The TRUTH About How FB's Algorithm Changes Impact Our Jobs as Social Media Managers

[Note: The Tipsy Tuesday Live Video has static (ugh, the horror!) So I've broken down the whoooole thing for you below].

The dreaded Facebook Algorithm changes. They're a real doozy, huh?

As much as you're not into weird phrases like that, you're probably totally hating on all the incessant talk out there about what's going down with Facebook.

The fear mongering. The "what if's." The actual changes themselves.

You might be asking yourself, "is this really the end of my business page?"

Or, "Is my job as a social media manager in jeopardy now?"

Or, "Is Facebook DEAD?!"

Or maybe even, "When will people shut up about the changes?!"

I want to hit your questions, give you actionable strategies for handling these changes like a total PRO, and then move on from this whole thing.

Because here's the thing:

Changes are inevitable. They will continue to happen. According to Zuckerberg, they're for the better.

In fact, here's the gist of his post on Facebook describing the changes to come:

"I'm changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions. We started making changes in this direction last year."

So honestly? This isn't really anything new. If you've seen a decrease, decline, or fluctuation in your engagement on your business page in the past year, you might have already been experiencing what's to come.

Of course it's going to take months to get this all rolled out officially, but being ahead of the curve right now is your best bet for staying on top of things.

Knowing how to talk to your clients and knowing how to kill it on your own page is going to be really crucial.

And if you start now, you're already ahead of the game.

So what he said is, "as we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands in media, and the public content you see more will be held to the same standard."

He wanted to encourage meaningful interactions between people, similar to how we like our family and friends posts. We like those things because they're meaningful to us!

And so with a total influx of posts coming about as of late, and with video being really popular, live streaming being really popular, and of course all businesses trying to get in on that valuable organic action and traction....There's are SO many posts out there in newsfeed land.

There's no possible WAY that with the pages that we follow, the friends that we make, and the family that we have on Facebook -  that we're going to be able to see all of it.

See how the changes are pretty much inevitable at this point?

There's literally no choice but for Facebook to continue to refine how they show us the things we find most meaningful.

Facebook knows what you find meaningful based on how long you stay on that post, or if you engage with that post, and other reasons that make them think that you find those things meaningful.

So it makes it clear that to stay relevant to our people from a business page perspective, we have to be

meaningful

to them and promote meaningful interactions.

And I want to talk about what that really means!

Brass tacks what it means is: the most important thing that you can do with your business page is to create a page that promotes community. A community is a place where people rally behind a common interest.

So how can your business page and your clients' business pages be more than just a sounding board for advertisements, for product post after product post, or promo after promo?

You have to think about what your audience has in common and why they bought your product in the first place!

What's going to make them stick around?

Example: A client I'm consulting with sells amazing farmhouse sinks. This is a company where a customer buys a sink once and they're probably done with their overall purchases.

So how are we able to make this page a place where people like it before they buy, they like it during their buying process, they talk about it on social media, AND they continue to like the page after they bought their sink?!

We've got to ask, "What makes people buy a sink?"

It's not just the sink, it's not always the quality of the sink. It's not always the brand either.

It's the kitchen, it's the process. It's like the home remodeling: it's the tips and the know-how and the stories of other people. It's the décor. It's all kinds of things revolving around the kitchen and a few other things in there too.

So that's what community is - in this case, the interest in beautiful kitchens, knowing how to do certain home renovations in the kitchen, designing it, cooking in it, cooking certain recipes, etc.

So think of it like that. How can you create a community with your page?

Zuckerberg talked about this in his post as well, where the folks at Facebook noticed that the types of pages that talk about sports teams or other things people have in common - those are the pages that thrive because you have community and meaning.

So the other thing that's super important and it goes right in with community is engagement.

Engagement is going to be one of your most important KPIs to determine how much your page really represents a community and how much page rep or resonates with the people that you want to follow you and ultimately buy from you.

So how can we get more engagement or how do you know if the engagement that you're getting is working?

First off, you have GOT to be measuring your social media efforts on a weekly basis.

If you're not? Welly, you're totally missing out on valuable data that will help guide you in your future posts.

I hate when people talk about scheduling and batching content for the next month out because it doesn't work.

Sure, you get an idea with an editorial calendar or what I call a skeleton calendar, but you have to make sure that you're scheduling those things maybe a week in advance or the day of so that you still know that they're relevant.

Back to engagement. How do you measure engagement?

Sure, we could look at the insights tab on Facebook and we could go to the post and kind of figure out.

But the BEST way to determine and measure engagement is to configure the engagement rate.Engagement rate is engagement divided by reach.

To determine engagement rate, you're actually doing one more step to evaluate if the post in question was valuable or not, so that you know if he should continue to scale in that direction and do more posts like that or if you should cut back on those types of posts.

First, take your engagement. Let's say it's 175 reactions on a post. Next, let's take your reach. Let's say it's 75,000.

Your initial look at the insights might be, "Whoa! That's a great post. Look at that reach!"

But let's determine the engagement rate. Engagement of 175 divided by reach of 75,000 = 0.00233

Turned into a percentage, that's an engagement rate of 0.23%

Pretty terrible, huh?

