A Slew of Facebook Updates (and Some Local SEO Mythbusting)
Lots of buzz about the changes coming to Facebook Pages this week, in addition to strong qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact of prior changes.
While Facebook remains an essential platform on which small businesses should engage, these changes reinforce my belief that a strong email marketing program — a channel that you own — is the best long-term coping mechanism.
Buffer partnered with BuzzSumo to analyze more than 43 million posts from the top 20,000 brands on Facebook.
While smaller businesses probably haven’t seen quite the same level of drop in engagement, for larger brands, it’s down 65% in the last 18 months alone.
At this point, even mainstream tech media has picked up on the narrative that Facebook has essentially become pay-to-play. (And Facebook seems not to care about it — a nice position to be in!)
You’ve likely received a notification from Facebook that your Page layout is changing. They’re becoming more transactional, with a heavier emphasis on reviews…
…a direction which I find hard to believe is not significantly influenced by Google’s Knowledge Panel evolution.
Here’s Facebook’s own description of how its Pages are changing–including some great screenshots.
The VP of this initiative seems to indicate higher visibility for a Local section within the primary Facebook app, but after hearing similar statements dozens of times in the last 4-5 years, I’m not holding my breath…
In the context of these recent changes, this recap of an Enterprise marketing retreat contains several gems relevant to small business owners, including these two:
“Facebook now is a customer service platform — people use it to complain but not really to do marketing or content marketing.”
“We’ve seen everything go exponentially up on Instagram even as it goes down on Facebook.”
Joy Hawkins dispels a few widespread myths, and generally offers some great Google My Business advice — including how to implement call tracking numbers properly.