Here are some key points to the Facebook News Feed changes.
While Facebook taking the time to change their algorithm is nothing new, this particular change is set to have significant consequences to businesses. They have recently announced that they are trying to make sure the Facebook News Feed is showing the average user the content they want to see: posts by friends and family.
What does this mean for Pages?
It means a lot actually.
In the past, you may have gotten a lot of engagement by sharing an interesting article someone else wrote. Because your Page got a lot of engagement (likes, shares, comments) for that post you shared, your Page got extra “love” in the Facebook News Feed (it was exposed to more followers – this would be your “reach” number for the post). Facebook states “...if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.” Our interpretation of this News Feed change is that you will continue to get exposure like this in the News Feed ONLY if your followers share the post AND their friends like/comment/share it! Facebook actually states “Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.” Here is the complete Facebook article Building a Better News Feed for You.
While Pages have seen a decline over the years in their organic reach, many businesses have been utilizing the “pay to play” strategy. The writing has been on the wall, so it shouldn’t come as too big of a shock. However, it DOES mean your Page strategy needs to incorporate paid advertising to continue to be seen at the levels you are used to.
The biggest change this may have on your digital marketing strategy is the need to ramp up your original content production. You would never spend money on advertising a post that is content you shared from another person or business. When you spend money to promote posts, you need to be promoting your own salon or spa posts. The best place to put your original content is your website, then share your website content on your social sites. The article Connecting Social Media to your Website talks more about this.
After “Family & Friends” posts, there are two more types that will get seen.
We have all seen the Tasty fast motion recipe posts. I’m guilty of watching them all the way through a majority of the time. Or how about the fast motion how-to hair tutorials? I’ve watched my fair share of those as well. I’m also guilty of turning to Facebook for breaking news. That is also what the folks over at headquarters know their audience wants to see in their Facebook News Feed. You want to make sure these types of posts are part of your social marketing strategy.
Who hasn’t stopped to watch that cute kitten video? Or the baby learning to walk? And it’s impossible to list all the great Pages that utilize Facebook Live to entertain their audiences! This is another hot type of post that your Facebook News Feed will give love to. So be sure you can produce these types of content as well.
So what can a salon or spa do?
The first thing I would suggest you do is sit down and spend several hours going over your social media marketing strategy. You need to determine what resources will work best for you. And know that if you still want to devote time and energy to keep up organic reach, you need to make sure you are creating lots of content that Facebook deems is wanted in the News Feed. While all original content needs time and energy, you can compensate some of it with paid advertising. At this time (until more research comes in after the changes have taken place), I would recommend a minimum of $100/mo budget for ads to keep your brand top of mind to your audience on Facebook (if that is still not obtainable, start with $50 and see what types of results you get).
Be sure you are creating the type of content that your audience will share (and their friends/family engage with). What is one quality that your salon/spa possesses that no one else has? Focus on that one quality and produce original content surrounding it. Publish that content on your website and share it on Facebook. Facebook Live videos would be native to Facebook, but you can also embed it onto your website too.
Finally, stay tuned as we are producing an article to be published next with lots of great ideas on what to publish on Facebook for salons and spas.