Facebook Algorithm Changes 2018
Become highly visible on Facebook and get FREE traffic despite the algorithm changes
When I set up my Coaching & Hypnotherapy Practice over a decade ago, I did a lot of paid advertising. It brought in ok results but the thing that surprised me was how effective the free advertising was! Instead of relying on expensive adverts, I started to concentrate on all the ways I could bring in new clients without spending anything, for example:
- Posters in gyms
- Brochure stands in dentist surgeries, doctors’ surgeries, the fish and chip shop (this was a particularly good one!)
- Leaflet dropping
Of course, as time went on most of my business came through word-of-mouth personal referrals, the best and most effective sales conversions.
Now the modern way of attracting new business is through social media. Again you can pay for expensive FB ads (which if you get them right can be very lucrative) but what about the free traffic?
You may have heard how Facebook have recently changed their algorithm, which appears to favour personal posts over business. On the surface, this seems like bad news for internet marketers but actually there is a real opportunity here for lots of lovely free traffic. There is a lot you can do on your personal page to maximize this opportunity.
If you use Facebook correctly they will boost your posts and if you don’t follow the rules they will not show your posts and you could become virtually invisible. I am not talking here about Facebook business pages, I’m talking about using your Facebook personal account to leverage your business. Facebook want to push the personal side and prioritise content from friends, family and groups.
Now be careful here, your personal page should not overtly be promoting your business, that’s what business Pages are for but if you are careful you can stimulate comments, discussions and give help which will aid your business.
For example, by showing photos of your lifestyle, doing live videos where you never promote but offer help and assistance to your audience you can create curiosity, engagement and ultimately sales (that happen off of the page and in fact well away from it).
Key tips for using your personal Facebook account to get free traffic:
- Use emojis in everything you do as Facebook like it and will rank you higher!
- Encourage comments, love hearts, likes and shares on your posts.
- Ask questions in your posts that require a reply from your audience.
- Don’t send lots of friend requests (in the early days many people were taught to follow other people until they had 5,000 friends). Now Facebook like to see you engaging with ALL your friends and you can’t manage this if you have so many friends! You can easily remove friends by using a tool called Facebook Friends Remover Pro (a free Chrome extension), which will allow you to see which friends are active so you can delete the inactive friends. You could also go into the friends’ profiles and see if they are a good fit for your business. These friends who aren’t engaging with you are damaging your Facebook algorithm score!
Once you have cut your friend list down, it is important to start engaging with the ones you have kept as then your posts will be shown to more people in their newsfeeds.
When people send you a friend request, check they are a good fit for your business. Only accept them if you can see from their profile, their bio and timeline that they are business minded or have similar interests. If they are a good fit, then love their profile and accept their friend request. Then message that person with a personal message, saying something like, ‘Hi John, thanks for your friend request, how are you?’ This will hopefully start a conversation. If you hear nothing back after a week or so, delete them as they are probably not genuinely interested in your business.
Facebook like to see you connecting with people, so loving their profile after a friend request is received, messaging them and receiving a message back will all increase your algorithm score.
Facebook's algorithm likes you to be social, after all it is a social media platform! So engage with your audience. The best emojis to use are the love hearts and wows (stop using the likes as these do not have the same impact). Comment on your audience’s posts with these emojis and start a conversation as then your posts will start coming up more often in their newsfeeds.
Don’t put anything with a link on it in your profile or posts as Facebook hate anything that encourages people to leave the Facebook platform. If you want to send traffic to a link talk about it in your post or Facebook live and ask people to message you if they want the actual link.
Go into your friends’ stories (in the circles at top of page) and leave a love heart as then they will be informed and again it is an opportunity to link in messenger.
Use your posts to build curiosity. Talk about your business but don’t actually name it. Thank your audience for contacting you via messenger for details on how you are achieving success in your business and that you are happy to share.
Give real value in your posts as what you give out in life, you get back, in the form of lots of lovely new business.
Use messenger to reach out directly to people and this will help your algorithm score too. Monitor your messages and be prompt in replying.
If you are just starting to use your Facebook personal account to get free traffic, here are some tips:
Don’t put up loads of posts per day – Facebook prefer consistency over quantity, so schedule a particular time each day that suits you then do it once per day. Never post more than once in 3 hours until you have a big audience, you risk just watering down your engagement.You want to squeeze what you can out of a popular post before posting a new one.
Don’t burn yourself out! If you are glued to your screen and posting all day long, it probably won’t help your algorithm score and you could get disenchanted with the whole business.
Think quality not quantity – in fact in all interactions on Facebook.
Don’t be tempted to schedule posts through an outside provider (think Hootsuite for example) as unsurprisingly Facebook don’t like third party interaction. You face a real possibility of being closed down if you automate.
Leave an emoji in a handful of friends’ stories each day (see the story circle at the top of their pages).
Comment and leave love hearts or wows on a few of your friends’ posts that you genuinely like but don’t just click love, love, love, love on a few as Facebook will not like this robotic action and will not believe you have read them (which you probably won’t have done if you just click, click, click) and this will affect your algorithm score too!
Comment and thank people for engaging in your posts (with an emoji of course) and then maybe ask a question so they need to reply again. Facebook then see this as a valuable post so they boost it.
All this engagement shouldn’t take long each day and it will increase your visibility so much, which means interaction, potential leads and therefore sales!
Avoid using “engagement bait”, you know the kind of thing – “Comment below now if you like strawberry ice cream” this will be frowned upon.
Perhaps the biggest way to promote yourself and your site (and indirectly your business) is to make more Facebook Live Videos. If you have not started I suggest you start now. These videos tend to get 6 times more interactions so use them! Again try to post your video the same time each day so your fans know what time to expect it.Encourage your viewers to love and leave a comment. Ensure you reply to each comment left.
Remember at the end of the day, as in all online marketing efforts, its quality that wins out at the end of the day so focus on quality not quantity and you can’t go far wrong.
Why not connect with us on Facebook for more tips on how to grow your business.