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Use Social Media To Your Advantage

How to beat Facebook’s algorithm changes

Like a leopard’s spots, the Facebook algorithm changes regularly. For the average small business owner trying to get onboard with the overwhelmingly vast world of social media, these changes aren’t always welcome. It is harder to make sure your posts are appearing on people’s news feeds with stricter and more stringent rules being set by the social network. So how best can you jump through Facebook’s impossibly high hoops?

1. Don’t just use Facebook. There are other social networks out there which both businesses and users are turning to. An integrated approach is by far the most sophisticated – use pins and tweets, post to LinkedIn for a more professional readership as cross-promotion ensures a wider audience and means that you’re not so heavily reliant on Facebook. Don’t forget the humble email marketing – this doesn’t mean spam, but a well written newsletter or infographic because for many small businesses, email marketing still trumps other channels with regard to sale conversions.


2. Quality over quantity.
You should be using social media not just for vanity metrics and numbers but as a tool for real engagement. No matter what the algorithm is, great content will always rise to the top. You need to be sharing content that is useful, interesting and different. On top of this, don’t be afraid to ask for customers’ interaction; hosting competitions –‘caption this’ or ‘tag friends’ are good starting bets – will increase views and traffic as they incentivise fans to get involved more actively. In return, make sure you are responding to questions and comments and reviews (both positive and negative). Make it personal with a direct tag and response!


3. The right place at the right time. As a general rule of thumb, it seems that the more you post, the more you’ll get back. This links to point number two, as what you’re posting has to be of decent quality. Posting 4-6 times a day increases engagement without having to pay for it. If you know that your readership is international, try to take into account these different time zones – you may see a spike in views in the middle of the night as our friends across the pond are waking up. You can find out when your fans and customers are online by going to your Facebook Insights and clicking on the Posts tab. With this in mind, boost your posts and pin them to the top – equally, you can repost popular posts from before, kind of like a Throwback Thursday. If it was good quality content then, it’ll be good quality content now.


4. A picture speaks a thousand words. Where once Facebook was all about the number of ‘likes’ you got, now the new algorithms are punishing posts that use words such as ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’. Think outside of the box and use images. There’s a reason Instagram is so popular; we like visuals. They’re fun to look at. They’re easier and quicker to digest than words. The more the better.


Hopefully with a bit of creative input, your small business can still get the most out of social media and networking – in many ways it’s a blank slate, so get thinking!

Katie Rowley
 
Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.
Use Social Media To Your Advantage Reviewed by Anonymous on Monday, July 14, 2014 Rating: 5
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