Shortly after the new year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, declared his new year’s resolution to “fix” Facebook. The motivation for this announcement stemmed from a couple places, including Russian involvement in abusing the social platform for the 2016 US presidential election. A recent study also revealed that passive consumption of content from sites like Facebook had a negative effect on the user’s mood.
To combat this, Zuckerberg decided to change the narrative by updating Facebook’s algorithm. In the near future, you will begin to see more posts from people you know rather than brands and businesses marketing to you. Posts from your friends that have lots of engagement will now be moved toward the top of your news feed while public content will be reduced.
“By focusing on bringing people closer together — whether it’s with family and friends, or around important moments in the world — we can help make sure that Facebook is time well spent,” Zuckerberg wrote.
How to Stand Out
Orthodontists using Facebook as a digital marketing tool will find that they are getting the short end of the stick with this latest update. While this may be true, we see this as a way to create more meaningful connections. To help you stay connected to your target audience, here are a few tips for staying relevant with Facebook’s new algorithm.
Clean Up Your Friends List
Of your total number of friends, how many of those people do you actually engage with on Facebook? Believe it or not, Facebook is already doing the math for you. Their developers take your total number of friends and turns the ones you have interactions with into a percentage. The closer your percentage is to 100%, the more visible you will be to those who follow you.
If you have people on your friends list but have never chatted or interacted with them in any way on Facebook, delete them. They are only lowering your percentage of meaningful connections.
Engage With Your Followers
There are three places the new algorithm takes into account for prioritizing your news feed: stories, comments and messenger. Lucky for you, stories are connected to messenger. This means that whenever you comment someone’s story, it automatically generates a chat in messenger. Once engaged in a chat, use as many features as you can for the algorithm to notice.
When you come across content you like, you typically react by hitting the “like” button. To make your reaction more meaningful, use the other options like “love” or “haha” to show better engagement. As a bonus, comment after you’ve reacted to something to strengthen your connections.
While it may seem better to post as much as you can as often as you can, it’s actually the opposite. At Orthopreneur, we recommend the following:
- Post no more than once per day. Posting more could cause you to compete with yourself on a followers’ news feed. If you want to post more in a day, turn that content into a story instead. You can add to that as much as you like, increasing your chances for stronger connections.
- Try to post around the same time each day. It becomes a routine that is easy for the algorithm to pick up on and increase your visibility.
- Once you post something, respond swiftly. Studies show that posts that are responded to within the first ten minutes are more successful than those who wait longer to reply.
- Keep text posts short and sweet. If you decide to use a text-based post, keep it to under 85 characters for easy consumption.
- Add variety to your posts. Your followers will quickly get bored of seeing posts showing other patients getting their braces on and off. Add some variety to your posts to make it entertaining. Show followers around the office, take selfies with patients, make a parody your favorite viral content or show off a new piece of equipment.
Make the Most of Facebook Live
If using the live feature is in your plans, be strategic. Give yourself 20-30 minutes before going live to increase your odds of reaching more people. To do this, browse your stories and news feed and comment on the things that interest you. When you’re ready to go live, those people are more likely to see you first.
Let Us Know Your Thoughts!
What do you think about Facebook’s changes to the news feed? Leave a comment below!