How Your Brand Can Win Against The Facebook And Instagram Algorithms
Recently our team rolled out some shiny new social media strategies for some of our clients. After working together for about 6 months to a year, we like to revisit our strategies and make some tweaks. By this time, we’ve collected enough data and done enough trial and error that we can make these educated changes.
What did we change exactly?
Well, it was a little bit different for everyone - depending on industry and audience of course - but there were a few commonalities for Facebook and Instagram across the board.
Here are some strategic tips that benefit all brands:
Engagement Is Everything
The key to any Instagram strategy right now is engagement. You must engage, engage, engage your audience. Think of Instagram like Buddha = What you put out, you receive. The more outreach you do, the more results you will see.
Actively comment back on your photos, make comments on content from people you follow and, of course, any potential prospects. It’s important to stay active regularly--you can't schedule this stuff. It needs to feel (and be!) as authentic as possible. As a general rule of thumb, try and spend 10 minutes, 3 times a day to engage with your Instagram world.
Shockingly, 60% of Instagram users are only watching stories now. Thumb scrolling is a thing of the past for them. So we need to get in front of our audiences by creating original stories for them to watch! This might sound like a whole new realm of content that needs to be created, but we promise - it’s not as complicated as you think. The Stories feature is a place to showcase your more raw content. Share behind-the-scenes videos and photos of your day, share those photos that didn’t quite make the cut for your feed, and just practice overall authenticity. Your followers want to get to know the real you, not the filtered and highly edited version your feed presents. Your followers want to know the people and the story behind your brand - yes, they love your highly thought out curated feed, but they need some reality behind those photos.
Post Cadence: We like to post daily, but we think posting 4-7 times a week is ok too. Quality over quantity.
Stay Within Facebook
To sum it up simply, what we’ve learned is that Facebook never wants you to leave it's own platform. If your posts direct users outside of the platform, or if your posts were scheduled from outside of the platform - the algorithm will not be your friend.
Ditch Hootsuite for Facebook and schedule your posts natively within Facebook publisher, and try to steer away from always posting outside links. These small tweaks will reveal themselves to be very beneficial to the engagement on your Facebook page.
Have Fun With Content
Don't focus so closely on conversions here. Think of Facebook as more of a brand awareness space. You can share company updates, product releases and any big news - not just sales posts (leave that for your target ads!). But you also should be sharing some "fun" content! The kind of content that's going to get you high engagement. Think photos, graphics, and content that inspires a pause and reaction.
Additionally, Facebook is a great customer service tool. Your customers are going to try and reach you here, so don’t leave your messages unread. Implement a strategy that allows your team to be on Facebook at least once a day monitoring messages, comments and conversations.
Post Cadence: Move away from over-posting. Facebook timelines are so overly saturated that your followers don’t want to see 5 posts from you every day. And--fun fact--the algorithm rewards you for posts with higher engagement, so it's more important than ever to focus on quality over quantity here. For most brands who aren't pumping out quality content constantly, it's best to aim for about 3-4 posts a week. We’ve found that to be the sweet spot. You want to stay on the minds of your followers, but if you're sharing stuff that they're not engaging with--you're going to get punished by that algorithm and hurt your reach on future posts!
In summary, there are a few key takeaways here:
Quality over quantity. And by quality we don't mean high-res photo shoot content, we mean stuff your audience loves! Which is likely going to include some raw, behind the scenes, up close and personal stuff too. Which leads us to...
Stay human! Social media is meant to be social. You can't just pump content out and watch for conversions. You have to chat back, comment and share honest and authentic stuff. Authenticity and engagement are key, and there's nothing more real than the face behind the brand.
Relax a little, and go back to having some fun with social media. Keep it social! That's the whole point, right? Don't be afraid to put your face in front of the camera and go live on Facebook or post to Instagram Stories.