Change Your Facebook Marketing for Your Course – Part 1 of 2

    It’s a new week – and a brand-new slate to market and sell your course. Today let’s talk about Facebook… and the changes they are making. (This is part 1 of 2. Watch for the second post in this series later this week.)

    I am on a LOT of email lists (so you don’t have to be!) My goal is to sift through the noise and pull out the best answers, tools and solutions to share with you.

    Today I want to talk about the big Facebook algorithm change – and what it means for you and your course marketing.

    A little background first… back on January 11th, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a big announcement that attracted a lot of attention, especially for marketers. Here are some excerpts (the bold is mine):

    “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent….But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other…. we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook….I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions….As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.

    As a business owner and course marketer, how does this affect you?

    Start by looking at your current landscape on Facebook. Do you have a page or group for your school or course? What kinds of things do you post? Does your audience interact with your content, by commenting? Or do they mostly like and share your content?

    Let’s talk about what you can change. 

    Think about creating Facebook content that will spur people to interact with each other – and not just you as the page owner.

    Michael Stelzner, of Social Media Examiner, did a very thorough podcast about the changes he sees coming – and described this as the “biggest change from Facebook in years”. Here are my notes from that episode:

    • Video will be getting less exposure (because it’s more passive and doesn’t encourage as much meaningful interactions).
    • However, Facebook Live video gets 6 times the interactions.
    • External links will get less visibility.
    • Avoid any “engagement bait” that encourage people to comment. These posts will be demoted by Facebook and shown to fewer people.
    • Use the “see first” functionality built into Facebook. 
    • If you’re not sure your audience is going to go for the changes and be willing to do long comments, now is the time to master Facebook advertising. Instead of spending lots of time and energy on content, it might be more productive to spend the time on really good advertising.
    • Consider adding Facebook messenger chatbots (but only if they are done well. Don’t annoy your audience.). This is a place where you may have the opportunity to grow.

    Here’s my take on the situation. I don’t think this is quite the “Facebook Apocalypse” that everyone is suggesting.

    First, while Facebook wants to encourage long commenting and interactions, I’m not sure that folks on mobile are willing to do it. It’s so much easier to click like or share – but not necessarily to type a long comment with your phone’s keyboard.

    Second, remember in 2016 when Facebook’s focus was all about video? In fact, Zuckerberg said he thought Facebook would be primarily video in a few years. But now video is getting less exposure?

    So the lesson here is that Facebook is constantly tweaking and changing directions. So you don’t want to put “all your eggs in the Facebook basket.” Don’t make Facebook your primary source of prospects and sales for your course. Use Facebook to build your own asset – your email list. Use Facebook to your advantage, but don’t make your business rely on it.

    Now Take Action….

    What changes will you make to your Facebook content?

    Pick ONE of the following to work on (I know you are too busy to do them all!):

    Finally, the most important thing you can do is always choose what’s best for your community. It’s not easy coming up with good and intriguing content. But if you are always focused on bringing them the best possible material, you will have raving fans that support you.

     

    Photo by William Iven on Unsplash