New Facebook Algorithm is Nothing to Fear

You’ve likely heard the news about the new Facebook algorithm change. Many of our subscribers are wondering what the details are. What does this mean for their pages on the popular social media platform?

In short, Facebook is now prioritizing posts from friends and family over those from publishers and businesses. Their aim is to increase the value of the time users spend on the platform. The change is designed to encourage more engagement with the posts that users do see. It also assumes that people are more likely to interact with content from friends and family.

As you may have guessed, this change has caused a lot of worry for brands that use Facebook as part of their marketing strategy. You may already be concerned about how it will affect your agency’s page.

Despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the new update, there are still many ways for your agency to be successful on Facebook. So don’t be alarmed. Keep reading, and we’ll show you why this update could actually be a good thing for your insurance business.

Followers can choose to prioritize your content

This change doesn’t mean that users will be unable to see publisher content in their newsfeeds–it just means that they will have greater control over whose content they see.

Facebook users will still have the ability to prioritize a page’s content in their news feed. To do this, they just need to follow the following steps:

  • On a desktop computer, click the arrow at the top of the page; on a mobile device, click the 3 bars at the top of the screen.
  • Click News Feed Preferences
  • Click “Prioritize who to see first.”
  • Then click the name of the page

But how can you convince them to prioritize your content? Just ask! Your followers began following your page for a reason, so they might just need a little reminder to make sure your content is still visible to them.

In addition, your followers can choose to be notified when you post an update. To do this, they only need to visit your page, click the button near the top (typically over your cover photo) that says “Following,” and select “On” for notifications.

Engagement may go down in quantity, but will go up in quality

Now that your content isn’t on every follower’s newsfeed, your posts may not receive as many likes as they once did. However, there is a bright side here. The portion of your followers who choose to prioritize your content are more likely to interact with it anyway. Plus, the quality of their engagement is likely to be higher. These are the people who are more likely to click on a shared article, more likely to react, and more likely to comment.

For example, if you post a video, under the new algorithm it will likely get fewer views. However, the people who do view it will be more likely to engage with it in some way. So while you may be losing some viewership, you’re gaining an audience that cares.

While we’re on the subject of video…

Live videos and longer videos are still a great way to invite engagement

At this time, Facebook still prioritizes live video and longer videos in users’ news feeds. Currently, users get a notification when a page they follow is hosting a live broadcast. That’s still a good indicator that the platform is continuing to place a large emphasis on live video content.

In addition to live video, Facebook had also begun prioritizing longer videos, and those with repeat viewership. Therefore, if you are using video as part of your social marketing strategy, you may want to start making those videos longer. For instance, instead of breaking a topic down into two or three different videos, you may have more success now by putting them into one longer video that will get a bigger boost in Facebook’s algorithm.

But while video as a whole is great for Facebook, Live is still king. Live video already commands greater engagement than other types of posts. Users who watch Facebook live videos tend to watch for 3X as long, and are 10X more likely to comment than they are on static video. Since its launch, it has been shown to be a wonderful way for businesses to engage with followers. If your agency hasn’t yet experimented with live video on Facebook, now is the time to start.

A large emphasis will remain on groups

Facebook groups cater to specific interests. There are groups for everything from local food reviews to niche hobbies–and yes, even groups about insurance! A posting to a group can be a great way to reach people who would be interested in your agency, and may just not know about it yet.

People who are members of groups on Facebook will continue to see a lot of group-related content in their newsfeeds, even with the algorithm change. The only rub is that pages can’t join a group–you can only join from your personal page. However, that doesn’t diminish the opportunity to reach new users.

Try this the next time you’re logged into your personal Facebook account: Search for insurance-related groups on Facebook to join. You may want to keep it local and focus on groups for your particular area–but you can join more than one! When your page posts content that you think would be relevant to the group, click on the “Share” button and select “Share…” This will open a pop-up in your browser. At the top, click “Share on your timeline,” and instead select “Share in a group.” Finally, select the group, personalize your message, and share it.

When you’re a member of a group, you don’t want to constantly share your agency’s content to try to get likes and comments. This is considered spamming. Keep these tips in mind when interacting with insurance groups on Facebook:

  • Don’t share content from your page as your first post to the group. Instead, introduce yourself.
  • Only share content you think will be of particular interest to the group
  • Engage with the group in other ways, such as commenting on others’ posts, asking for answers to questions or recommendations from the group, or assisting others who have posted

With a little time and effort, group memberships can provide a huge boost to your agency’s success on Facebook.

Your page is still easily findable on Facebook–and it will be found

Even if no one ever sees another one of your agency’s posts on their news feed again, there is still plenty of reason to maintain your Facebook presence. Facebook is still the most-used social network, and people often look at a business’s Facebook page before deciding to make a purchase or talk to a representative from that company. In fact, at least 30% of users polled said that they check a company’s Facebook page multiple times before making a purchase decision. This fact alone means that it’s important to keep your agency’s page up-to-date.

So should you still post content regularly? Yes. Users check out businesses on Facebook to learn more than just their address and pricing.  They also look for photos, videos, and new products or promotions. Another big reason to look at a company’s Facebook page is to learn how they interact with their followers. A page that posts content and responds quickly to customer comments is far more appealing to a user than one who hasn’t posted in six months.

Think of your Facebook page as a second website. It’s important to have it there so that people can find your agency and interact with you–and keeping it up-to-date for the customer shows that you care.

Facebook is only one piece of the social media puzzle

While Facebook is still very important for insurance agents to maintain relationships and grow their businesses, it is still only a single social network. There are many others, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, that can come together to help you create a successful social-based marketing strategy.

At Insurance Social.Media, your agency’s success is important. To help you achieve it, we collect and curate the best content, and help you build a social-based marketing strategy that meets your business needs. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now is a great time to give Insurance Social.Media a try. Sign up today for our risk-free 30-day free trial, and learn what it means to be a social media success.

–By Mallory DuPuy

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