Facebook is one of the most frustrating social media platforms to businesses, big and small. There have been constant changes often directly affecting the value Facebook places on the content posted by businesses. This leaves many asking the question, "Is Facebook still relevant?"
While there are over 1 billion people using Facebook and the obvious answer seems to be a 'Yes, of course Facebook is still relevant!' the constant updates that make it more and more difficult for small businesses to reach their target audience, leave many pulling their hair and shouting, "But it's not fair!"
While often times I too react out of anger and frustration, when considering Facebook's relevance for your small business, it's good to take a step back and think about the bigger picture.
First let's look at how and why Facebook has a news feed algorithm and what that means exactly.
The average user's news feed has roughly 1,500 stories that could appear in their news feed per day. However, user's will only see about 20% of those posts due to Facebook's algorithm. If there were that much content for a user to sift through every day, they would become bored with the mundane updates of some of their "friends" and never use the platform.
Therefore Facebook has taken it upon itself to create an algorithm that filters content in order to deliver the stories they think a user will enjoy the most based on past behavior, likes, interests, etc.
In order to keep being a social media platform that one billion people use, Facebook is constantly making changes to this algorithm continuously to be delivering the best content possible to it's users.
Makes sense. This is a good thing. It promotes user retention.
Most people don't like to be flooded with marketing messages, especially not during their leisure time, the time people usually use Facebook. People use the social platform for fun and to feel an emotional connection.
Guess what most people don't typically feel an emotional connection with?
Advertisements and blatant marketing messages.
What does that mean for your small business Facebook marketing strategy?
In sum, it comes down to two things you need to consider:
Is your target market on Facebook in the first place? While there are 1 billion users on Facebook, you need to accurately asses whether or not your target audience is engaging with content on Facebook and how frequently.
If your target market is on Facebook, you need to produce content they like. Posting content that blatantly promotes your brand and product are not going to be seen as frequently in your followers' news feed. You are going to have to get creative. Get in the mindset of your target customer and find a way to do what Facebook users are doing everywhere, emotionally connect with other people.
It is important to stay up to date on the constant changes in social media and technology. They are happening at warp speed every day all day. It can be overwhelming.
My personal suggestion: stay updated on these changes the best you can, but more importantly, continuously be getting in touch with your audience. With your customers. With the people your product or service solves problems for.
If you focus on providing value, entertainment, and/or, changing that person's life, whether it's minor or not, focus your marketing messages around appealing to that and you will find all the technological updates don't matter as much.