Facebook and Instagram have changes in the pipeline which may affect the way that you interact with your contacts on those channels. it’s worth being aware of what’s coming up, so you can take action, if necessary.

Facebook

The average user is spending less time on the platform than even 3 years ago, and more adverts are being shown than ever before on people’s timelines. The newsfeed has changed, with a smaller image size, and only 3 lines of text appearing before the ‘see more’ link.  You need to make sure that your key message is in the first three lines, otherwise people will scroll past without seeing it at all.

In Facebook Groups, a user leaving the group can opt to remove all prior posts that they have made, so you could lose things that were key content, under those circumstances. Facebook is cracking down on inappropriate content in groups, and if admins don’t remove flagged content, or post or approve content that doesn’t not meet community standards, then the whole group can be closed down.

Facebook ranks posts by preferences, and show them to more people if they are well received.  To increase the chances of this happening to your posts, remember the following:

  • other reactions than simple likes are valued higher
  • comments and conversations in the comments rank high, so reply to comments on your posts
  • engage with shared content, where people share your content, or to your page

AVOID posts for the sole purpose of ‘buy now’, or competition content, and don’t bother with Boosting a post – it’s not worth it.

The best way to ensure your post is seen is to create an advert, which isn’t as expensive as you think.  You can target it very specifically, to people who have liked similar pages, or people who support similar causes, as well as by geographical area and demographic information – focus on those with Means and Motivation. You can run competitions in adverts, or whatever else you like. If you can, use a link in the advert to send them to a page on your website, or in Mailchimp, that captures their email and name details, so that you can continue to interact with them.

Instagram

Instagram has already removed the visible likes and views for those seeing the post (posters can still see), and proof of interaction is now better measured by comments on the posts. Low quality posts are being removed, so they need to be well written, with good quality pictures. The algorithm that determines what posts people see is based on what other people have liked and interacted with, so to show your post to more people, you need the few who see it initially to interact with it.

 

This has been drawn from a free seminar on Facebook by Samantha English of the Retail Marketing Academy.  It was targeted at small businesses, rather than charities, and concluded with an extended sales pitch for her paid-for marketing programme, hence I don’t recommend it for this readership.