The algorithm that powers Facebook is constantly evolving. It is often tweaked and fine tuned in order to provide a better user experience. Earlier this year, Facebook announced the latest changes to its algorithm.

These changes indicate that Facebook is really trying to refine the newsfeed to be more focused on personal connections and bringing people closer together.

Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that with these changes you “can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups [and] less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media”.

They’re going all in on this approach even if it means a reduction in time users spend on the platform as well as engagement with content.

Here’s what you need to do to ensure you’re on top of this shift and other trends…

Build a brand you care about.

This is the foundation to everything else we will touch on. Most, if not all, of the other topics don’t matter unless you truly care about your brand. You need to be fully invested emotionally in what you create. If your not willing to go to great lengths to protect your brand then your not invested enough. Caring about your brand makes the experiences you create and the stories you tell feel authentic. When you care, your audience cares.

Show your passion in your content, tell your story.

With Facebook restricting the reach of businesses and brands how do elevate your content? Passion. You need to inject passion into each piece of content you create. It needs to be present in your writing, visible in your videos or heard in your audio. Showcasing your passion will keep your audience engaged. Regardless of your industry or niche passionately telling your story can go a long way in positioning you as a thought leader.

You also want to make sure that you tell your story. It is unique to you, no one can replicate it. It is what truly separates you from your competition, so own it. Let your true self come out when telling your story. Don’t worry about being polished, just be real. This type of storytelling helps your audience feel more connected to you and your brand. They can relate to your experiences and appreciate your honesty. Telling your story with full transparency builds trust with your audience.

Beef up your reviews.

Positive reviews of your business and/or products are gold. They reinforce the brand and provide social proof. You should even consider giving product away to in return for a review, it’s THAT important. In addition to Facebook currently monitoring reactions to ads they have also put a big emphasis on various types of reviews. Reviews/ratings on a page, reviews on a website, and reviews on ratings websites are all taken into consideration by the algorithm. Consistently monitoring and actively growing your consumer reviews is something we highly recommend to improve your Facebook relevance.

Schema is super important.

What is schema? Schema is code which is placed on your website. Its goal is to provide more informative results for users. Up until recently the primary use for Schema has been related to search engines and effective SEO. With the proper implementation of Schema markup Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can display more detailed information about a website. Even though it is rather simple to setup very few business are leveraging the benefits of Schema. With all of the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm there is no better time to implement all of this microdata onto your website.

Facebook is now utilizing this same data to better determine the placement of ads. This is especially the case when using broad targeting. All of this microdata is extremely beneficial for products. Price, rating, dimensions, size, color, are just a few of the ways you can bulk up the data of your products. Not only do you want to provide information as it pertains to all the variables of your product, but you also want to ensure that it is all accurate. Incorrectly implementing schema data can have the adverse effect on your campaigns.

Instagram Stories

With 300 million daily active users Instagram stories is a great tool to work into your current digital marketing arsenal. Its large reach and continued growth makes it another creative way to spread your message. The more that users interact with your Instagram Stories, the more likely your posts will show up in the feed. The algorithm takes into account all the interactions your stories receive. This includes replies or when your stories are sent to someone. If your have a larger following on Instagram (above the 10k mark) take advantage of Instagram Stories engagement opportunities, including adding links via the “Swipe Up” option. This is a fantastic way to boost interaction. If your under that 10k follower threshold and don’t have that option at your disposal there are other ways you can drive engagement. One of those ways is by asking users to “DM me for a direct link to this product!”. This is a great way to drive people to your inbox, build relationships with your followers, and ultimately increase the chance of your posts showing up on the feed.

IGTV: Start thinking of ideas and content to post here

Instagram has released IGTV which is their way of competing with YouTube in the influencer marketing and content creator space. Not only will IGTV be accessed directly from the Instagram app but there is also a stand alone app that offers a more intuitive experience. IGTV allows content creators to upload long form videos up to 1 hour in length. This is a huge jump from the current 1min cap on Instagram video content.

Your strategy should not treat your content as one-size fits all approach. So, it’s best to not repurpose current Instagram content to IGTV. Create separate content for each of those areas. Always make sure you entertain, educate and excite your audience with your content. Remember, quality > quantity.

You should put these trends into action immediately. Growing your Facebook and Instagram audiences can help increase the power of your brands voice. Remember, all companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences. An audience can be your secret weapon. Start building your brand’s tribe today. Book a free strategy call with us to see how you can leverage these trends for your business.