On January 11th, Facebook made a major change to its algorithm…. Again.
Several sources seem to think this is the nail in the coffin for organic posts, or the newsfeed armageddon, the death of organic reach, and some even going so far as to posting survival tips for what’s next.
Even stock in the social media giant saw a significant drop after Zuckerberg’s January announcement. However, it’s hardly the worst of times at Facebook. With the general experts chiming in, it’s time to focus on what this means, exactly, for the property management industry online.
What is the Facebook update?
In a nutshell, Facebook has moved to prioritize posts “that spark conversations and inspire meaningful interactions between people.” Comments will be king, shares and direct messages will be valued more, and reactions or likes will be deemed less important. Property managers on Facebook should start looking at their posts as “conversation starters,” whether geared toward retaining current residents or enticing new prospects.
Conversations are the new Content
So what are these “meaningful” interactions? We’re glad you asked! (It means you’ve been paying attention.) Let’s break down a few examples you’re likely to see in your current posts:
The goal here is not to just get #engagement, but actual meaningful conversation going. A “like” no longer defines social media success, so be prepared to revisit your strategy. Focus on topics even more relevant to your residents, both current and potential. Get them communicating not just with you, but with each other. Think about neighborhood events, area restaurant openings, and other community happenings as opportunities for your property to talk to both residents and prospects to get them talking.
We’re sure you have a ton of questions, so we’re here to help you out.
Will my organic post reach drop?
It is very likely you will see less reach from your organic posts. This will vary from page to page and post to post.
My posts have been getting great engagement. Will this stop?
At this point, it’s too soon to tell. If your posts have been getting the kinds of engagement (comments and shares) that Facebook ranks as relevant, you may continue to see great results. However, you could see a drop off from posts with more likes and reactions versus comments and shares.
Will this affect my branded content?
The same rankings apply to your branded content as your other types of content. Strive for all your posts to create meaningful engagement that starts a conversation.
Is all business content moving out of Newsfeed?
No, the priority will simply be placed on posts by friends and family.
Will my ads and boosted content be affected as well?
Your sponsored content should see little to no change based on the new ranking system. Facebook will continue to take relevancy and user feedback into account when delivering ads.
Should I start optimizing my Facebook Ads for Page Post Engagement over real business outcomes?
No. Property Managers should continue to focus on real business outcomes. Facebook doesn’t rank ads based on engagement and we encourage you not to shift your strategy based on the new changes.
Property Managers need to focus on content that will actually receive “meaningful engagement.” How do you know what content produces the most engagement on Facebook and beyond? Smart social media solutions will have a Content Center that is easily accessible and will show you what content, across which platforms is already getting the traction businesses need to share to stay relevant. The Content Center will find top performing posts, allowing properties to get an idea of what is resonating with residents and prospects. Then, they can easily share it to their Facebook pages, essentially removing any guesswork from the equation.
“SOCi’s hunger for innovation has led to building the best in class ‘content discovery search engine’ for social media,” says SOCi’s VP of Enterprise Sales, Jacob Chappell.
“SOCi’s algorithm, which searches millions of data endpoints per second, finds and sources content proven to engage for property management groups. With the most recent Facebook update, finding ‘meaningful’ content creates new pressure for marketing teams to source data-backed content. This is precisely why our content center is so important. It shows you content that is actually engaged with and removes all the noise across the social webm, in real time. You don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room, you just have to be able to follow the data!”
We can’t stress this enough, engagement is key to the success of your property online. Property managers should be in-tune with the conversations happening on their page— especially now that Facebook ranks a page responding to a comment as a “meaningful interaction.” You can’t just be posting content anymore. You need to be acting as part of the community on your page.
Metrics are more important than ever. A “like” is no longer a measure of strategic success. It is essential to make sure you understand what reach and engagement mean. Interacting with your community as a property as invested in the neighborhood as they are is a surefire way to build your reputation, retain residents, and become the place everyone wants to be.
Are things changing? Yes. Could these changes affect your business? Absolutely. However, they don’t have to be negative changes. The more you engage with your online community, the bigger staple you can become in the real world. The digital landscape is constantly on the move, but by approaching it as a chance to better connect with your audience, you already have a leg up on the competition.
Do you know what your social media plan is missing? Check the health of all your social accounts to find out.