Many gifted women in established not for profits and businesses for purpose have been telling me how they find it challenging to keep up with the ever changing Facebook algorithms changes, seemingly unable to rely on the technology long enough. Once they figure out a working tactic, it seems to no longer bare the fruits.
This can feel discouraging.
I too used to feel the frustration and a little despair whenever I worked out a great Facebook ad I could never replicate for anyone else, including myself. It just didn’t do the trick again.
What is going on here? And what can we do in the face of the regular Facebook algorithms updates?
First let’s see what is a Facebook update and why the heck they happen so often. And then we’ll talk about three important elements of a successful social media effort.
In my decade long marketing career I’ve watched Facebook make live changes in front of my eyes, small and big, many cosmetic changes and a few strategy altering updates. This takes place all the time.
Whatever happens, Facebook algorithm updates often feel like bad timing and poor execution – it just seems to be done to make our lives harder.
Facebook must innovate to survive. They learn what happens on their platform and make [hopefully] appropriate changes to improve the network. It isn’t usually about improving your specific network experience but whatever makes you like or tolerate the space enough to stay (as a part of a larger community!).
For example, Facebook used third-party data (your phone network company, for example), like your income information for instance, to enable more relevant and accurate advertising. While many advertisers, including millions of business owners, companies and individuals found it useful for their targeting, many saw it unethical and unacceptable. The third-party data has now been removed from Facebook advertising significantly reducing ads targeting choices.
This was a huge change.
Many marketers and business owners found this extremely inconvenient.
No one has left the network though; and Facebook continues to exist.
While I didn’t find third-party data very beneficial for Facebook targeting in my work, many claim to had been relying on it and are now losing money.
This seems like an ethical dilemma to me; and your reaction and attitudes are often framed by your own moral compass, ideas and experiences.
Facebook releases smaller updates daily usually to small groups of users before rolling out to everyone. Many updates go unnoticed and some disrupt people’s work making it increasingly unreliable and unpredictable. There are thousands and millions of people, small businesses, huge companies and not for profits who are doing honourable work and are relying on Facebook technology to reach those who can benefit from what they do.
With regular updates affecting their reach and results, it’s easy to see how trying to appeal to someone’s moral compass is a failing and probably alienating exercise.
And that’s because there are two sides to this problem.
While many updates are necessary to continue improving our experience online there are certainly consequences that maybe be simply too costly for some of us – not reaching a depressed teen in time because Facebook rolled out new targeting platform isn’t ideal to say the least.
There are strategies you can put in place to keep your finger on the pulse with minimal disruptions. While some loss is inevitable, there are a few things you can do to improve your social media marketing results in the face of the algorithm changes.
One of the best ways to ensure your work regularity and less susceptibility to the social media algorithm changes is to maintain a constant and working strategy.
When your work shines and people engage with your online representation of your mission, Facebook rewards your work by allowing more (relevant) people to see it. This isn’t because Facebook people are little evil gremlins but because they are keeping relevant information accessible to those who are seeking it.
Relevancy really matters because it translates into their wellbeing. This is also true in your work, which blossoms when their is a need you fulfill.
Cracking or tricking Facebook algorithm by, for example, asking all your friends to like your Facebook Page’s posts doesn’t serve you. If your Facebook friends aren’t buying from you, they aren’t the right target market. When a wrong target market engages with your content, it invites more of the wrong target market to engage. They are “wrong” because your solutions isn’t relevant to them. Over time, your Facebook Page’s engagement drops off due to the irrelevancy of your work to the “wrong” target market. Facebook reacts to it by adjusting how much of your work is visible to the “wrong” target market. Eventually (and very fast), your Facebook Page is disengaged again; and you are wondering whether a new Facebook algorithm has been unleashed.
This scenario isn’t true to everyone. However, it illustrates the importance of a suitable for your goals strategy, which includes a good understanding of your target market and data, offering a working solution.
Designing a good social media strategy enables a more controlled environment where you can forecast and test your assumptions based on the present data. With less variables at play you can define your next step, test and watch the outcomes unfold allowing for better evaluation and long term planning.
A good social media strategy includes relevant to your business steps. For example, if signing up for Twitter isn’t relevant it won’t be encompassed in your work. Peeling off efforts that don’t serve your mission is a good start of a more deliberate and strategic work on social media.
A big part of my social media program is identifying the measuring sticks, or deciding on what outcomes are relevant and realistic.
This comes with two elements of importance – an honest conversation around what is realistic to achieve with the help of social media technology (often based on the data collected) and what data is relevant to the business. Facebook offers huge analytical capabilities nowadays, much of which is a confusing and irrelevant stream of numbers and graphs if you don’t know what you are looking for.
I always recommend to start small and only focus on the bare minimum that has an affect on your work right now. It’s very easy to add more but it isn’t always a walk in the park to peel off the unnecessary.
A big part of my program is regular reporting and re-evaluation, which allows us to watch the outcomes comparing them with the present and past data and measuring against the identified measuring sticks. Regular reporting helps adjust quickly and realign if something isn’t working, recording fruitful steps, found gems and uncovered bottlenecks.
Always compare your social media efforts to your past social media efforts and never someone else’s – you never know all the variables and data of someone’s work and their goals are never identical to yours. Watching social media trends and business competitors is often a huge waste of time and mental health.
Facebook data collection can sometimes feel overwhelming. Only paying attention to the data that is relevant to what you are trying to achieve can make your tracking and measuring a lot more enjoyable and useful. Don’t try to measure it all if only two figures really illustrate the outcomes you are after.
I design simple and effective social media and Facebook ads strategies helping gifted not for profits and businesses for purpose leverage their social media technology and loyal community to really power their mission, building more donations and creating impact. My work is custom solution aiming at the specific needs of your work.
There are many ways you can reach out to see if I am a good fit for your goals. Check out the Facebook Messanger bubble on the bottom right, contact page on the top and/or a form and a calendar, if this type of communication suits you better.
I look forward to supporting your vision of the future!