As a freelance community manager in Barcelona it’s important for me to keep up with the latest trends on social media, which are largely determined by the social media companies themselves. Although it’s becoming more and more difficult for companies to grow their online following as the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter push you towards paid advertising, there are still some tricks you can employ to outsmart the algorithms and ensure you’re still reaching plenty of people online.
LinkedIn introduced native videos to its platform a little over a year ago, and they’ve proven to be popular amongst its users, with native video posts seeing 3x more engagement than standard text posts and generating over 300 million impressions in the first year. So it’s well worth doubling down on video on LinkedIn by reuploading your existing content directly to the platform or creating short, simple videos that grab your reader’s attention in the crowded news feed. For example, instead of uploading several images over multiple posts it would make sense to create a slideshow video out of them instead, as they’re almost guaranteed to reach more people and see more engagement.
It’s possible that you missed a Newsroom post from Facebook at the start of 2018, entitled ‘Bringing People Closer Together’. It had some interesting information for Facebook Page owners.
As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.
This indicates that Facebook has started to place a greater importance on posts that generate discussion amongst its readers, meaning those posts with more comments will reach more people. So you should, for example, try not simply sharing your new blog post online, but also asking your followers a question related to the post. Try to provoke comments and generate discussion instead of merely hunting for likes and shares.
Facebook’s increased emphasis on discussions amongst its users also means that they’ve started to feature posts from groups higher in your news feed. That doesn’t sound too promising for pages, but the good news is that businesses can now be the admin of a group and link it directly to their business page. So it’s time to think about creating a discussion group from your Facebook page. The group theme should be a little more open-ended than your brand so as to attract more members - for instance, if you’re a vaping shop then you could create a group for local vaping enthusiasts to buy, sell and discuss. You wouldn’t be selling to these people directly, but your brand could end up administrating a huge community of local vapers that see your company name every time they post in the group. It’s easy and free marketing for you.
Facebook live video
In the same Facebook Newsroom post they also mention how much engagement their live videos tend to generate:
Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
With that in mind, try brainstorming some ideas for a regular Facebook Live event which would generate comments amongst its viewers. Let’s say you’re a city centre bar, and you host a weekly pub quiz. Broadcasting it on Facebook could lead to people playing along online, meaning you reach more people and maybe even entice new players to the quiz. It doesn’t require expensive recording equipment or editing techniques for your content to be seen by more people.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on your Facebook home page recently, you might have noticed that Facebook Stories are becoming more and more prominent, taking front and centre stage on their mobile site after being hidden away in Messenger and then the right sidebar previously. They’re slowly gaining in popularity, with Mark Zuckerberg admitting they haven’t taken off as quickly as they would have liked, but Facebook’s constant promotion of Stories eventually paying dividends. According to AdAge, 300 million people now view Facebook & Messenger stories every day, compared to 400m on Instagram, 450 million on WhatsApp and 186m on Snapchat. So now is a good time to get on board! Given that Stories are a separate section from the normal news feed, it’s a great way to cut through the noise. I have over 300 friends and around 100 page likes on Facebook, but there are generally only 2-3 stories at the top of my feed most days. Try experimenting with them and see how you do. Again, it doesn’t take much time or resources to post a regular Facebook story.