Are Facebook Pages Still Useful in 2019?
For many business owners, it seems like Facebook Pages are no longer a place to gain organic attention.
With the growth in Facebook advertising and the shift of users to platforms like Instagram, it is tempting to think Facebook Pages are not a great way for a business to gain engagement.
However, as with any social media platform, it all comes down to understanding both the functionality and the culture of the people using it.
Facebook has always been a place where people connect with other people: friends, acquaintances, and (more recently) those who share common interests through groups.
The Shift To Engagement
One of the complaints that many users had about Facebook over the past few years is that it is no longer a place for friends. Instead, it had become flooded by brands trying to hawk their wares.
In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg shared some changes to the platform that would have a significant effect on the organic reach of certain types of content.
As Zuckerberg explained in his post in January 2018, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
in 2019, Facebook Pages have become a sort of forgotten wasteland since the algorithm focused more on genuine interactions.
Is this the fault of Facebook?
Yes. And No.
Facebook makes it clear that they want you to engage with people first, and the algorithm will reward it. If you continue to use old approaches, you will get mediocre results.
To better understand how to use Facebook Pages, let’s take a look at how the platform has changed over the years.
How Facebook Pages Evolved (2007 – 2019)
On November 6th, 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Pages for Business. This change heralded a big shift in focus towards business and advertising on the platform.
From that day onward, instead of just having friends, you could now become a ‘fan’ of a page. Brands could share updates and promote themselves.
In the early days of Facebook Pages, the engagement levels for businesses were through the roof. Of course, as marketers jumped onto the trend of Facebook Pages, the engagement started to diminish.
Today in 2019, over 60 Million businesses have a Facebook page. However, less than 35% of page followers will receive Facebook Page content in their news feed.
With the announcement that Facebook is shifting to engagement, the organic reach of Facebook Pages plummeted.
More recently, with the announcement of Facebook’s focus moving to Groups, there is even more confusion about the value and usefulness of Facebook Pages.
In our experience as a Digital Marketing agency, if you have spent time creating a Business Page on Facebook, it is still worth taking the time to engage with it.
The people who liked it are still there, and with some small tweaks to your approach, you can grow your engagement level. Here are five strategies that still work in 2019 to build your Facebook page.
1) Less Promotional, More Educational
Perhaps the easiest way to increase the volume of likes, comments, and shares on your page is to change the focus.
If all of your Facebook content is promoting your products and services, then you are spamming your audience with ads. This tactic might have worked in 2007, but in 2019, social media users are wise to your ways.
Instead of spamming, take the Wikipedia approach. Start to educate and give helpful, valuable information to your audience. Find areas of interest that your page followers are interested in, and share them.
One key point to remember: don’t try to sneak promotional messages into the content. This subterfuge will slowly diminish brand trust.
You are far better to be educational and let the person search for product information themselves. Being helpful and offering value is key to better engagement in 2019.
2) Use Facebook Live to Interact
Launched in 2016, live streaming on Facebook Live has had a massive uptake in the last three years. It remains a great way to connect immediately with those who are following your page. Best of all, Facebook will let the replay of the video appear in the News Feed for people who didn’t see the live broadcast.
While it can be intimidating to do a Live stream, Facebook makes the technical part very easy. A simple click of a button on a smartphone or desktop and 1-2-3, you’re live!
If you are unsure what to say on Facebook Live, here are several ways that you can use it as part of your Business Page:
- Do a live Q&A session with online followers
- Conduct a how-to or product demonstration
- Show your office location, give a virtual tour
- Talk about niche topics in detail
- Make special announcements
- Conduct interviews with experts
3) Use Native Video and Images
Just like LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook allows companies to post links and content from their websites. Despite seeming like a great way to get your web content in front of viewers, the reality is that non-native content gets much less reach.
Native content is images, text, or video that are created and uploaded directly to Facebook. The majority of videos that are uploaded directly to Facebook have much higher views than videos linked from Youtube.
Images that are uploaded natively also do very well on Facebook. Because there is so much content in the Facebook feed, images are much more appealing than text on the screen.
Make sure you use this algorithm tweak to advantage and post native video and images on your Facebook Page.
4) Facebook Groups Can Grow Followers
With the recent push from Facebook to encourage private group discussions, it is now a valuable place to get involved. Facebook has discovered that people are getting huge value out of connecting via private groups, and they want to encourage this even further.
As of late 2018, Facebook pages can now join private groups and get involved in the discussions and sharing. Essentially, this means a brand can act as a person inside of a group.
Facebook groups tend to be very focused on niche topics and interests, so it’s vital that your brand is in alignment with them. If there is no logical link between the brand and the Group’s topic, it’s probably not worth joining.
Remember that groups are designed to be more private in nature. Acting as a brand inside a Facebook Group requires you to have discretion. Do not reshare comments or ideas without consent outside the Group.
5) Engagement is The Secret Sauce
The final point to remember is that Facebook loves conversation and interaction between its members. In 2019, genuine conversations and discussions are incredibly valuable on the platform.
If you have people commenting on your posts, you MUST make time to acknowledge and respond to comments.
Many businesses make the mistake of ignoring comments from their Facebook Page visitors and focusing on their next post. This behavior not only makes the person commenting feel snubbed, but it also lowers the chances the post will be shown to more people.
If you take time to comment, the Facebook algorithm will reward you with more organic reach.