What farmers need to know about 2018 Facebook changes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

So you jumped on the band wagon and created a Facebook page, but no one responded to your posts, right? In this episode I walk you through the 2018 Facebook newsfeed algorithm change and tell you how to survive the social media circus.

Facebook has yet again made significant changes to its algorithm, and this is a big one. Facebook is now focused not on the brands…or those of you who have farm Facebook pages, but rather focused on the individual FB user.

Mark Zuckerberg flat out said, “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. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

As if you weren’t already struggling enough, right? Getting people to read or engage with your posts.

Okay, with all these Facebook newsfeed changes, am I suggesting you give up on Facebook.

No, of course not, for the simple reason that many of your customers are there.

And lots of potential customers are there that you’ve yet to engage with.

But, the mistake a lot of people made—farmers and non-farmers—is they focused on building a following on Facebook and DID NOT get those followers onto their email lists.

So, as I’ve now said many times over the past few years, they built their house on rented land.

And the landlord, Facebook, has changed the lease terms once again.

So what this all means is that we have to become much better at creating marketing funnels.

As it relates to Facebook it means using systems and best practices to get FB users to either sign-up for your email list or actually buy something on your website, even if it’s a cheap trip wire product.

Or a FREE trip wire product like a free dozen eggs at the market.

Because by doing that we get that person into your marketing funnel since you have their email address.

From there you can create automated email sequences that get them to buy products on your farm store, sign up for your CSA or buy whatever else you want to offer them.

Facebook is still important, but you need to have a plan to use it effectively as a marketing tool, or just get off it entirely.

And I think you’ll be best served by doing the former.

Learn how to use it effectively with the end in mind. And the end is getting people to conduct a transaction with you.

So here are some Take Aways and things I’ll be helping member of the Small Farm Nation Academy to achieve.

  1. The effect on post-engagement will be devastating. Prior to this change, the average page reach per post was approximately 2 to 5 percent–meaning that if 100 people opted in to “liking” your page, only two to five of them actually see one of your posts. So you gotta have a plan for funneling people into your email list.  This is huge, because the average email open rate is 25%…way better than FB’s 2 percent. So the number one thing you MUST do is get people on your email list. It’s why a year ago I made it a requirement to provide an email address before being admitted to my Farm Marketing Group on Facebook, and I’m sure glad I did. Because now I can communicate with my constituency directly.
  2. Another thing I’ll be encouraging Academy members to do is to Start a FB group. But not one based not on their brand, but rather on a cause people care about that you can champion that is related to your value proposition. Why? Because Facebook groups tend to inspire a lot of meaningful conversation, and communities on Facebook are becoming “increasingly active and vibrant,” according to Adam Mosseri. Therefore, you can expect content and discussions posted to Facebook groups to receive more distribution in the news feed following this algorithm update.
  3. Prepare to invest in paid FB ads. And you still need to have a FB pixel installed don your website…if you haven’t done it already you’re wasting time. Because running retargeting ads is a sensible investment. Of course, given this algorithm change FB ad costs will begin dramatically rising because more people will now need to advertise. So now’s the time to learn what to do and how to do it, which is why I’m developing a FB advertising course for member of SFNA.
  4. 4th, Quality content always wins and that’s what creates engagement. This is why blogging and content marketing has been so important in recent years and, I think, will continue to be. Because people look for information they can use. So if you want people to write long comments on what you share on Facebook, you have to create and share high quality content. I’ll be helping members of the SFNA learn how to do that.
  5. Finally, the rules on rented land will continually change. As soon as you get used to this change it’ll happen again. What you want is an Owner operated business, not a business where you’re dependent on someone else like FB. You gotta have a marketing plan to get people on your list…it won’t happen by accident. It will happen by design.

In this episode I walk you through the five key takeaways of this change and strategies you’ll need to execute unless you want to become a Facebook dinosaur. So listen in, now.

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Small Farm Nation creates beautiful farm websites and offers online farm marketing courses that help farmers grow profitable farm businesses.