Featured Image. Facebook icons and Instagram icons. Images from Pixabay

What the New Facebook and Instagram Changes Mean for You

Facebook has once again made some changes that are rolling out in 2019 with the main change being they want to focus heavily on building relationships and interactions. 

This means if you want your Facebook Page’s posts to be viewed by more people you need to really build those connections and avoid some pitfalls.  Receiving a few “likes” won’t be enough to keep you in front of your readers.

What the new facebook and instagram changes mean for you. Image from Pixabay of Facebook and Instagram icons

Are you in the loop?

So there have been and will be changes happening on Facebook (and Instagram, since they are owned by Facebook) in 2019.  These changes seem to be for Pages, not Profiles.

So if you have an Author Page on Facebook or a Business account on Instagram, you may want to be aware of these changes.

From what I’ve read, the main changes appear to be that there is significantly reduced organic reach for your Posts and Stories.

Also, they are prioritising content based on what they think users actually want to see.  We saw a similar change a few years ago with Instagram when they stopped showing updates in chronological order.

Facebook is also tightening up on content especially content that sends people offsite via external links.

There are more changes including changes to Facebook Groups so if you run a group, take a look at this article by Janet E Johnson who discusses the changes.

OMG, what does this mean!?

It means to get the most out of Facebook and Instagram you may need to change tack depending on how you use it.

It appears that Facebook really wants to beef up the meaningful interactions.  Without interactions, shares, comments, reactions etc between you and your followers, your reach may be reduced.

Things to focus on.

More than just Likes

If people just click “like” on your post, this will not be good.  Instead, the reactions are seen as more valuable.  That is clicking the heart, the laugh, wow, sad or even angry face.  These will do better for your posts than just receiving likes.

I think the point is to make stronger content that drives your followers to choose the reactions rather than just the likes.

This goes for if you just click like on posts you see too.  Facebook may read that as not as valuable and you may see less from that Page.

Replying

Receiving comments is always good and does well to increase your organic reach.  However, if you don’t reply to comments this may affect your reach.

Facebook is focusing a lot of attention on increased interactions, so that’s commenting, replying, messaging.

Avoiding external links

This is a pain for me, as using social media to share blog posts is important and I get a decent amount of traffic to my blog.  However, Facebook doesn’t want to have people leaving the site to go elsewhere.

Now, you maybe still be able to do this, it just may have to be reduced or maybe having more non-link content will help to balance it out.  Not sure, only time will tell.

This also includes video.  Sharing YouTube videos may reduce your organic reach.  Facebook wants videos to be uploaded directly through them, not a third party.

Watch out with Calls to Action

Yes, everything marketing tells us we should be doing, Facebook and Instagram are now making difficult.

Calls to action posts that push people to “join my” giveaway, “click here” to get a discount, “buy my” book or “check out” my trailer or whatever, are going to reduce your reach.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of annoying posts I see that are ALL just Buy my Book!  Join my Course!  that fill my timeline over and over.  But I think Facebook is just going to be clamping down on calls to action no matter how few you use.

Not Everyone Will See

From what I’ve heard, Facebook will be sharing your stuff with a few of your followers, like a test group.

If they react and engagement with your content it is considered of value and it will be seen by more people.

The Real You

One other point I’ve heard is that Facebook is looking to verify accounts.  And by that I mean, they may start asking you to confirm your identification.

Not sure how that works with Author Pages using a Pen Name.

What To Do Now

Not sure when these will be fully rolled out.  Changes can take time but they are coming and some are already in the works.

If these two platforms work for you, you may need to spend some time learning about all the changes and what you can do to keep your Facebook Page and Instagram Account reaching people.  Then amend your strategy to work with the changes.

If like me, you use one (or both) of these platforms sparingly, you may consider letting go and working on a more active platform (if you see a reduction in views and interactions due to these changes).

It all depends on how much effort you wish to put in versus how much reward you get out of it.

