There have been some major changes on Facebook that have impacted how businesses will connect with customers. This newsletter will address a number of them.
The bottom-line is that Facebook is still a great place to be to connect with prospects and customers but in a changing way. Based on this information we've revised our engagement levels and times of interaction for client accounts.
We'll keep you abreast of the changes as Facebook rolls them out!
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Facebook Nails Small Businesses With News Feed Changes
Are you finding that your fan engagement has dropped on Facebook? If you have under 1,000 fans most likely your activity has dropped or come to a crashing halt on your Facebook Business Page. Why? This study may shed some interesting insight in regards to what is happening to the traffic on your Facebook Business Page.
"Pages with less than 1,000 fans saw a decrease in engagement. Pages with more than 1,000 fans saw a steady increase in engagement, right up to Pages with over 100,000 fans, which saw a 27.8% increase in the rate of engagement."
"When you consider how the news feed now works, with the vast amount of content and updates being shared, it is evident why the number of fans will become more important. You need a higher number to increase the chances of your content being found." Read the full article and see the graphs.
Facebook made sweeping changes on September 30th, again on October 31st, and again on November 30th to how it distributes your business content to fans. The shake down in the months of October and November was dramatic.
“The study from Edgerank Checker has found that over a sample of over 5,800 random Pages, 82% experienced a reduction in the amount of impressions on the Page.”
Yikes, that is scary. Your content, that you are working so hard to create for Facebook users, is getting lost in the noise. It appears that a standard two updates a day that many were using (to prevent spamming readers) in this new world on Facebook, will mean that your message gets lost in the shuffle. However if your users are on Facebook enough, they will see your content appear in the right sidebar ticker, so take heart.
As businesses and brands react to this new world, many are turning to Facebook advertising and Facebook sponsored stories to get the exposure they want. It will be interesting to see just where these changes Facebook is making will take us in the weeks and months to come. I personally am predicting a strong push from Facebook to move businesses into their pay per click program. If you are interested in trying Facebook advertising, I invite you to review our service offerings.
Is a Facebook "Like" Worth Anything Anymore?
Facebook has slowly dismantled the things that have made Facebook Business Pages a great resource for a business to have. In September, October, and November Facebook has disabled these features.
No longer can you use these important items on Facebook if you are a business:
- Cannot send out a note to all your fans using the Facebook message system
- Cannot have a forum like exchange on the discussion tab – discussions are removed too
- Did away with the Facebook reviews tab
- Serious changes to contest and “like” building strategies – many things are now off limits
- Page updates may be lost in the longer news feed
Some of these features went away as of September 30th, others on October 31st, and one on November 30th, I have to tell you I think more changes are in store.
Now fans can block all your updates from their pages. In fact, unless they subscribe to your updates on their wall they may actually never see what you have talked about or shared on your Page because of default Facebook settings.
For businesses, these very important changes have removed the value of a 'like' on Facebook. Additionally, Facebook is now allowing anyone, not just fans, to post on your business wall. So now someone doesn't even need to 'like' your business to have their comments posted on your business wall as it was before.
You may still force people to 'like' your page with a fan gate for the time being, but this will probably change as well. In conclusion, before a 'like' really had value – you could additionally market fans with coupon codes and messages all within Facebook; building relevancy and a reason for someone to actually 'like' your business. With the changes that are being rolled out it sure seems like the value of a Facebook 'like' has lost its real value.
Social Engagement - It's All In The Timing
I have recently read a very interesting report on the timing of engagement for social media. Specifically, what time of the day and what days of the week appear to be important for connecting with Twitter and Facebook users. You can read the full article and see the graphs on this web page.
After reading the article, I made some pretty sweeping changes to the times we post our updates for clients on both Twitter and Facebook. Not only that, but we are going to monitor and then report back – as to did changing our update times really improve the level of engagement both in actions on Facebook and follower growth on Twitter.
This information should make for a very interesting new white paper! We are following 22 client sites for our report, so although this is a fairly small group, the insight will be very interesting.
Based on the report this is what we personally are doing:
Based on the level of engagement, for Twitter, we are posting at 6 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.
Based on the level of engagement, for Facebook, we are posting at noon and 7 p.m.
We are planning on doing further testing for Facebook on increasing the number of status updates as it now appears with the changes to the Facebook news feed, Business Page updates may be lost in the noise with only one or two updates a day.
Pretty interesting stuff! I'll make sure to post a link to my report and share my findings as we get more data.
If you are looking for help with social media like Twitter and Facebook, I invite you to visit our service offering pages.