Last Friday, as the Internet buzzed about Facebook's feed changes and Facebook's own shares dropped by 4%, Kendra and I saw several business owners in nothing short of sheer panic. And to be completely honest, we were puzzled by the sense of impending doom that seized our peers. Maybe it's because as digital marketers, we predicted that these changes were coming months ago.
In this post, we're sharing three reasons why you shouldn't be panicking over Facebook's feed changes, why you still need to be on Facebook if you have a business, and how you can still drive traffic to your Facebook page.
1. You should never rely on earned media to sustain your business.
Hopefully, last week's announcement serves as a wake-up call for many business owners. Your business is too important for you to rely on earned media for sustainability. What's earned media, you may be asking? Earned media are social networks or guest features on blogs, podcasts, etc. It's called earned because you don't have ownership of those platforms.
Something that we've always preached to our community and clients is this: You don't own your social media. The social networks could disappear or change at any time (hello, endless algorithm updates). Therefore, you don't want to rely so heavily on a platform that you do not own. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Owned media is the most secure way to nurture and convert your community.
When you are posting and promoting content on social media (earned media), you should direct your audience/ideal client or customer to your website and email list (owned media). You completely own your website (you paid for your domain and hosting) and your email list (you pay to send emails through your service provider).
The goal is always to direct your audience to your website (so that they can learn about your products and services) and if they aren't ready to buy (which statistically only a small percentage of them will be), you capture their email address by having them opt-in on your website so that you can nurture them and get them closer to purchasing from you or working with you.
Think about it. Algorithms don't affect your owned media. When you send an email to your subscribers, it's going to land in their inbox. Why rely on social media for the heavy lifting when your followers aren't even guaranteed to see your content?
3. Facebook isn't the only social media network that your target audience is on.
We sincerely hope that 2018 is the year that business owners stop putting all their eggs in one basket. Whether you're B2B or B2C, there are other social networks that your target audience is on. We're not saying that you need to be on every single social network to be successful because that simply isn't true. However, you can have a presence on at least one additional social network to reach your target audience.
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How you can still drive traffic to your Facebook page
No, that isn't a typo. Even if your business page isn't going to show up in the newsfeed like it did before, rest easy because you can still drive traffic to your page. And here's two ways to do it:
1. Go live.
Yup, you can't avoid this anymore. As we mentioned in The Case for Video Marketing, now is the time to incorporate live video into your marketing strategy. Going live on Facebook from your page will be worth your while because the algorithm provides a boost to live videos (meaning more of your followers will be notified that you're going live rather than if you were to just make a text/image/recorded video post).
Trust us, we know how scary live video seems. Kendra and I are mega introverts and offline, being the center of attention makes us squeamish and ready to find the nearest exit. However, we understand that live video is the absolute best way to show our audience who we really are, how we're down to earth, and we can show off our expertise in real time. It adds a different dimension to Humble & Whole quite unlike our other marketing efforts. If we can do it, you can too, we promise!
2. Give your audience a reason to visit your page.
This advice goes for Facebook pages and anything else that you're trying to grow. If you can bring exclusivity to your Facebook page, people will flock to it regardless of what changes Facebook decides to roll out.
Think about it. If the content on your Facebook page is the same as the content on your blog, your emails, and your other social media, you aren't incentivizing or providing your audience a reason to check out your page.
However, if you were to host a Facebook live show that was (you guessed it) only on your Facebook page, your audience would have to come to your page to watch that show. You can really get creative here. Maybe you host monthly or quarterly giveaways that your audience can enter and find the rules only on your Facebook page.
If you have an e-commerce business, maybe there's an exclusive coupon code that's only posted on your Facebook page. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you create exclusive content for your page, and driving traffic to it won't be a problem.
Why you still need to be on Facebook
Oddly enough after the news of Facebook's feed changes, we saw some business owners go so far as to say that they were leaving Facebook. And all we could think was, "What?!" If you're feeling discouraged about the changes to the feed (which hopefully you aren't anymore after reading our tips), don't abandon Facebook just yet! And here's why you shouldn't:
1. If you post and participate in industry groups (and we hope you do), you'll want to have your page linked in your profile.
Why? If you're in a group sharing value (whatever that looks like for you -- answering questions, encouraging others, sharing your own content), members are going to check out your profile. And if you have your Facebook page linked, it's such an easy way to drive traffic to your page and even your website.
2. You can create your own Facebook group.
Guess what the only algorithm free zone is on Facebook? Your Facebook group! Members are going to be notified whenever you post, and group discussions are still showing up in the new Facebook feed.
Of course, we recommend having group members sign up for your email list because a Facebook group is still earned media, but a group can be an easier way to foster community and drive conversions rather than a Facebook page.
Shameless plug: If you haven't already, do join the Facebook community for Humble & Whole by clicking the image below!
3. Your audience is still on Facebook.
Although Facebook isn't the only platform your target audience is on, it's still highly likely that they are on Facebook (because it's the social network that boasts the most internet users).
4. Facebook still has the most sophisticated and comprehensive ad manager.
When you're ready to put some paid power behind your organic efforts, you'll want to look to Facebook first, because it still has the best targeting features. You need your business page in order to test and run ads.
So, we hope you're feeling ready to conquer Facebook despite the news feed changes. As long as you use your earned media to direct people to your owned media, and provide some sort of exclusive content to your Facebook page, you've got nothing to worry about.
We want to hear from you! What's your Facebook game plan?
P.S. Are you an entrepreneur in the health and wellness industry struggling to land clients? Then you’ll want to check out our free video series, 5 Days to Consistent Clients!