Last week a post from Knitty popped into my Facebook timeline that made me sit up, read it twice and then click through to their page to check I'd understood. It read:
That's a pretty big discrepancy and one that really got me thinking about what this means for the rest of the knitting community. When businesses use Facebook to market themselves online, the possible numbers of views and interactions their posts can have is crucial to reaching a wide audience to tell them about their products. If we can't see what our much loved yarnies, designers and publishers are trying to tell us about, we're missing out on news and they're potentially missing out on sales.
So what's going on here?
Knitty's fan members currently includes 101,789 likes. With that many people telling Facebook that they like Knitty as a brand, you'd think that their reach would be huge, right? Well, actually, no. The reason is pretty simple: a recent change to Facebook's Newsfeed algorithm means that Facebook doesn't want us as consumers to be viewing posts that Facebook deems "overly promotional". (You can find out about your timeline and why you see certain news feeds more than others in Facebook's help page here too).
The emphasis is now placed firmly on interaction and if we as consumers aren't interacting with a page or particular posts, it appears less and less on our timeline. Have you had that feeling that a brand you follow has been particularly quiet lately? Check back, you might be missing out on their latest news.
So what can we do as supporters of businesses like Knitty?
1. 'Like' posts- It doesn't matter if you particularly loved a post or not, by liking a post, you're telling Facebook you want to see what this brand has to say both now and in the future.
2. Interact with posts- Leaving comments is the happy outcome for Facebook or even better, sharing the content to your friends. When you pick up content and show your friends, this tells Facebook that people in your little corner of the internet are interested in what that business is posting about so it will let them see when you interact with brands too.
3. Turn on notifications- Look for the like button on the page and click on the little drop down arrow. My ticking 'get notifications' you're telling Facebook that it's ok to drop posts from this Facebook page onto your timeline.
4. Act fast- Facebook simply loves it when a post gets interactions fast (likes, comments or shares). It loves it even more if your friends join in quickly too. When people react positively to a post in a short period of time, it opens the views a little more each time and the post starts appearing in more timelines that it deems relevant to that person's community. That's how things go from plodding to 'viral'- people sharing and reacting quickly!
5 Be a joiner- If you see something you like via someone else's activity in your timeline, give it a like there too. The algorithm thrives on the connections you and your community on the internet make so keep them strong to keep things visible.
Of course it's not all down to us as customers but we can help by being alert to Facebook pages that seem a bit quiet and help to revive them in our timelines again. From businesses point of view great content on Facebook is a sure fire way for businesses to make sure we see them . That's a whole new topic in itself though....!