Facebook for Business in 2018

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the focus for 2018 at Facebook will be the “well being” of its users. He also wants to fix Facebook’s role in any “abuse and hate” and defend against “interference by nation states”. Regardless of our feelings about this announcement, we can be sure it will have far reaching affects for small businesses. We are going to experience less organic exposure.

In Zuckerberg’s words,

“I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

In response, there are already webinars a-plenty on how to hack the Facebook algorithm for 2018. But I have never believed that hacking anything will get you ahead in the long run. {except for those awesome organization hacks!}

We need to get ahead of this, but how? Let’s first look at how Facebook wants to change.

Facebook wants to

  1. decrease the influence of brands, and “nation states”
  2. increase peer to peer as opposed to business to consumer interactions

Assuming Facebook is actually capable of doing those two things (with their resources I think that’s a safe assumption), we have to re-think our entire use and strategy of Facebook. There’s two main points that I see in his post:

Increase social interactions

If you have a good amount of engagement on your page, you’re going to feel this change less than some. I believe that page posts that don’t immediately receive some interaction won’t be shown to anyone.

TIPS:

  • treat page posts as discussion topics
  • post video agenda ahead of time to get feedback
  • have reliable and scheduled Q&A times
  • post less often

Also note, page content will be of lower priority than group content since your group participants have already identified with you in a social way.

TIPS:

  • increase your commitment to fully engage with your group members
  • invite group discussion on your page once a month as an evangelistic event

Increase meaningful interactions

This new focus is so obviously having an impact on business and brands that it caused a 4% decrease in stock the same day! We can take it to the bank that organic reach will decline. However, it is also a fair bet that our personal engagement will increase.

TIPS:

  • do not use your personal page for business or risk getting banned
  • try making your business page more personal (much like Instagram Stories- which seems to have a more ‘personal’ feeling)… I have no idea how that will work, but its worth an experiment!
  • use live video to engage – most people love the real-time interaction with people that they follow on a regular basis

Change our Strategy

There will be two reactions to this news from Mr. Zuckerberg: one – a regular ol’ hack-a-thon; and two – a strategy adjustment. For those of us who fall into the strategy adjustment camp, what does that look like?

To be honest, I don’t really know what it will look like for the majority of bloggers. Perhaps a renewed focus on Pinterest? SEO? Feeds? How about audio posts and the entire crowd who prefers to listen over read?

What I do know is that those who think this through and adjust their strategy will be further ahead those those who dig in their heals and fight Facebook. I’m not a quitter but I’m ready to admit when I’m outmatched.

What is your next move?

Let me know in the comments… I’m interested to see how y’all handle this!