Facebook news feed changes could mark big changes for your business’s prominence on the social media site.
Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook will now emphasise content that ‘sparks conversation’ amongst friends and family above pages and posts from businesses and organisations. Meaning, your business could be seeing a decrease in reach and engagement fairly soon… in the next few weeks in fact!
Zuckerberg wrote: “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.”
The announcement of these news feed changes follows Zuckerberg’s claim that he would ‘fix’ Facebook in 2018.
He stated that he and his team felt a responsibility to make sure Facebook was good for people’s wellbeing. Now if business or organisational based content is to be promoted, it will have to be seen encouraging discussion from Facebook’s users. For example, posts discussing popular music, television shows and sports will be viewed in a good light, as will live videos, which often attract high viewing figures. However, viral news platforms (LadBIBLE etc) may suffer unless their content organically attracts an audience.
Zuckerberg went on to say: “By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down, but I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”
The Facebook news feed changes go against Zuckerberg’s usual quest for engagement and high figures, reverting back to the social platform’s community orientated roots. Following 2017, a year where fake news was highlighted and swiftly debunked and various high profile organizations, scandals and people were called out, specifically through social media, perhaps cracking down on Facebook’s click-baiting articles, offensive content and spam is the right route for Zuckerberg.
Laura Hazard Owen at Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab spoke to the BBC and said:
“It’s going to affect publishers a lot, we’re going to be seeing a lot less news organically pop up in our news feeds.”
She also went on to say that it may end up being content pulled in from group pages where users engage with others on specific topics or even more controversial posts that pop up more often since they tend to ignite heated debates. However genuine these changes may be, Facebook has been vague about how exactly this altered algorithm may work. Meaning, it’s currently hard to define in which way your content should change to suit.
So what does this mean for your business?
Being a dental based company we are aware that we are already operating with niche content and those of you with dental practices will be in the exact same boat.
1) If you’re dead set on Facebook being your main social media – focus on creating content that suits them!
Since the new (and vague) algorithm promotes posts that encouraging engagement between family and friends, create content that does just that! Don’t be afraid to be a little more tongue-in-cheek or fool around a little bit in your clinic. ‘The Singing Dentist’ is a prime example of someone going a little out of their comfort zone and creating something viral. You want to post content that will get people talking, debating or laughing. Analysing what does and doesn’t work will take some time and monitoring, so don’t be put off if it doesn’t work the first time around. Find what works best for you and your clinic!
2) Try using other social media platforms to spread your message!
There are plenty of options when it comes to social media. If Facebook is no longer right for you, why not try a different one? All social media and internet advertising relies on different factors in order to make up their pricing. If you aren’t getting organic leads on Facebook and opt to try their PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns with little return, there are other avenues open. Both Twitter and LinkedIn also offer ad campaigns, however with LinkedIn being more B2B, perhaps Twitter is a better way to reach potential new patients. All you have to do is set a campaign objective and it will decide what you are paying for; CPM (cost per impression), the followers you gain or even video views.
There is also the option to use other promotion tools, like Google AdWords. The benefit of Google AdWords is that it is search based. You bid on a keyword that you want your business (or clinic) to rank for when potential patients or customers are using Google. Different keywords cost different amounts, with the more desirable ones potentially costing hundreds, it may or may not work for you, however many have found it extremely effective, providing you don’t waste money on the wrong keywords, or write weak, low CTR (Click Through Rate) ads.
All of these methods can prove very costly, with some clinics spending over £1,000 each month through social media advertising. With Facebook’s news feed changes, it’s likely their ad campaigns will become more expensive too. So, shop around and try them out before you commit to a solid relationship with one kind of online advertising avenue!
3) Boost your own website’s SEO and spend as little as possible!
We all want the biggest bang for our buck, so why not get smart and try your hand a little SEO boosting? Boosting your own website’s SEO value will help you rank higher in Google searches and it can be done with a little research and legwork! Aside from doing a whole website keyword overhaul (which your website provider should be able to assist with) getting crosslinks and backlinks to your website is one of the best ways to do this. Look around at different health and dental blogs who you can offer to write for, free of charge, all you have to ask for in payment is a link to your clinic’s website.
This will let Google know that you are a website worth sitting up and taking notice of and the bigger the website (for example; if the BBC were to link to you, you’re in the money!) the bigger the boost you will get. However, don’t get carried away with crosslinking (which is where you and another website will include links to the other website) and backlinking (a website links to you but you do not link to them), too many will make Google think you are a dubious website and this will, therefore, reduce your impact, and not have an impact on your ranking at all.
You can also use listing websites. It is recommended to list your business on listing websites as a way to improve your online footprint and thus SEO (Yell, Bing, Google Business etc). This does take a while and a bit of back and forth with verification codes but in the end, it is worth it, and an often free way to give your business a boost.
4) List yourself with us!
Following on from the previous paragraph, we are not only a dental health and marketing blog, we are primarily a listing site specifically for dentists! You can list yourself totally FREE here. This is you getting your first backlink already! Alternatively, you can opt-in for our featured listing.
Being a featured listing with DefactoDentists.com has a lot of benefits, that other listing websites won’t give you. Our website has 27,000+ visitors each month and an engagement level of 40k on our social media channels (of which there are 17).
We currently regard ourselves as the UK’s most cost-effective marketing solution for dentists. As a featured listing, your clinic would have priority over standard listings, meaning your clinic will rank top in geographical and treatment-based searches. You will also be able to list your own social media profiles and online booking service on our website, meaning patients can book right then and there. You are assigned an account manager who makes sure your page is up to date and communicates with the social media team to promote any competitions, giveaways, news or charity events you desire. Your social media posts will receive a higher level of reach and interaction with us as we engage our 17 channels to promote our featured clinics content. Most business is now done online and we intend to make the most of that in whatever way we can.
You can get all of this for just £45+VAT per month with NO extra hidden charges. Get in touch today if you want more information on being featured, or request to list your clinic – ClICK HERE –.
Let us know what you think about the Facebook news feed changes in the comments! Do you think they’ll spell disaster for Facebook business marketing? Will you be looking at other avenues for your money?