk about is how he is going to spend the next 30 years paying off a mortgage.

It’s now Monday morning and Dave’s wife is talking about that beautiful house they went to view last week. She’s telling Dave that she’d love to be able to move in as soon as possible. Dropping not so subtle hints that Dave needs to take action. With this Dave’s mind starts to tick over and he suddenly remembers the conversation you had with him in the pub the other night. So Dave, because he already trusts you, picks up the phone and calls you. He has at this stage already decided in an emotional capacity that you are the person to help him with his problem. From there the conversation is converted into a sale.

When using social media to have those chats it works in exactly the same way. People want to be able to make a personal connection to you before they feel safe enough to buy. They will form that connection through your posts, mostly on your personal page. They want to know that you are their sort of dude/dudette. They will see your business page and move from there to your personal profile to do a bit of what is known as Facebook stalking. Don’t worry Facebook stalking is a little different to real world stalking. All I really mean by Facebook stalking is that people will have a good old nose through your personal page to decide whether they like you or not.

Your ideal customer is having a good long look at your personal profile. If they are greeted with buy this, buy that, and all sorts of other spam it will put them right off. If, on the flip side of things, they come to your personal page and there is a steady stream of posts that show that you are in fact a human being and not just a company. They may even read one of your harrowing stories about how the washing machine stole 1 out of every pair of socks you own and think to themselves, “that right there is somebody I can relate to”.

This person, your ideal customer, has decided that they like the look of you and would like to investigate further. It’ll start with a like or 2, maybe a comment here and there, to which you will obviously reply to and engage with. You even go as far as repaying the favour so to speak by engaging them on their posts. Before long you’re sending friend requests and chatting in messenger. At this stage the person in question has formed a relationship with you and trusts you.

When you have built this relationship you have just achieved the very thing that Facebook was set up for in the first place. Awesome, well done you. We now have the point of Facebook for business down to a tee so let’s head back to the big question:

What should I post?

People love a story, if we didn’t the movie industry wouldn’t be so enormous. But I think it goes deeper than just appreciating stories. We need stories, it’s at the very root of civilisation. Long before any written word stories were passed down verbally from generation to generation. Things are no different now.

The point I was attempting to get to is that when people see you on social media they want to know your story. I’m not saying they want your unabridged autobiography in their newsfeed, what I am suggesting is this: Every moment in time can be turned into a story, a micro story if you will. Even the most mundane of daily tasks can become part of your story. People want to know what you think and feel, they want to experience your trials right alongside you. In doing so it makes them feel better about their own lives knowing that out there in the big wide world is a dude or dudette who really understands them and is totally relatable.

Tell us about your day and how it made you feel. Tell us about how your children are like little demons at home then absolute angels whenever they are elsewhere. Tell us about how the car is making a funny noise that’s reminiscent of a trombone underwater. Tell us about how you went all the way to the supermarket only to realise you are still wearing your slippers and your dressing gown looks ridiculous under your coat. Tell us about the things that mean something to you. Tell us about the things you stand for. Tell us about the things you stand against.

When it comes to your business page the same is also true. They haven’t come to your business page to see spam, they have come to see that your business does in fact have personality. So tell us your business’s story. Tell us about those silly cold calls you get from people offering you the very service you provide. Tell us about your upcoming projects. Tell us a few war stories from your time doing whatever it is you do. Tell us about what your company values are. Tell us something that is useful to us, i.e some hints and tips. Tell us about your good times and your bad times. Tell us what you are up to in the office today. Tell us about that interesting new client of yours. Tell us about other services you think we may benefit from.

Tell us anything you like, just don’t tell us: “Buy product x blah blah blah”, that is unless you enjoy not being able to sell your product or service. We are all seeking human connection and your target audience is no different. They would love to connect with you as long as they see the real you and not some fake bs version of you.

What’s stopping you from achieving your social media success?

Your audience on social media is ready and willing to experience the highs and the lows with you, which they can only do if you share with them. In 90% of cases the number 1 cause of people struggling with social media is fear. Fear that people don’t want to listen to what you have got to say. Fear that you might look a little silly. Fear that you’re just not good enough. Fear that people might see that you are not perfect.

Does this sound like you? Are you frightened of showing the real you on social media? Then coaching may well be the way forward for you. I offer a social media coaching service through which I can help you plan a strategy that works for you, and most importantly one that you feel comfortable implementing.

For small businesses there are a couple of different social media coaching options available:

  1. The full coaching package (£300 per month) – Weekly coaching calls to plan, strategize, and review. On-going email and telephone support. Continual monitoring of your social media. Kicks up the butt when you need them and praise when you don’t.

  2. Individual coaching sessions (£50 per session) – These sessions are ideal if you just need a nudge in the right direction. Together we will figure out which strategy will be the most effective for you and your business. We will also discuss how you can then go off and implement said plan on your own.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss how you could benefit from social media coaching then please send me a message via the contact form on the following page:

Social media coaching and other enquiries

About Michael Griffiths

Web Developer and Social Media Coach