On the flip side, if you have a post with a small reach of say, 500, but with 175 reactions (aka engagement), you're swimming in engagement rate!

We often look at reach and make a poor judgement about the accuracy of how well our post did, when in reality, engagement rate is the ultimate KPI to measure.

This is a great time to check out my Facebook group, Social Bosses: How To Be a Social Media Manager. I go in-depth about what engagement rate means and how to talk about all the changes with your clients.

Once you know that the post did well in terms of engagement rate, you can then begin to break down the other factors to continue to refine your posting strategy. If a post had a great engagement rate, you must ask yourself "why." Was it the timing, the caption, the creative?

You're going to continually break down your formula that works well, knowing that you're going to have to keep tweaking it, knowing that it's an ever-evolving process, but that the engagement rate is the most important thing that you can measure.

Now that we've got engagement rate down, let's jump to the rest of Zuckerberg's post.

He also talked about meaningful and valuable interactions. He even said (paraphrased), "It may take a while for this to take hold. Participation and engagement on the platform may go down at first, but in the long run - this is what is right and important. Important to our viewers and to us at Facebook.

That right there is huge because they have so much insight into what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing.

What Facebook is doing and trending toward is something to really take note of in the grand scheme of things with marketing.

If they're really pushing meaningful and valuable content, we as marketers on all channels should do that too.

And this is again, another thing you should be talking to your clients about. This is a huge shift.

This is something that's scaring people. It's a big deal, and I'm positive your clients certainly think so.

This ultimately is a really great way to talk to your clients about it and finally get them to understand that it is meaningful and valuable information that works. It is the constant advertisements, the promos, the sales, and the post after post about your products that just don't cut it and truthfully they never did.

But this is a conversation starter now. The key here is meaningful and valuable content.

And the best way to think about that and make that happen is again to look at your page like a community.

What do the people who follow your page or the people that are interested in your brand or your niche have in common? What can your page represent and how can you make it meaningful and valuable to them?

The next thing Zuckerberg touched on is live video. Live video is especially a type of content people are finding meaningful and valuable.

We do favor videos in general, but they're kind of becoming so common and it's becoming a very passive experience on Facebook. So in order to make our page a meaningful experience, our live videos have to be meaningful too.

What kinds of things would be questions that your ideal page viewers/customers have? What factors are important to them when making buying decisions?

Provide meaning with your answers and turn them into live videos.

Humanize your brand.

And encourage your clients to do the same, and teach them how!

But how, you ask?!

How the hell are we going to have a conversation with our clients about this whole thing? And how can we make this work for them so that they don't fire us or think of what we're doing is weird, crazy, or even worse - not working or unimportant?

Because that's one thing that I've noticed that people are very scared of.

Even marketing agencies that I work with are scared that their clients are going to fire them because Facebook has suddenly become unimportant.

Let's talk about how to quell ours and our clients' fears AND truly bring our clients results despite any social media changes.

The first thing you want to do is be super upfront with your clients about what's going on.

Not in a way to scare them, but to inform them and then provide them with a solution.

You are the solution maker! This is your chance to shine.

This is your chance to seriously up-level your skills and use them to bring meaning and value to your clients' business pages - a place where all businesses can be "human," real, and valuable.

Report to your clients more with engagement rate. Explain to them what has been working and what is not and WHY.

Provide solutions and help them transition to a more human-centric brand. Teach them about live video. Bust out all your tricks!

But even more importantly? Get to know your client more personally.

Work to understand their brand, their goals, and their mission on a personal level so that you can transform those ideals into captivating copy that creates a community.

::mic drop::

Not only should you use this opportunity to create a meaningful conversation with your client, but you can also use this as an opportunity to up-sell to more advanced services.

Offer more community engagement and outreach. Better yet, up-sell them to use Facebook ads for lead generation and awareness.

Because ads? Yeah, they're still pretty cheap. And certainly important. And while we're at it - the ROI is honestly pretty dang high.

Ads will be especially relevant now during these changes. And the best part? You are getting in the game before the ads go up in price!

Again....solution maker! Save your clients money by showing them how to get ahead of the curve, beat the competition, and leverage Facebook and social media to their full potential.

This is NOT the time to give up on social media, or on being or becoming a social media manager.

The opposite is true. This is the greatest time to be in digital marketing. Our jobs are even MORE valuable now.

Because Bosses, we are NOT button pushers. We are NOT just those people that play on their phone all day and are probably good at Facebook because "we grew up with a phone in our hand."

(I mean, I sure didn't grow up that way).

Our jobs as social media managers are not in danger.

They are more relevant and more necessary than ever.

People cannot afford to hire a "button pusher." No, what they need is a strategist.

And that's YOU, my friend. You are a game-changer. A social media wizard.

I hope this post eases your fears. Because you are not unworthy or out of a job.

Be the expert that I know that you are.

If you ARE an expert or WANT to be one: join the Facebook group with other social media managers just like you.

And if you like static, watch the Tipsy Tuesday replay below!