Facebook has changed. If you haven’t noticed this, you’re probably not spending a huge chunk of your day checking, scrolling, and stalking your way through the social media channel – so kudos to you. However, Facebook has officially started rolling out major changes to the way businesses appear in newsfeeds and no one quite knows what the impact will be.

Mark Zuckerberg announced that from Thursday 18th January, as a Facebook user, you will see more posts from your family, friends and associated groups and less public content. This affects all posts from brands, media and businesses  like your own  which means your organic reach has likely seen a dramatic decline. However, all is not lost.

Before any changes had been made, the News Feed had become a hub for boredom killing and mindless scrolling  a place that really didn’t offer users much substance. The change, although it may look terrifying, could actually be really beneficial to a brand or business. “I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his post about the changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.” In the long run, users will have a more positive experience with brands as the time spent on the site will mean more to them.

There are plenty of ways in which you, as a business, can nail this algorithm and continue to spread your reach to customers through “meaningful interactions”. Here’s how:

Stay away from the clickbait trap

First things first, stay away from the clickbait trap. It’s not as easy to trick the algorithm with fake ‘meaningful interactions’ as you would like to think. Refrain from posts like “Tag someone who will love this,” or “Comment here if you like puppies!!” Both Facebook and users don’t like this spammy content. Facebook has said they will continue to demote posts like these, so it’s in both your businesses and your customers’ best interests to stay away.

Monitor and adapt

Secondly, if you’re worried that not many people are commenting on your posts, you will need to take a hard look at the content you are pushing out. Pages and businesses making posts that people don’t generally react to or comment on are going to see these decreases so monitoring discussions, content, and trends within Facebook will be the best way to adapt your content accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to ask for followers

The most obvious but important thing any business can do for their Facebook presence is to build and engage a social media community/audience – don’t be afraid to ask for followers (especially from loyal customers). There is a huge amount of untapped potential for your business in the world of Facebook. They had 3.2 million active New Zealand users as of January 2017. That’s a whole lot of people you could reach… and if a large reach is what you are looking for, then you have to be willing to spend a bit more money on promoting your posts to gain eyes on your business.

Update your page – stay current

With more and more people going to Facebook to check out businesses and make reviews, your image matters. Ensure you have a clean, updated, and relevant page to make it easy for consumers to navigate and get a feel for what you offer.

Respond. Respond. Respond!

Make your customers feel like you care and engage in conversations happening on your page. Give any user who visits a positive experience and it’ll give them more of a reason to come back. This post shows how successful starting a conversation with current loyal customers and potential new customers can be. This restaurant was responding to most comments and had people replying afterwards too.

Videos lead to discussions

In the announcement, Zuckerberg stated, “live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook—in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” Videos will still be favoured, but with the new algorithm, live videos will become even more prevalent and important to campaigns. If you haven’t already, you should be looking into live videos as a form of engaging users. Caveman Fitness gained a good 2.4k views on their video showcasing their GrabOne deal, F45 Training’s video explained what their deal consists of and they received 3.1k views and 134 reactions which all counts towards “meaningful interaction”, and The hits (Dunedin) had 5.8k views on their simple live video.

Get your followers talking

Long story short, brands and businesses alike, should create quality content aimed at starting conversations between users. Get your followers talking. The easiest way to achieve this is to pose questions (remember: NO clickbait) in your posts and to post about relevant topics that users and customers are likely to have an opinion on. If their friends and family are talking about it and commenting, users are more likely to see that post. In this case, Parakai Springs decided to pose a discussion about School Holidays which resulted in conversations about family and trips along with users tagging their friends.

If your business dedicated to giving your customers valuable, relatable content, then these new algorithm changes shouldn’t worry you – don’t turn you away from your Facebook community.