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.
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.
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 may 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.