Facebook announced on January 11th that it would adjust the news feed algorithm to show more posts from family, friends, and groups, and less promotional content from businesses and publishers. There’s smoke and mirrors about exactly how this complicated algorithm adjustment will affect businesses, but the consensus is that it will decrease reach for firms like yours.
In other words, if your construction company is using this platform as part of your social media marketing strategy, you just got kicked to the curb. The resulting question: “Is Facebook still a smart place for construction firms to invest time and money?”
Your Reach was Already Weak
Let’s not get carried away with how devastating Facebook’s news feed change is. The organic reach of your posts was already abominable. Facebook saw to that years ago in an effort to force brands into paid advertising. To be clear, organic reach is the number of followers that see a post when you put it on your Facebook page without spending money. Your reach, much like the 1957 classic “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” continues to get smaller, and smaller, and smaller.
Is Facebook Still Worth Your Time?
With all this good news, you’re probably wondering whether you should dump Facebook like a load of crushed stone. That’s a decision you just make as a firm, but this is certainly a time to have the discussion.
Take a closer look at your results and commit to periodically checking your results moving forward. I encourage you to read Facebook Marketing: Does it Still Work for Construction Firms? as part of your evaluation.
Ways to Continue Growing and Reaching Followers
The bottom line is that you will have to spend more time and/or money in paid advertising to get at least the same results you’ve been getting on Facebook. Assuming you decide to maintain your presence, the following tips will help you to get the most out of your efforts:
Keep Promoting Your Page
Facebook has made it harder for your followers to see your posts, but that doesn’t mean you should stop growing your follower base. More followers equals greater reach. Continue to cross-promote your presence on other social platforms, via email, advertising, and whatever other tactics you use.
Get the Team Involved
Getting your employees engaging with (sharing, liking, commenting, etc.) will help to improve your visibility in the feed. While the smoke never fully clears on how these mysterious algorithms work, the evidence suggests that higher engagement improves the chances of your content being seen on social media. This is a good time to remind the team of the need for their support.
Create Interesting Content
Creating interesting content is half the battle. This means sharing not just captivating images, but also packaging it with creative wording. Some construction firms are just not putting in the work here. Ever hear the phrase “go big or go home?” It’s time to start following it.
Try Paid Advertising
Facebook wants you to spend money to reach your followers. This news feed algorithm change is simply the latest move to increase social advertising revenue. You can either play the game or leave. The only positive side is that advertising on Facebook is cost-effective compared to some other social advertising avenues.
Get Active in Groups
There continues to be conflicting reports in the media about whether Facebook is growing or shrinking, but most agree that its groups are hotbeds of activity. Not to mention, there seems to be a group for nearly every interest. Make sure to join the groups where your customers and prospects hang out. You might also consider an occasional tasteful company-related post. Whatever you do, do not post overly promotional content or you will rightfully be called to the carpet or flagged by the group administrator.
Keep Working on Your Branding
Some of us don’t like to admit this (especially marketing people) but success on social media is not just based upon what you post, but who you are. The strongest brands have a noticeable advantage on social media. Continue building yours and it will serve you well.
Facebook and the Construction Industry
83 percent of survey respondents in the Construction Marketing Association’s 2018 Marketing Outlook said they plan to increase spending on social media marketing. It was the highest of any internet marketing tactic.
Facebook is also among the most used platforms for construction firms. This news feed change represents its realization that people don’t want to see your company’s posts when they log into Facebook. And, of course, Facebook wants to further monetize its platform.
Facebook is essential for residential construction firms, but the jury is still out as to whether Facebook is an effective platform for the commercial building and heavy highway construction sectors. This news feed change presents an opportunity to pause and evaluate your position. What are your objectives on Facebook? Are you getting the results you want? If you are, try the above ideas to get the most out of your future efforts.
What do you think of Facebook’s news feed change? How will it affect your participation?
Need help getting noticed by the right people on Facebook? Fraley Construction Marketing can help. Click here to learn more about our social media marketing services.