Another Facebook News Feed Change: What’s a business to do?

Whether it’s adjusting to the latest Google Panda or Penguin update, or struggling to be seen in Facebook’s News Feed due to yet another algorithm change or control adjustment, it often seems like online marketing is a constant game of playing catch up, only to find that the goal post has been moved yet again. It can frustrating for businesses and marketers to say the least… (I can certainly think of a few other “f” words to describe this headache.) :)

f-word-Facebook_LettersEmpireBut that’s the beauty of having a marketing strategy that doesn’t rely solely on another, popular “f” word:  fads. This isn’t to say Facebook is just a fad. For small businesses, it’s an incredibly powerful and cost-effective way to market online. But it isn’t the only way, and as it’s been said time and again—you shouldn’t build your business or your marketing on rented land alone.

You need to have a cohesive marketing strategy and presence online that relies on the best mix of avenues to bring in business. And it’s not just Facebook.

Still, when these changes happen in a platform or channel you’re marketing in, like Facebook, you need to know what’s happening fast and adapt. So, here’s the rundown of the latest change…

Facebook gave users a new preference option with what they’re viewing in the News Feed to make it easier for them to follow or unfollow friends and pages. They can also choose which to see first, and discover other pages they might be interested in following based on their likes already.

Before you run out and consider an ill-advised “See First Campaign” that will end up making your business look overly desperate (and frankly, a little spammy), you need to re-evaluate your Facebook plan and bring it all back to what matters and truly gets readers and fans to want to see your stuff… that age-old offering:  value. If you’re not already, you need to start providing content of value to your Facebook audience. Things they want to see. Information that will help them, inspire them, things they will want to share and evangelize for you.

A few tips on how to do this:

  • Delve into your Facebook page’s insights (analytics) and see what resonates with your audience in terms of reach, clicks, likes, and other engagement metrics.
  • Use a mix of media and styles in your posts:  videos, photos, text-only posts, long-form, short-form, you get the idea.
  • Don’t just talk about yourself! Share other people’s posts, articles you find, quotes or videos that will inspire and engage your audience. Give your fans shout-outs and kudos, too!
  • Be timely and topical. Don’t be overly political if that’s not in your brand/business agenda, but do talk about current, seasonal, and newsworthy events.
  • Be personal. Show the human side of your business. Share photos, tell your story. Fans and customers want to see that you’re human, too, and connect with that… not just another faceless company.

In short, Facebook fans engaging with content they love and want to see is a good thing, and it can be good for your business, too.

By focusing on providing value “in the feed,” and by incorporating a solid combination of content marketing strategies and paid advertising in Facebook, your business can truly rise above the fray and overcome the latest FB update.

Need help with your Facebook strategy?  Learn more and reach out.

Quick Bytes – Get the Right Content Marketing Mix: Earned, Paid, and Owned Media

There’s been a bit of talk lately in articles and podcasts about the difference between earned, paid, and owned media. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • earned media = articles and blog posts written about you, your company, or product; reviews; social “word-of-mouth”
  • paid media = search and display ads, paid social ads, native advertising
  • owned media = your blog, website, social media channels/communities, presentations, webinars, email list

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Each media type is important for driving traffic to your blog or website and leading to some kind of outcome:  subscribing, buying, signing up for a free webinar, etc. But not all earned, paid, and owned media mixes are created equally for each type of business and for each type of marketing goal.

You need to really assess what you’re trying to achieve, what resources (time, money, talent, etc.) you have to get things done—blogging and content marketing takes time, people!—and you need to set up your marketing functions so that you can test, measure, and do it all again.

Here’s a great case study from Content Marketing Institute on how Relevance attracted over 50,000 subscribers in just half a year using a mix of media strategies.

And if you want to understand more about the difference between earned, paid, and owned media, Pam Moore at Marketing Nutz gives an excellent overview in her podcast below:

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Is Play the Solution to Workplace Burnout?

Could play  be the solution?

Check out my latest article, “Play in the Workplace? Three Radical Reasons For More Play at Work,” to find out.

Unleash the Power of Play at Work with Emmy Award Winner Gwen Gordon: Free Webinar 6/4/15!

Gwen Gordon is an Emmy-winning writer and creative director whose career spans from building muppets on Sesame Street to designing innovative employee programs for companies like IDEO and PepsiCo. She is currently producing Now Playing, a forthcoming PBS special about the role of play in our modern work and lives.

Join the free webinar I’ll be hosting featuring Gwen on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 12:00 to 12:40pm PT. Click for more information.

Sign up now!

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