These kinds of changes are exactly why I believe writers should have Author Websites, at least you have more control and aren’t always at the whims of changes that occur on social media.

Happy writing

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42 comments

  1. I’ve noticed a decline in my fb page and author personal page, it’s exhausting and time consuming. Now I stick to my regular fb.
    I love Instagram though, so I’m willing to work with the changes.
    Thanks for sharing. 💕

    1. I can never give myself enough umph to try hard on Facebook so I just do the bare minimum these days. I find social media on the whole pretty dull and depressing. I’ve managed to enjoy Twitter due to my game, but other than that, I still hate most platforms. I like Instagram, I just wish the schedulers would work to automatically post for you without you having to pay for the most expensive version.

    1. Thanks Lizzie, glad you found my article useful. I was surprised by just how many people read it, my stats went crazy. Definitely seemed like information that people needed to know. 🙂

  2. They keep making changes, but they don’t fix problems. My lists haven’t worked for months, and multiple reports to Facebook Help are answered with canned responses.

    Facebook isn’t invincible. Another startup could lure users away.

    1. Thanks for reading, Kathy. I know what you mean. They keep “fixing” issues that aren’t issues and ignoring actual issues they need to sort! I think we are ready for a new, better startup to come along. I’m not seeing any real benefits for being with Facebook. Of all the social media, it was never the best one for me anyway, now they are just TRYING to get me to leave! lol

  3. Thank you Ari. I was hit hard by the new Community Standards for posting the links to my blog and others. I have since started only posting occasionally and also using a short link rather than the longer URL which has the blog name in it. You pointers for interaction are very helpful.. thank you.

    1. Thanks for reading, Sally. I saw your Facebook posts about them clamping down. It was so ridiculous!! It’s like they don’t want people to use their damn site. If my stats start dropping, I doubt it will be worth my effort to remain on Facebook. I do 10 times better on Twitter.

    1. I know, things just keep getting more messy and more difficult online. I don’t think all these “social” media platforms are that social anyway and it seems harder and harder to do anything. Then again, if we end up dumping Facebook (and Insta) least it’s a few less things to worry about 🙂

  4. Definitely making me think of making my Instagram NOT a business account so it’ll reshare to my pen name facebook account, instead of my FB Page. 5% of my feed is even shown those pictures.

    I know people have been sharing the link ‘about’ info, and then the link in the first comment for Patreon. I might have to start doing that. 😦

    1. Thanks for reading, Morgan. It’s frustrating they keep making these changes and we keep having to shift how we do things. If they keep this up, people are going to start leaving because it’s not worth the hassle.

    1. Quite! I don’t get much from my fb page, so I might just get rid of it. I’ve only recently joined Instagram, having been told it is a better tool than many other social media. If they reduce its efficacy, I may as well leave that, too. Anyway, so far it seems like a way for blokes to try to get women!

      1. Ironically, I got more visits to my blog from Facebook following THIS post but normally I get just enough to make me consider keeping it. If that changes, then I won’t bother to hang around on Facebook. It honestly isn’t as great as people seem to think it is.

        I do enjoy Instagram, though I wish all the schedulers would post to it automatically without you having to pay for the huge premium accounts to do that. But yes, I’ve noticed Insta has really hit a high of creepy dudes trying to get women. Like, hello, it’s not a fucking dating site!!

        I am shocked but I actually prefer Twitter now. It’s been the best for me since I joined in 2016 and I have the biggest writing community connections and interactions on there outside of my blog.

    2. I know, right? I never liked Facebook for a number of reasons, I think the main one was dumping all the notifications into one area for you to check. It doesn’t feel that good a platform to work with despite it being around for so long and every time they make these changes it does feel like they are trying to drive people away.

    1. If I had to recommend, I would suggest if you decided to go for one of those, choose Insta. It’s visually more appealing and easier to connect with people. Personally I am shocked Facebook at how often Facebook is touted as awesome and yet I’ve never could see the mass appeal.

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