It’s the uproar that most online marketers were anticipating, yet didn’t know how they would adjust until it occurred. We’re almost two months into latest algorithm changes that affect your Facebook newsfeed, and while the return to individual-created content versus branded content implication is in full swing, some brands have been slower to adjust.
The issue – the number one social network, Facebook, announced on its blog in late June the unleashing of its most recent algorithm change, which places more of an emphasis on posts circulated by friends and family, pushing down posts by businesses and brands.
Facebook Newsfeed Fixes for Dealers
1. Your communities will see more posts from friends and family in their news feed, and less from businesses and brands – unless these you pay to play. Facebook felt the need to assert that it is going back to its primary premise — to connect people with each other, with the secondary focus on publishing content. What does that mean for the average automotive dealership? Boosted posts and ad campaigns are the keys to a greater audience reach.
2. The more your audience shares your posts, the less likely you’ll see a significant impact on your Reach numbers. Facebook engineers make no bones about the effect it will have on business pages (i.e. car dealership pages). Engineering Director, Lars Backstrom predicts a drop in “reach and referral traffic” for some pages, whether your dealership’s page will see an impact will depend on the engagement of your audience. Again, if you want to ensure a greater reach boosting individual posts, then creating ad campaigns can be highly effective in increasing your exposure.
3. Dealers should view the recent change as a blessing in disguise. Medium-sized Facebook fanbases can now truly compete for the attention they seek from their target audience because Facebook has created a standard baseline for everyone. Content is content, no matter what brand publishes it. Whatever keeps users’ eyeballs on its site for longer is what Facebook will deem “relevant.”
Dealers: What’s My ROI on Social Media?
Many car dealers struggle with “what’s my ROI on social media?” Why put in the effort to create, post, comment, and cajole potential customers to spend a fraction of the 40 minutes a day the average Facebook user spends to attract a new customer? Most business page managers admit that most publishers fail to turn a profit from any post, or from the mass of referral traffic received from Facebook.
So is there any hope of being seen on Facebook without spending copious amounts of ad dollars for little to no ROI? Yes — with realigning your goals and expectations and taking a look at the data and content that encourage engagement. For dealers and Internet managers hoping to utilize Facebook as part of their front-end sales avenue, shift your mindset from closing deals to brand recognition and community engagement.
1. Be vigilant about asking your customers to check back on your Facebook page. Think about your specials utilizing a top-down theory of promotion. If you are offering service specials and car care advice in an email blast, create an option to share that same story on Facebook.
2. Digital shopping isn’t relegated to pricing, but also reputation management. Simply put, give customers a reason to find you likable and trustworthy. Encourage those who have had a positive experience to leave a Facebook review for their friends and family to see.
3. See Facebook as a vehicle to drive more traffic to your website and online forms. Capitalize on Facebook’s focus to keep users engaged on its page longer by creating content relevant to the community and providing referral links in posts to your largest advertising asset in the digital space – your site.
Whether we like it or not, Facebook is an incredible platform for connecting and engaging customers. Realigning expectations and even advertising budgets will be key to feeling the impact that Facebook’s robust audience can bring to your dealership.