As part of Mark Zuckerberg’s war on Fake News, one unsuspecting casualty of Facebook’s crusade to purge the platform of dubious content has come to light in recent days - your humble Social Media Manager.
In fact, anyone who manages a Facebook business page will start to see their ability to share content hampered, beginning this month. Previously, when copying a link from another site and sharing it within Facebook, users had the ability to customize certain parts of what Facebook would display in people’s feeds – namely the image, headline and description, AKA the metadata. As of July, this will cease to be possible.
So how can businesses and page managers, especially those who rely on a steady flow of content curation (the process of sharing relevant content from third part sites with your Facebook audience) minimise the impact of this change?
Hone your copy
Usually, the headline of your Facebook post will do a lot of the heavy lifting, but with the option to tailor this to your audience gone, it’s time to step up the copy in the post itself. That means no more “Worth sharing…” or “This is a must watch”. It’s now down to you and your words to sell the benefits of why people should click, why it matters to your audience and tell them a bit more about what they can expect to find on the other side of the link. Think of it as a good opportunity to dust off those tone of voice guidelines and reconnect with your audience.
Trust Your Audience
We spend a lot of time managing Facebook pages for our clients, and sometimes we can be so focused on what we’re pushing out, that we don’t take a step back and look at exactly how people are *cringe marketing phrase * engaging with and consuming content.
For starters, make sure you’re using Facebook’s inbuilt analytics and insight tools to see which posts people engaged with and give them more of those. But also learn to trust them. If you're sharing links and content with your audience, there's probably a very good reason for that - you think it's something that will interest or add value to them. So don't then underestimate them, if the original headline on the link was enough to hook you in, it will be the same for your audience.
Do it Yourself
So, this change means it’s going to be harder for page managers to curate content? Well maybe that’s just the excuse you needed to start creating more of your own original content.
The benefits of creating regular original content when it comes to SEO are already well known, so chances are your company is already producing plenty that can be shared on your social channels.
If they aren’t, what are you waiting for? Get busy writing blogs, producing infographics and even creating original videos and live broadcasts that can be shared with your Facebook followers. Where previously you might have shared a link around a piece of news or trends relevant to your audience and industry, now you’ll just have to take that a step further and produce your own take on it.
Finally, it is important to mention that Facebook has promised an alternative to editing meta data. At the moment there is no word as to what that might be or how it would work, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, it could be a good opportunity to revisit your business’ content and social media strategies, something we’d be happy to help with.
Posted 18 July 2017 by Ben Waterhouse