March 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 20
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
Facebook recently made major changes to its newsfeed and the types of posts that will be favored moving forward.
“As we roll this out you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, announced recently. “And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” He goes on to say that Facebook has “a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.”
These changes will have a major impact on your Facebook marketing. Let’s dig into the specifics of what this means for your flooring business, and how you can use these changes to your benefit.
Meaningful interactions. Facebook wants to foster real interaction between human beings in its newsfeed. This means we’re going to see a reduction in product pitches in favor of content that has real value and encourages meaningful “back-and-forth” discussions.
Facebook’s algorithms now put less emphasis on likes and shares in favor of posts that spark conversations. This doesn’t mean likes and shares are no longer important—they still are. What it does mean is Facebook is giving the biggest reach to posts with dialogue.
Effective posts. So what kinds of organic posts generate the kind of engagement Facebook is looking for? The same things that have been working all along.
- Photos of real customers. I see dealers posting professionally shot product photos and getting very little engagement. No matter how great these posts look, a smartphone picture of a happy client—either in their home or the showroom—outperforms them in overall engagement. This is why you should train your salespeople on how to ask for and get photos of clients.
- Home improvement tips. This is something any dealer can do, and it ties in directly with what you are selling. It is the kind of “valuable content” Facebook is looking for. These can either be links to articles you have written, your blog or—best of all—a video of you demonstrating how to spot-clean a carpet, do a home repair or other tip.
- Community events. This can include food drives, holiday events, farmers markets, high school sporting events, etc. Think of your business as a community hub and create posts that will make people want to pay attention to your page and content.
The death of engagement bait. We’ve all seen posts that ask people to “like, share and comment.” This can be in the form of a contest or a request to become a follower of a business page. This is called engagement bait. Facebook now wants your posts to be interesting enough for people to interact without engagement bait. Any post that directly asks people to like, share or comment will be penalized.
Boosted content. Now that Facebook is deemphasizing organic posts from business pages, you should consider boosting your posts. This will give you more reach, and it can be done cost-effectively. We began using this strategy for all the dealers whose Facebook accounts we manage, and we have seen a measurable increase in results compared to non-boosted posts.
If you’d like me to evaluate your Facebook marketing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring retailers. For a free copy of his latest book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes Online,” visit BeatTheBoxesOnline.com.