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How the Facebook Algorithm Changes Impact Small Business

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How the Facebook Algorithm Changes Impact Small Business

Facebook Algorithm Changes and Your Business

In January 2018, Facebook algorithm changes made waves among the small business community. We’ve received many questions about the change, so we want to share our thoughts on what  impact the Facebook algorithm changes may have on small businesses.

For you to understand the implications, we need to first explain what an algorithm is, and specifically what was updated during these Facebook algorithm changes.

What IS an algorithm, anyways?

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An algorithm is a process, or a set of rules, followed in calculations. It’s similar to a mathematical formula. In the context of social media and other online marketing, an algorithm is often used to sort and order the massive amounts of content, data, and information available online.  For example, Google uses an algorithm to show you the results that (the algorithm thinks) best match your search, anytime you use the search engine.

Algorithms are often at the core of what makes the online entity work – its secret sauce, if you will. Because of this, they are almost always considered propriety knowledge, and are closely guarded by the company that created them.

These algorithms are updated frequently, to continually improve on the results we see, thereby improving the user’s experience.

So what’s the big deal about the Facebook algorithm changes?

January 2018 Facebook Algorithm Changes Highlights

Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes on January 11, 2018, stating various reasons for the change. The most important thing for a small business to know about the Facebook algorithm changes is that it will result in lower ORGANIC reach for Facebook Business Pages. Organic reach is achieved through unpaid efforts – posts and updates that aren’t paid to be boosted or advertised.

We know this sounds really bad, but don’t panic, because…

Facebook organic reach has been on the decline for YEARS. 

We first noticed the organic reach decline in 2014. Posts were seen by fewer and fewer people, and that trend has continued. It’s very likely your small business Facebook Page has had its organic reach decline already. Most of our clients have already experienced this decline.

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We suspect Facebook implemented some of these changes to its algorithm in April of 2017, but didn’t announce it until January 2018.

In April 2017, we saw some dramatic declines in organic reach over a 2-week time frame. Those declines were never recovered. There was chatter in forums that we follow, we kept an eye on the situation, and adjusted our clients’ posts and strategies, as needed.

What the Facebook Algorithm Change Means for You

facebook-algorithm-changes-calm-guys-respondThe Facebook Algorithm Change makes advertising on the platform more important.

Facebook has been a “pay-to-play” social channel for years. To get maximum exposure and results, advertising is almost a requirement, and that’s nothing new. The Facebook algorithm change just places even more importance on advertising for small business.

The good news is, you can invest as little as $10 to run an ad, so it’s still relatively affordable for small businesses to advertise on the social network.

The Facebook Algorithm Change & Other Social Networks

The algorithm changes have made other social networks, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, more important to a small business marketing plan.

In our opinion, the other social networks need to become a bigger part of a small business marketing strategy. On most of the other social networks, you can still get an organic impact from posts, if you know how to maximize the channel.

We’ve already started focusing on other social channels a bit more, for clients.

What can you do to counteract the Facebook Algorithm Change?

While we’ll never get back to the time when all of your followers and fans would see every post, there are a few actions you can take to help slow the loss of organic reach.

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Sharing posts from your Facebook Page to your Personal Profile can help you improve your organic reach, but there’s an art to this tactic.

We recently wrote a blog that shows how to share from your Facebook Page to your personal Facebook profile. We suggest doing this only occasionally, but it’s a good way to get your company’s information in front of others.

You can also remind your Facebook Fans to follow your page, and get your updates. Those who follow your page can change their personal Facebook settings to make sure they receive your Page’s content in their newsfeed. It is a good idea to remind them of this once in a while.

The best way to breakthrough the Facebook Algorithm Change?

Other than paid ads, the best way to combat the Facebook algorithm change is through live videos. Facebook is putting a big emphasis on showing live videos, including live videos from Pages. Your Fans will get notifications when you “Go Live”, and they’ll likely see your live videos.

Facebook Algorithm Change Realities

First, your small business Facebook page has already experienced the rapid decline in Facebook organic results. We help our clients combat that with running advertisements, and a few other tactics, but this IS NOT NEW.

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Second, the purpose of this change is to make Facebook MORE enjoyable for the public. If that is the result, people will use the social network in a better way, which should have an indirect, positive effect on your Facebook Business Page.

Third, we never recommend our clients put all their eggs in one basket. Most of our clients are on multiple social networks, so they’ve diversified their risk. This Facebook algorithm change could be the social network’s Kryptonite, making diversification across social channels more important than ever before.

Have Other Questions about the Facebook Algorithm Change?

If you have any other questions, reach out! The information in this post is an overview, and every small business has different scenarios to consider. We’re happy to discuss with you any time.

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