How to Succeed Despite Facebook's New Algorithm
Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.
Have you noticed a dip in your practice’s Facebook engagement? Don’t fret. You can continue to use Facebook successfully to update clients and promote services despite the platform’s new algorithm. Here are three tips to get you started.
If you’re focused on your veterinary practice’s social media insights, you’ve most likely heard by now that Facebook has changed its algorithms. Again. At the end of 2017, it was apparent to most Facebook account managers that their company’s organic Facebook reach was on the decline. But the January 11 confirmation from Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook was prioritizing notifications from friends and family over public content sent digital marketers into a full-on frenzy.
How can your practice continue to update clients and promote services if only a minuscule number of followers are receiving the messages? Is paid content the only way to reach your audience? Before you overspend through Facebook’s ad manager, consider these three ways to increase your clinic’s organic reach on the platform despite the new changes.
Zuckerburg himself said that the pages most likely to feel negative effects from the algorithm change are the ones making posts that generally do not receive reactions or comments. Pages with posts that prompt conversations, however, will notice less of an impact.
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While some updates to your practice’s Facebook page will be more informational and less likely to spark notable conversations, think about historical posts that have garnered a lot of comments or reactions. Were they questions posed to your audience? Patient success stories? Images of adorable pets? Provide your followers with content that has performed well in the past and you’ll be more likely to repeat successes.
Facebook has never been shy about the fact that videos receive more organic views than a typical status update or shared website link. The algorithm update will still favor all video content but will place an even stronger emphasis on live videos. In Facebook’s official announcement, the company said it has found that, on average, live videos get six times as many interactions as regular videos.
If your practice does not currently use Facebook Live, make an effort to post at least two live videos each month. Here are a few topics to get you started:
- Answer a few frequently asked questions.
- Provide a tutorial, like how to properly clean a dog’s teeth or brush a long-haired cat.
- Introduce a new staff member.
In addition to your hospital’s main company page, Facebook groups provide another outlet for engagement with current and prospective clients. Facebook groups are meant to serve as clusters of communities where like-minded individuals can ask questions and post updates related to their shared interest.
Veterinary practices can take advantage of Facebook groups by becoming the local authority on animal-related topics. As the group’s moderator, you’ll have to manage requests of people who’d like to join and initiate conversations within the group, so pick a topic you are well versed on that would also appeal to a large group of people. Some examples might be a group for new pet owners in your city or local groups that are species or breed specific.
The updated Facebook algorithm certainly presents a new set of challenges, but with a social media strategy focused on videos and client engagement, your veterinary practice can continue to thrive.