Hit Facebook’s Latest Curveball Out of the Park

by Feb 1, 2018Social Media, Blog, Social Media

When a baseball player steps up to the plate, a subtle game of strategy versus counter-strategy develops between the pitcher and hitter. Think of it as a one-on-one competition taking place within the greater scope of the game. For hitters, they develop an understanding of the tendencies pitchers exhibit in certain situations. To counter, pitchers closely observe body positioning within the batter’s box to gain an advantage on their competitor.

But, how does this help your brand win the social media game?

In baseball, the contrast between pitchers and hitters is ever-changing. When a batter starts connecting on a pitcher’s fastball, the pitcher changes his approach. When a pitcher sees effectiveness in his delivery, he continues sharpening the strategy. The balance between the pair goes back and forth.

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook would be changing its News Feed algorithm to prioritize “friends, family, and groups.” This approach was intended to help users find valuable content to facilitate “more meaningful social interactions.” With the initiative, however, Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook threw a real curveball for businesses, brands, and media looking to hit a messaging line drive to their intended audience.  

Just as a hitter would approach a tactic change implemented by a pitcher, marketers need to reevaluate their game plan at the plate. The pitching change implemented by Facebook may seem fast and daunting coming in, but it’s not unhittable for businesses looking to strike an effective social media content strategy.

Our team at 30 Lines has been rounding the bases on Facebook’s latest updates, and we would like to share with you the game plan we recommend for your business to adapt. Now, this isn’t to say Facebook won’t throw a changeup; however, it’s important to keep stepping up to the plate and continuing to engage Facebook users.

First Base – Coach Your Customers to Use the “See First” Option

Encouraging individuals to “follow” your brand’s Page was previously a one-and-done ask. With the new update, however, users can ensure they always see posts from their favored Pages by selecting the “See First” option in their News Feed preferences.

Developing a culture of customer loyalty surrounding your brand is more important than ever, and reminding loyalists to take action in order to easily digest your content will get you on base in their News Feed.

Second Base - Build a Bench of Influencers

As the focus shifts away from brands and back to individuals, quality brand influencers and loyalists become the MVPs of marketing your product through social media. Maximize the return on these partnerships by first using data and social listening tactics to thoroughly identify your target audience, as well as the key players that speak to them.

Influencer marketing is at the center of conversation in many industry circles, including multifamily. If you’re interested in diving into the topic for your brand, we recommend developing a clear intention for targeting an influencer’s audience, becoming educated on the factors that influence that audience, and activating an influencer that seamlessly integrates your brand story within their own natural narrative.

At 30 Lines, we have clients in the multifamily space who are streamlining the implementation of influencer-based initiatives through services, such as Community Rewards by Modern Message. This technology uses gamification to reward current residents for sharing the apartment community with their personal network. Apartment marketers who are using this type of program are not only experiencing extended reach through their influencers, but also improved results from their own social media campaigns.

Third Base - Game Plan Videos and Facebook Live Sessions

Videos will continue to play an impactful role within the social media content game; however, Facebook wants to guide you away from creating a passive viewing experience for users. Traditional videos that struggle to generate views and replays will not accomplish the same reach after the algorithm update.

The pitch Facebook is throwing strikes toward live video. The main reason behind this spin is the instant user actions the live video format can prompt. Through Facebook Live, you can combat a passive viewer experience by posing open questions, or motivating users to submit their own questions during the live video feed.

Home Run - Engage Your Fanbase Through Facebook Groups

Along with posts shared by friends and family, Facebook groups have received prioritization with the new update. Yes, administering a thriving group takes time and effort; however, the leverage gained from building a true community feeling around your brand or its initiatives may be worth the investment for your business. Also, any posts shared or published within the group will continually reach the top of the News Feed.

Instead of being a one-way funnel for your brand messaging, group members have the freedom to ask questions and engage within the community. If done successfully, the group members will lead the conversation – not the group administrator. For multifamily clients, building groups targeted at your current residents is a great opportunity to build a sense of community and loyalty for properties.

Grand Slam - Incorporate Facebook Features, Including Messenger

Line up tools that will create added engagement with your brand on social media. Chatbots that run on the backbone of Facebook Messenger can answer the most pressing questions of your prospects and customers instantly. They can also be programmed to pass communication to a live salesperson or customer service representative at any point. Chat with our 30 Lines chatbot, Linus, to learn more.

Responding to current and prospective customers in a timely fashion is critical. Even if you’re not considering implementing automated technologies – like a chatbot – across digital platforms, make responding to Facebook messages and engaging with your audience in a one-on-one manner a priority.

Extra Innings…

Avoid a social media strikeout by producing more meaningful content. Consider Facebook’s reason for throwing the curveball in the first place – to illicit a focus on person-to-person interaction on their platform. The longer and more detailed the comments a post receives, the more weight it carries compared to competing posts. So, inspire a conversation. Focus less energy on frequent posting, and more energy on establishing truly engaging content.

It also may be time to advance a strong Facebook paid advertising policy. Recruiting valuable tools, such as retargeting and custom audiences, can promote a more targeted, pay-to-play social media approach.

If your organization is apprehensive about going to bat against Facebook’s recent update, let’s strategize together. Whether simply chatting through updates or coaching you through more in-depth digital practices, call on the 30 Lines team when you’re setting your marketing lineup.