Earlier this year, Facebook changed their news feed algorithm (again), and it had big ramifications for brands. If you want a successful Facebook strategy for your fitness studio in 2018 and beyond grab a cup of coffee and take notes. Here’s what you need to know about what will and won’t work in Facebook’s new environment so you can finish the year strong.
What Did Facebook Do and What Does That Mean for Your Brand?
In January, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced a seismic shift in the way the news feed will prioritize content. This change means we see less content from brands and businesses and more content from individuals. Zuckerberg said the goal was to “spark conversations” among family and friends and to promote meaningful interaction rather than passive consumption of content.
In plain English, it means brands are losing visibility. Big time. Here’s the fallout of the change:
- Video is prioritized (again).
Facebook has prioritized video over text for some time now, and that’s going to continue. According to their research, people engage more with video, especially live video, and that means greater visibility.
- Organic reach for brands is all but disappearing.
Zuckerberg makes no bones about it: your organic reach is taking a nosedive. No longer are brands able to rely on likes or impressions as a reliable way to measure reach. Instead, Facebook is looking for conversations.
- People will spend less time on Facebook overall.
Scrolling mindlessly through Facebook is practically the national pastime, and that’s something Facebook says they want to change. They want actively engaged users, and they see this change as a way to promote wellbeing. Of course, they also readily admit that it will probably mean less time spent on Facebook overall.
How Do the Changes Affect Your Fitness Brand Page?
That’s the million-dollar question. And we’ve got some pretty good ideas about what you’re seeing in 2018:
- Ads cost more per engagement. Lower organic reach means Facebook ads become more valuable, and that in turn means that Facebook can charge more per engagement.
- Video is becoming non-negotiable. Facebook is prioritizing video, especially live video. Both organic and paid ads see higher engagement with video, and organic reach may become all but nonexistent without it.
- Storytelling may be your best friend. Another way to boost engagement is to invest in the storytelling trend. Storytelling keeps your followers interested in your brand and leaves them eager to hear from you. And that’s going to be essential going forward.
How to Pump Up Your Fitness Facebook Marketing Strategy for the Rest of 2018
The bottom line is that in Facebook’s brave new world, you have to pay (more) to play. Unfortunately, no one has an unlimited budget to pour into Facebook marketing. So how can you strike the right balance between paid advertising and organic reach within your existing budget?
Here are our top three tips:
- If you don’t have a social media ad budget right now, start one. It currently costs about $1-2 for every new like or click (a little less for blog post clicks). But that’s changing. Get ready to open up your wallet, because those numbers will most likely double (or more). The takeaway? Build Facebook advertising into your budget so you can stay visible.
- For organic posts, it’s all about quality. Quality over quantity, baby. You’re going to have to fight for every inch of organic real estate, and that’s especially true for video (nobody wants to watch a grainy video with bad lighting and terrible sound). The better your quality, the more likely people will engage with you—and that’s how you earn visibility.
- Hire a social media content strategist. You can’t afford lousy content—or even mediocre content. It’s not enough to get likes anymore (here’s what Facebook has to say about so-called “engagement bait”). Success on Facebook in 2018 and beyond will mean intentional, strategic content and that means you need to assign someone to the task. If you have someone on your team that can do it, great! If not, outsource it or work with an agency. Just get it done.
Promoting your fitness studio on Facebook may have gotten harder than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. You can still win with Facebook in 2018 and finish the year strong; it’s just going to take a shift in the way you create and promote content.
Do you have questions about what Facebook’s news feed change means for your fitness studio? Let us know in the comments!