Being included in the Facebook news feed is something brands have come to expect as a protected constitutional right.
While it’s hard to remember life before Facebook news feed changes and Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous post updates like the one on January 11th, 2018; it’s safe to say public relations pre-Facebook was archaic at best.
Your Business Without Facebook?
Imagine life without Facebook. It was just over ten years ago when reaching audiences meant relying on the journalists as gatekeepers, pushing email blasts to customers and websites were the digital brochure.
In 2006 the social network rolled out to the general public and went from “the Facebook” to “Facebook”; growing into an unprecedented and revolutionary venue to connect friends, family, businesses, and news. One year later in 2007 came Facebook Pages and 100,000 brands and celebrities signed up for this complimentary and customizable microsite.
There’s no looking back. One decade later, we can barely remember life without social media much less Facebook. With that comes a constant state of change in order to keep up with the rapid growth. This is called the social media revolution, We are in it, living it, working it, and this is life.
Facebook News Feed Ground Zero?
Does Mark Zuckerberg owe brands the right to be seen on the Facebook news feed? Somehow brands quickly forget the FREE opportunity built into Facebook. The power and independence Facebook delivers to brands is unprecedented. The introduction of the Facebook Page gave brands a place to build a free microsite inside the social network, opening the gates of social connectivity to reach their audience direct and vice versa.
Today more than 65 million businesses have a Facebook Business Page. Guess what? It’s free. It’s optional. It is a CHOICE to have a Facebook Page and this complimentary social web page on Facebook comes with hundreds of features and benefits that brands do not have to participate in. It’s optional.
Is Facebook Worth it?
Here’s the not-so-breaking news: It’s OK if you choose NOT to take advantage of the opportunity to reach and connect with Facebook’s more than 2 billion users. If the Facebook news feed is the only feature you care about as a brand, it’s OK to delete your Facebook Page. It’s less competition for everyone else. If you think about it: the only ones who will miss you are just your current customers, prospects, and journalists.
Algorithm Augmented Reality
The natural patterns happening when a business grows usually results in changes and adjustments to sustain the rapid growth in order to evolve to the next phase. For search engines and social media networks, this is called algorithms. Meaning – A set of rules need to be put in place at a certain point to sustain and maintain results.
Facebook Changes: Like it or Leave it.
How do you roll with algorithm changes? Algorithms and updates have become the norm with search marketers as businesses have been chasing page one search results on Google since it’s birth. For example, in 2000 Google made one of its first updates introducing Google toolbar triggering the first SEO debates.
Reality: There is just not enough room on the page one search inventory for every website to get placed on page one search results. You must earn it. Sort of. How do you earn it? It’s up to Google to decide, but really it’s up to how well your content is being interacted and shared.
Facebook is faced with the same growth issues as Google. Brands need to understand the news feed is crowded and you don’t have a natural right to get exposure in it. This is not preschool, This is not beta. This is reality.
Expectations and Entitlement
Brands have a sense of entitlement based on the Facebook past. Unfortunately, the past does not equal the Facebook present or the Facebook future. It seems and feels like businesses remain stuck in a time warp of what Facebook used to offer. So we continue to:
Like and scroll. Swipe and tap.
Friend and unfriend.
Follow and unfollow.
Post and publish.
Schedule and wait.
Bait and Click.
Happy and unhappy.
Action and reaction.
This (not) just in: Facebook exposure does not (necessarily) come for free and must be earned.
How? By showing up with content that is real, authentic, useful, entertaining, educational, and above all – it is deemed that by the Facebook community. The brand buzz kill is this: you might have to invest some money behind it.
Facebook created this opportunity called Facebook Ads – another unprecedented way to brilliantly target your audience. So if you want to get exposure in the news feed brands might need to actually open up their wallets and pay for this. Is this a big deal or is this something every brand should just get for free?
In case you decide to keep your *free* Facebook Page, here are more than 26 reasons to use Facebook. Most have (almost) nothing to do with the Facebook news feed and everything to do with your public relations and social media marketing opportunity.
