The past year hasn’t been good to Facebook. Once Facebook was considered an inevitable juggernaut, adding users by the seeming billions. Now the social media giant has been blamed for electing a President based on the spread of false news stories, many of them from Russian operatives; and more recently from being lackadaisical with its users’ private information, allowing a political consulting firm to create targeted ads (also often spouting false information) to Facebook users based on information they didn’t know they had given up.
It’s been enough to create a Delete My Facebook movement that seems to be growing.
In response, the social media company, renowned for brushing off any past issues such as this with a certain arrogant nonchalance, has said it will change. The first change was announced in late January that Facebook would, in theory, go back to its roots — it would devalue content from brands, businesses, and media publishers and prioritize content from friends and family.
Those pictures of your cat rampaging on catnip will now rank higher in your friends’ News Feeds than a false news story about how the President was endorsed by the Pope, Moses, Mother Theresa, the Easter Bunny, and SpongeBob. At least that is what Facebook is trying to make happen.
No matter what each of us thinks about Facebook and people’s personal accounts, at MyAdvice we still feel Facebook for Business pages are very valuable for a practice. So, here’s some more information on these Facebook changes, and how you can create posts that will continue to show up on your followers’ News Feeds.
It appears that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is spending a little time contemplating just how his social media juggernaut is affecting the nation and the world, rather than simply wondering how to get users to spend every waking hour in the app. That’s where the devaluation of non-personal stuff comes in. In a blog, he wrote that Facebook would try to “prevent posts from ‘businesses, brands, and media’ from crowding out ‘the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.'”
While these changes won’t impact “friends” jealously viewing photos of each other’s latest exotic vacation or opining on the sheer intellectual excellence of their two-year-olds, they can impact your practice’s Facebook for Business page.
Practice Facebook Tips
What should you do on your practice’s Facebook page to adapt to the algorithm changes? The company had this advice: “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.”
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Posted by MyAdvice on Wednesday, April 25, 2018
What you want are posts that encourage interaction with your Facebook followers. We make that easy for you with our social media service. Our service is intended to keep your page up to date with content relevant to your practice. Potential patients can see your practice Facebook page and check out its curated content and how consistently posts are made. They want to see that you’re engaged with the page and are updating it regularly. Plus, our activities help dramatically in terms of organic search. When we make posts that highlight a procedure or service and link the posts back to your practice website, Google loves those links and referrals. It raises the impression of your practice as an expert source.
We make those more involved posts for you with our social media service. That leaves you to focus on posts that encourage engagement with your followers, whether the engagement comes in the comment box, through shares, or even re-posting on their personal pages.
What do these posts look like?
Just think engagement. What will get people to interact with a post from your practice? Pictures of your staff out bowling together would do it. So would a video with you explaining and showing a new piece of equipment you just purchased to provide the latest procedure. Pictures from your office manager running the Boston Marathon would garner some serious comments. So would pictures from your son’s mite hockey team weekend tournament.
Anything that is truly local, truly personal from within your office, and lets your followers see a different side of your practice — those are the kinds of posts that people engage with…and will continue to show up in the News Feed.
In the end, Facebook’s attempt at devaluing the false news, racism, clickbait, and other heinous uses of the platform is a good thing for all of us. After all, wasn’t social media supposedly developed to simply connect people and their day-to-day lives? It wasn’t intended to be the only source of news for people until the company became possessed with chasing advertising revenue from publishers, both legit and seriously far from it.
Downgrading the value of business and publisher posts doesn’t necessarily mean your practice’s Facebook posts will be devalued. You just have to make sure you are providing the kinds of posts that your followers want to engage with. We’ll do the heavy lifting posts every week on procedures and such, so you can do the fun stuff.
If you have any questions about how the new Facebook algorithm changes will affect your practice page, simply ask your MyAdvice representative and we’ll discuss them with you.