Unless you were living under a rock this week, you know that Facebook has, once again, changed it algorithm.  What the…?

The algorithm already only shows your posts to 4 people.  How could it get any worse?  But before you go throwing your hands up utter frustration and swear you’re giving up social media for your business let’s take a look at what this all really means.  (and really, it’s gonna be ok!)Facebook wants its users to have a wonderful, happy experience on their newsfeed.  They want to deliver things that are interesting, funny, informative, inspiring, engaging and positive.  And they want conversations around them.

What does that mean?  It means that Facebook will be prioritizing content from friends and family over businesses, brands and media (do we think the fervor over the political news this past year has something to do with this—yes absolutely—no matter which side of that argument you’re on!)

SO HERE’S 5 WAYS TO HACK THE NEW ALGORITHM

  1. LIVE VIDEO

This past year,

video

was king and queen!  But watching video is a passive action and didn’t create comments and conversations.  Moving forward, Live Video will be the new belle of the ball.  Facebook Live is a great way to connect with your customers and create the conversations that Facebook wants.  Does video scare you to death?  Don’t know what to talk about?

Start out by trying a once a week Facebook Live showing the behind the scenes of your business, how you make your product, conversations with your staff or your customers, or just talking about what’s new in your business. The good news is that Facebook Live doesn’t need to be a Hollywood production.  You’ve got a great camera right on your phone.  Just make sure you have good lighting (natural lighting is the best), a good microphone (you can get a lavalier mike from Amazon that plugs right into your phone) and bullet points written out so you don’t go brain dead!

It’ll be scary the first time or two but you’ll get used to it. Just imagine you’re talking to your best friend on the other side of that phone. 

  1. SPARK LONGER CONVERSATIONS

Here’s the tricky one.  You want to spark conversations BETWEEN your customers not just with you.  This will take a little strategic thinking and some creativity, but Facebook has said they will favor long comments and conversations between people.  This means that just liking and sharing a post will no longer be important.  Asking for one-word responses to a question or “like this post if you agree” or “tag a friend who will like this” will just be considered clickbait and that’s a no-no.

Create looping comments.  The Facebook Algorithm wants to see that there’s lots of engagement on your posts because that signals that it’s important to your followers.  One way to create that is to do looping comments.  Whenever someone comments on your post (engagement #1), reply with an emoji (engagement #2), then reply with a comment (engagement #3) and if at all possible, make it a question.

Hopefully

they will reply (engagement #4) to which you can

replay

with an emoji (engagement #5) and a comment (engagement #6).  Do this with every comment on your page

  1. POST LESS FREQUENTLY

Think quality over quantity in your posting strategy.  Be intentional in what you post and don’t be selling all the time…if at all.

  1. ENCOURAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO MARK YOUR PAGE AS ‘SEE FIRST’

If customers click on the “following” tab on your

home page

, there will be a

dropdown

menu that will allow them to choose to see your posts first in the newsfeed.

  1. FACEBOOK ADS

Yes, Facebook is a pay-to-play platform.  You’re in business to make money and so is Facebook so don’t pooh-pooh it.  Facebook Advertising is a good thing.  There are so many free ninja tools that Facebook gives us to find our ideal customer online and deliver exactly the message that they want to hear from us.  Don’t be fooled by just boosting posts

however

, learn how to use the Ads Managers to create custom audiences that are, indeed, your ideal customer  

  1. KEEP BUILDING YOUR EMAIL LIST

Your email list is more important

then

ever now.  It is the one place that you own your customer information and where you can nurture that relationship (and where you can actually sell without being

salesy

!).  Use every opportunity to gather customer emails and then use them.  Stay in touch with your customers at least once a month.   Good customers do want to hear from you…and if someone unsubscribes from your list, don’t take it personally—they probably weren’t your ideal customer anyway.