On January 12, 2018 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some pretty major changes to how Facebook’s content is ranked on its users’ News Feeds.
With these changes, Zuckerberg emphasises that the goal given to his product team is to move away from helping users find relevant content to helping them have more meaningful social interactions.
Zuckerberg says the change was motivated by the findings of academic research-
‘The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good.’
Put simply, public content (posts by news outlets, brands and businesses) will be outranked by updates from friends, family and groups by the new News Feed algorithm in an effort to strengthen users’ relationships and well-being.
So, the changes sound like a good thing for individual users, but could potentially be bad for business.
What does this mean for real estate businesses?
While these changes are being rolled out, you may notice your post reach, likes, video views and referral traffic from Facebook decline as your posts get deprioritised.
If you’ve invested a lot of time, money and energy into cultivating your Facebook business page and you don’t want all this hard work to go to waste you’ll be looking for tactics to effectively navigate this change.
Here are some steps you can take to help your real estate business continue to benefit from its presence on Facebook and stay competitive.
Tactics to deal with these News Feed changes
Less is more
It can be easy to get bogged down in routinely posting the same kinds of content five or six times a week hoping that’s all it takes to stay top of mind with your followers. But with this new algorithm, you’ll soon realise your effort will be much better spent focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Consider each and every post carefully to ensure it a) will spark conversation and b) provide value to your audience. As you put more effort into making quality, valuable and engaging posts, you may even find you can post less frequently while getting more engagement on posts.
For example, instead of posting ‘just listed’ and ‘just sold’ properties daily, share your latest fantastic client testimonial and invite readers to share their own account of when an agent went above and beyond for them.
In an effort to create more ‘meaningful social interactions’ the News Feed rejig prioritises content that generates conversation between people.
To ensure your posts rank higher in the News Feed aim to craft updates in a way that will invite longer comments, reactions, sharing and back-and-forth discussion among your followers and their friends.
Try sharing a recent experience you’ve had locally in your service area that you're followers are passionate about or interested in (think community events, team sponsorships, local businesses and recreation). For instance, share a post about your favourite coffee spot and ask readers to nominate their own business for the best coffee in town.
Experiment with live video
Facebook states the overarching aim of the News Feed changes is to move users away from ‘passively reading articles or watching videos’. So, we know that pre-recorded video content from businesses will be shown less and page posts that generate conversation will rank higher.
Facebook’s head of News Feed Adam Mosseri shared that ‘live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos’. Facebook views live video as a more personal way to interact with followers and therefore will continue to encourage businesses to benefit from it.
The good news is you don’t need to eliminate video from your Facebook content strategy completely and you can use the above insight to your advantage. Try out live-streaming an auction, local event or inspection to drum up engagement on your Facebook page.
Up your ads
According to Ollie Moore of Facebook Australia, ‘Facebook reaches 80 per cent of the internet population in Australia’. He goes on to say that more than 15 million Australians use Facebook every month. With this kind of reach your business can’t afford to not explore the huge potential and value of Facebook as a marketing tool.
Dip your toe into the vast ocean that is Facebook Ads by investing in a marketing budget for your business page. The News Feed algorithm changes won’t affect the visibility of paid posts- making paid content the only sure-fire way to be seen by your target audience and grow your page's following on Facebook.
Look into the many Facebook Ads opportunities available to promote your content, generate leads and grow your website visits. It may seem complicated at first but Facebook has a support centre available for messenger chat assistance around the clock. Alternatively, you can hire a digital marketing specialist to optimise your Facebook page ads for you.
While these News Feed changes may seem unappealing at first glance for your business, there are still strategic ways to use Facebook to your advantage. We hope these ideas put you on track to continue to leverage Facebook to engage your audience and benefit your business.
The Homely.com.au Team
Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Merrylands real estate for sale and properties for rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.
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