Facebook and Small Businesses - What Just Happened?

I’ve often felt Facebook can be a cruel mistress for marketers and especially for small businesses. On one hand, it is the largest social platform in the world with over 1 billion monthly users, making it a phenomenal resource to quickly connect with a large audience. On the other hand, we are at the mercy of Mark Zuckerberg’s whims and have to adjust every time he makes a change.

Which just happened.

Facebook has once again adjusted the way it prioritizes which content to show in your news feed. It isn’t necessary to delve into previous news feed changes and how we arrived at this point, but it is important to know how this new change will affect your business and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

  1. Understand that as a small business, you have always played on uneven terms with larger companies that have much larger advertising and marketing budgets. With this change, the playing field is even more skewed in their favor. Facebook will promote pages from friends, family, and media sites that “promote discussion” while posts originating from friends will receive an algorithmic boost, whereas posts from brands and publishers will be demoted” (Inc).
  2. This does not extend to ads or promoted content, which means that competition for attention will become more fierce and the companies with the biggest budgets will get the most reach. So having very targeted and precise audiences built will be key.
  3. Since organic reach will go down, your posts will likely be shown to fewer people. For a small business, this can be a hard thing to combat since many small businesses rely on Facebook to find and communicate with customers. Hence, point 2 becomes more relevant than ever.

Don’t give up hope.

Things aren’t as dismal as they may seem. By adjusting your spending strategy and investing additional resources into the production of good, shareable content that creates authentic discussion, your audience will still find you and your content will find them.

I recognize that this is easier said than done. For many entrepreneurs and small business owners like myself, adding additional tasks to an already busy schedule can seem daunting if not impossible. But, hey, we’re entrepreneurs and we are all used to making adjustments on the fly.

If you would like to learn more about the Facebook algorithm change, I suggest taking a look at this article from Small Business Trends as it was the inspiration for this post.