Best practices change! – What was key to Facebook success yesterday may be punished today with low visibility or a ruined page. Here is a list of the new Do’s and Don’ts on Facebook as of fall 2014.
Post articles with title/teaser preview
Not too long ago, picture posts were the guarantee for an engaging Facebook update. Thus, when you shared a link on Facebook, you posted an attractive image and shared the URL within the post copy. (We all did that, right?) Now Facebook changed the game: It announced that it would reduce the visibility of picture posts with links, while giving more exposure to posts that use the link format (the title/teaser preview that appears when you paste a link while drafting a post). – Tip: Even using the link format, you can still swap the image by selecting “Upload Image” on the preview and you can also customize title and teaser by clicking on it!
Use Facebook’s paid services to increase your page’s reach and engagement
In early 2014, average organic reach for Facebook pages was down to 6% of their following. The social platform is “overpopulated.” Every post has to live up to countless competing updates that Facebook may rate more important than a page’s message. But: Promoted posts are not expensive! A good practice is to boost your best performing updates (they already proved to be engaging!) to your page following only (those people already gave permission to receive your content!) We see post engagements for many of our hospitality clients coming in at $0.03 to $0.05 per action. How much are you willing to pay for a proven interaction with your brand?
Like Gate Contests
Facebook contests are great to increase engagement and generate content. Requiring people to like your page in order to enter the contest was best practice for a long time, but it is officially dead. Contests, especially the ones with BIG prizes, can attract people that care to win, but are not really interested in the company that hosts the contest. If a page requires these people to become their social audience, they can end up with a fan base that rarely reacts to posts and may so damage overall page visibility. Even Facebook finally recognized this fact and will ban like-gating on contest apps starting in November. The new way to go is action-gating. Instead of asking people to follow you, ask them to do something for you (answer a question, submit a vacation photo etc.)
Earlier this year we learned that Facebook would beat down on pages that constantly ask for Likes, Comments and Shares. Now Facebook announced that it would penalize click-baiting posts as well. The social platform explains it this way: “Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.”
Auto-post your Facebook posts to Twitter (and vice versa)
This is not a recent change, but I still see it done way too much! Auto-posting social content from one platform to the other saves time, but it is not a good practice. Why? – Because you often end up with status updates that are chopped off (Twitter’s 160 character limit). More importantly, you clearly show your online audience that you don’t have the passion to become familiar with a their favorite social media platform. All social outlets have a unique community with own best practices and their own language. Become familiar with it! – I don’t say that you can’t re-use content for different profiles, but you should at least adjust the update copy to fit the individual culture!
Do you have any best-practice tips that rock your Facebook world? – Share it in the comments below! We’d love to hear about it!