- Facebook is a search engine – we search Facebook’s search bar for people, places and things every day
- Extension of your brand’s website – your audience expects brands to have a social presence and especially Facebook. 95% of millennials expect brands to have a Facebook presence. It shows transparency, credibility, and gives easy access.
- A free microsite inside Facebook called a Facebook Page that is practically 100% customizable with links, status updates, tabs, images, and videos.
- Branding via Facebook’s customizable cover image and profile image. You can even have the cover photo be a video like Buffer did in this example.
- Photo albums – you can create albums and showcase, events, news, products, people, anything packed with ways to optimize for Facebook search.
- Customer service – When on Facebook, customers expect an immediate response when messaging brands via a Facebook Page. Facebook Messenger for business empowers brands to privately message customers, assist in customers service and offer better support.
Did you know? 53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message*
- Social newsroom – Your Facebook Page can serve as the social newsroom of your website and serve as a public relations platform. Reverse engineer it and any Facebook post can be embedded back to any website page or blog post.
- Reviews – Facebook Pages offer star ratings and reviews and a way to influence credibility and transparency
- Influence Google search results – When optimized, your Facebook Page can rank on Page one of Google search results when your brand name is searched.
- Events – Facebook Pages offer the ability to promote discoverable Events used by more than 650 million people and 100 million each day.
- Facebook Live video – where else can you create what’s equivalent to your own talk show?
- Share company news – this is where you can report and share company news reaching your audience directly along with the media.
- Storytelling with carousel post formats – no programmer needed.
- Polls to get quick feedback and gauge opinions with your audience and get quick insights.
- Now hiring? Job posts are another format of a Facebook page status, no recruiter needed.
- Share 3rd party partner news or content and feature other brands.
- Shoppable Pages through e-commerce websites such as Shopify make it possible to sell your product straight from your Facebook page.
- Build your email list – Facebook Pages can connect with 3rd party email services such as MailChimp.
- Remarketing using the Facebook pixel on your website or blog lets you remind your visitors about content they visited
- Facebook Ads – see what Dennis Yu, Larry Kim, and Jon Loomer have to say about this.
- Influencer takeovers made easy via Facebook Live Contributor admin
- Insights to measure and track performance
- Website traffic – sometimes you must look at quality over quantity and stop the obsession on what was and look at what is.
- Instagram to Facebook – you can share straight from Instagram to Facebook Page to save time and supplement content.
- Stories – Snapchat like user-generated or brand generated image or video content that disappears in 24 hours. The camera is soon replacing text according to Facebook officials.
- Facebook Spaces – the place to express yourself and connect with friends via Virtual Reality.
Social PR Secret: Ask your audience to “See You First” like Social Media Examiner has done.
Social Media Examiner created a little video to show you how to subscribe “See First” to a Facebook Business page.
What can you do to increase your chances for success on Facebook?
- Be real, authentic, transparent, timely, and present on Facebook.
- Stop the stream of brand vomit and trying to beat the system.
- Add or increase video in a meaningful way.
- Optimize everything like you would for Google.
- Invest in promoting great content using Facebook Ads.
- Work with someone that is credible, trusted, and a reliable source.
- Keep calm and carry on.
- Prepare for future changes.
- Have realistic expectations.
- Plan to be flexible.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s what my trusted circle of marketing friends are saying:
In case you missed it! Check out our recent Facebook Live with Lisa Buyer and Navah Berg:
Do you deserve to be in the Facebook news feed? The free ride is over, now you need to work a little harder and pay a little more. Let’s remember the list of reasons why Facebook is still important and the power it gives brands every day.
How do you feel about the Facebook News feed? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on social via #SocialPRSecrets.
Want more? Get Lisa Buyer’s book today!
Image credit: Photo by Averie Woodard on Unsplash Contributing Videos/Images: Krista Neher, Jon Loomer, Dennis Yu, Facebook, Peg Fitzpatrick, Larry Kim, Buffer.