The announcement by Facebook that it will be changing its News Feed algorithm has caused a lot of negative reactions from business who use the platform to market themselves.

On a Facebook post on Jan 11, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the platform will tweak the algorithms to prioritise posts that focus more on social interactions rather than public content.

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions,” Zuckerberg said.

But it is not time to panic.

While the algorithm change seems to be a disadvantage to publishing and digital business, it provides room to adjust your strategy to keep your followers. Here are some of the strategies your company can put in place to rise above their competition.

Diversifying Platforms

The sages said: do not put all your eggs in one basket.  For business, diversifying the platforms through which they interact with their customers and engaging with them could help solve the algorithm change.

One of the most essential platforms a company should have is the website.

“It’s so important for any brand to have a website. Apart from increased online visibility and interaction with your brand, your website is your own digital real estate, as opposed to social media platforms,” Canvas Media co founder Sonal Haria says, adding that it one of the services offered at Canvas because of how vital  it is for clients who are looking for visibility online.

With websites and other platforms people will still access your content on your website, blog or even through newsletters even when social media sites like Facebook change their algorithms.  This also allows business to have more control over the content on their websites.

Besides having a website, companies should also  make  the websites more search engine friendly using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Some of the benefits of SEO include higher brand visibility, increased traffic and better return on investment.

Influencer, Maybe?

Working with a real influencers and personalities that match your brand values and ethics would be another way to beat Facebook at its own game. They have the advantage of a  following that are loyal to them and value their voice- its all about businesses taking that as leverage for their brand. We help you connect with and identify personalities that would leverage your brand image, as, even in the influencer world, there are many different types and levels.

Targeted Content

Sharing content without the target market in mind is path to failure. It is vital to set up a solid content strategy (both short and long-term)  that your customers want to see, want to interact with and want to share- anything short of this is a disservice to the brand.

Organic Marketing

Aside from paid, pushy marketing, organic marketing is one of the great ways to get your customers to listen to you and stick with you. With this type of marketing, companies can bring on customers without directly communicating with them. By having good content, an impeccable reputation, goodwill and authority, companies will benefit a lot from the perfect marketing formula that will blend giving consumers what they want to see with we want them to see.

As one of the services we offer at Canvas Media, strategic, non-sales-y, organic marketing that is very consumer-focused and building consumer relationships with your is beneficial to our clients both in the short term and long term.

Re- strategizing

Kenyan businesses that rely purely on Facebook and Instagram for their growth will need to go back to the drawing board. The key to a sustainable marketing plan is thinking long-term and planning long-term with short-term goals and objectives. Social media, being just one of the many tools to achieve your business marketing goals, is just one of many key marketing tactics you need for your business. With the right planning, market research, brand strategy, marketing execution plan, data and analytics businesses will be able to match their objectives with needs of their target consumers.

Restrategising could also mean partnering with the perfect agency that understands your business and your needs, will help you navigate the world of algorithms, analytics, data and strategy to. Such an agency should be at the forefront of new trends and technology but with the knowledge and expertise to make sure your marketing results in a measurable ROI.