Last week, Facebook released new information regarding how they rank organic posts in the News Feed. Since we're always trying to figure out how to get our posts seen on Facebook, we have to pay attention when Facebook gives us feedback on what they're looking for. Back in early 2018, Facebook made it very clear that they were changing their algorithm: instead of showing content that is more viral, they want to focus on content that creates conversations between family and friends. Conversations mean comments, and so Facebook's algorithm changed to look for comments, especially unique comments that provide value or spark conversation. Ideally, Facebook is looking for unique comments that are at least 5 words long. This change in the algorithm has greatly affected what we see in our News Feeds.
Facebook also recently released more information that the algorithm is now looking for your replies to user comments. When you reply to the comments on your posts, that signals to Facebook that a conversation is occurring! Therefore, not replying to your comments will work against you and decrease the amount that your posts are shown. The fact that Facebook has (once again) changed their algorithm gives us the opportunity to sit up and pay attention to how we are adapting our posting practices to fit the new rules.
Tips on Effectively Engaging with Your Comments
- Instead of asking questions that require one-word answers, ask more open-ended questions. It’s difficult to spark genuine conversations with answers like, “Yes” or “Send me more info, please” especially when you have multiple people giving similar responses. Try not coming right out and asking a question at all, but rather make a statement that encourages people to share their own unique opinions.
- Monitor the comments that come through on your Facebook posts. There are many tools to help you do this or you can simply use your Facebook Pages Manager app on your phone to see your comments and make sure you’re replying. Don't just post something and forget about it, actively monitor each post. If you’re posting as a part of a team, determine who comes up with the post ideas, who writes the content, who creates the graphic, and then who is responsible for replying to any comments that come in on the post. Usually, after the first few days, you don't have to manage too much unless your post goes viral.
- Pre-determine the types of replies that are acceptable. This will not only save you time, but it will also ensure that your responses stay on brand. Determine if it’s appropriate to respond with humor or in a more professional tone. Lately, it’s really popular to use expressive gifs to respond with.
- People are looking at the comments of your posts to get a sense your brand's style. There are actual sales being made based on a business’s engagement with their customers in their comments. This means that instead of the focus being on the actual post itself, more people are reading the comments of the post. This is the latest form of “comment marketing.” This is also why it remains incredibly important to reply to every single comment on your posts. Have fun with it, but stay on brand. Feel free to share links to purchase or links to give feedback in your comments. Once you've got people talking, then you can engage with them.
Marketing on Facebook is Still So Valuable.
I know I talk a lot about the importance of marketing your business on Facebook, but I do it because it’s still so valuable. Though the real value is in the ads and the audience capabilities, learning what will get you more organic reach will make the time you spend posting worth it. I don’t want you to miss out on creating new customers or maintaining loyal customers. When someone takes the time to leave a personal comment on your post, make sure that you take the time to give a meaningful response to their comment. This will turn customers into friends and encourage positive feelings toward your brand.
You can...do it!
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.