Facebook is listening to you…

I’m pretty sure we all know that already. I mean, all you’ve got to do is THINK about that new appliance you want and ads start showing up everywhere, am I right?

But this is a little different. Yesterday, the Facebook Creator App released an email with the following information:

First of all, this isn’t new. This is an UPDATE to an existing policy, and it’s really just expanding on something that Facebook has been working on for over a year.

Facebook was meant to be a place for people to gather socially and keep in touch with real life even when far apart physically. I don’t know that anyone could have predicted what social media has turned into, but it’s an incredible resource for anyone trying to run a business. Everyone you’re trying to reach is right there, on Facebook!

The problem is that because it’s such a powerful platform, millions of businesses have taken advantage of it and now people feel overwhelmed and pressured to buy buy buy from every side. And so, they complained. And Facebook listened.

The Big Brother Algorithm

Behind the interface you know and love (or hate, depending on the day), is a powerful system that is trying to keep up with billions of people. I have to admit, it feels a little like big brother is watching – don’t say those words or you’ll get shut down. I mean, what happened to freedom of speech, right?

But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is not you or me trying to make a living. The real problem is fake people and businesses trying to trick Facebook’s algorithm into promoting empty, meaningless content into people’s feeds.

You know what I’m talking about –

  • Sensationalism
  • Bait & Switch Tactics
  • Comment Baiting
  • Click Bait Headlines
  • Tag Baiting
  • And so on…

We all hate that kind of thing and we hate it for a good reason. The problem is that there are billions of people on Facebook and the machine learning model that Facebook uses can’t tell the difference between people who are genuinely trying to get real people to make real connections and people who are straight up being spammy.

The algorithm looks for specific words, language, and tone so that it can actively turn down the number of people who are seeing certain kinds of things.

This has been happening for a long time, but until now live videos were excluded. Now, Facebook is listening to the videos and the same way it can tell if the music you’re playing in the background is copyrighted, it can tell if the things you’re saying may be triggering spammy behavior.

How Does This Impact My Page?

If you have to do things to trick people into sharing/commenting/liking/etc. your page will begin to be demoted over the next few weeks. This article from the Facebook Newsroom explains how and why these changes are being implemented.

It all comes down to building social equity and relationships! People love to buy things, yes…but they love to build relationships even more.

Give them what they want, give them real things to talk about. Give them entertainment and genuine life and they will have no problem sharing your live videos with their friends.

Facebook Live was originally designed to foster communication and doing life together socially, so let’s get back to that. Yes, you can still run your business through Facebook, but there are some shifts you can start making NOW to get ahead of the game and grow relationships with your customers while you’re at it.

Don’t Fight It – Work With It!

My passion is to help you work with the changes to the Facebook Algorithm instead of fighting it! It’s just not worth the fight, so here are a few things you can start doing today to roll with the updates:

  1. Start educating your community – There are things you don’t’ want to say anymore when live. Don’t say things like “Share to Win” but instead start educating your community to do those things without actually saying it. Create a keyword that resonates with your business and your brand and teach your people to respond when you use that keyword! Mine is #ThinkSocial. It’s not only my brand but also a constant reminder that social media is truly SOCIAL.
  2. Get community helpers! Gather your most loyal customers and have them help you by commenting and helping others learn how to support you.
  3. Use a Thesaurus – come up with some fun alternatives to share or comment! Say things like: “Chit chat in the box below,” “Spread the love,” “Tell your friends,” “Bring your friends in on the fun!”
  4. Whiteboard It – Bring along a whiteboard with instructions to help your people learn. Don’t be awkward about it, but go ahead and set up a sign that explains what you need your people to do!
  5. Be genuine – Think socially. Be real with your people. Yes, this is your business. It feeds your kids and pays your mortgage. BUT if you aren’t real and genuine, it just won’t work. No one wants to be forced to buy. They care about you, your kids, your pets, your coffee…not about the next deal. If they love you, they will BUY from you.

Choose quality community over transactions every day. Give them the opportunity to get to know you and love YOU.

Yes, we’re all a mess every single day. No one is perfect. So, don’t be afraid to show your hot mess life once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a professional line between admitting that life happens and leaving the unfolded laundry in the camera! The difference between being a hot mess and a straight-up disaster can be as simple as changing your shirt if it has puke on it before you go live.

The Genuine Difference

Ultimately, be professional but be you. Show your love for those in your community and let’s be real and genuine together. That will make all the difference.

Yes, Facebook is listening. Yes, it’s a little big-brotherish…but it’s there for a reason. Don’t forget, we’re all in this together and you’re not alone!

Want more real talk about these changes? I just shared all about these updates and more over on Facebook. Watch the video. I dare you to SHARE IT! Now, let’s get out there and #ThinkSocial!