Two weeks ago, Facebook announced that they will be making some pretty major changes to the News Feed. Basically, they will be de-prioritizing content from brands in favor of content from individual people. In a post, Mark Zuckerberg says this is because branded content was taking up too much space and negatively impacting the Facebook experience.
For many wineries, Facebook is an important channel for wineries to connect with your customers and fans. So, what does this change mean for you and what should you do about it?
Organic reach for brands has been declining for awhile, but it’s about to get worse. You should expect to see significantly lower views for your posts. (Quick reminder: organic reach refers to the number of people who view your content without your having to “boost” the post or pay for ads.) One way to combat this is to encourage your fans to prioritize your content so they see it first. They can do this by navigating to your Facebook page and selecting “See First” and turning on Notifications.
What Should You Do About It?
1. Audition Content On Other Platforms First
It used to be that you could get around lower organic reach for brands on Facebook by posting frequently. In the new world, that won’t work anymore. In fact, Facebook may penalize you for over posting. Twitter and Instagram haven’t changed their algorithms and are still fair game. So try out new posts on those channels first, then post the best performers (the ones with the most engagement) on Facebook.
2. Create A Facebook Group
Group content on Facebook also won’t be penalized so consider starting a group for your fans. Another perk of Facebook Groups is that they tend to generate a lot of notifications, increasing the chances your fans will engage with your content. If your Facebook community is relatively small, try banding together with other wineries in your area to create a Group together. For example “Fans of Sonoma Coast Wine” or “Finger Lakes Wine Lovers”.
3. Start Using Facebook Messenger
Try using Facebook Messenger, or other messaging channels, to engage with your customers. Over the past few years, messaging apps have overtaken social networking apps by number of active users. It’s important to be judicious in using this channel, however. Messages are more disruptive than Facebook posts so be selective about what you you send to whom and when.
4. Facebook Ads
An obvious way to combat falling organic reach is to pay for impressions. But you won’t be the only one with this strategy! Expect ads to become more expensive in the near future. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them, but you should be very clear about your goals and regularly measure performance. For example, are you trying to drive sales? Increase tasting room traffic? Keep wine club members engaged? Each of these suggests a different type of post and a different success metric.
5. Diversify Your Channels
Perhaps the single best thing you can do is to diversify your social media presence. Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, there are many opportunities to engage with audiences outside of Facebook. Instagram is an especially good fit for many wineries since our industry lends itself to beautiful photography. YouTube requires a bit more investment, but even on a low budget you can make fun video content.