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How the New Facebook Algorithm Affects Your Photography Page


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Businesses, especially photography businesses, have found Facebook an excellent way to supplement their web presence over the last several years. Having a Facebook business page allows for customer engagement as well as providing exposure to potential future clients. It’s a great way to showcase your best photos while putting yourself in front of your ideal demographic – friends and relatives of already satisfied customers.

Or at least it was, back when people actually saw your posts.

Suddenly, in the last few months, having a huge fan base on Facebook is almost useless. The Facebook algorithm changed and impacted the number of people seeing your posts.  Rather than another endless rant, this post provides information and ideas on how you can move forward with social networking for your business.

A small page may reach the same number of users with each post as a very large one. The thousands of ‘likes’ that you’ve managed to garner over the years isn’t worth much if they can’t see your posts – and frequently they can’t.

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I don’t know what Facebook is up to – catering to the user, manipulating businesses to purchase ‘sponsored stories’ to reach their fan base, or (probably) some of both – but I do know that your social media strategy needs to morph and change in order to keep up with the always changing algorithms of the Internet.

So what does this particular change mean for business owners in regards to Facebook?

  • Interest Lists: Asking users to add you to an interest list (as shown here) doesn’t completely solve the problem, though it may help a bit.
  • Compelling material: Give your readers something interesting. Your posts may just die unless you are offering some very compelling material.
  • Interaction: Encouraging fans to interact with your page is marginally better. This will ensure that those users who are actually interested in your page see more of your posts. But it takes effort, and how many people get on Facebook to exert themselves? Additionally, even when people interact, many are not seeing posts from those companies automatically in their feeds anymore.

The bottom line is that you can no longer rely on Facebook  as the core of your social media strategy. So how should you, as a business owner, respond?

Here’s a modified social media plan for the post-Facebook cyber world. Tweak for your business and share your thoughts in the comments!

1. Plan your social media campaign around your own blog and website. 

Your blog is something that you have total control over. Shift your primary focus from Facebook to your blog. Use it for client sneak peeks, sale announcements, giveaways, and company news. Foster customer communications – post frequently and engage your audience in the comment section. Give your visitors a reason to stay and a reason to come back. Think about what your intended audience will find valuable – it’s not always the typical photography blog stuff. Several months ago I wrote a post on how to choose clothes for a family picture. It’s our most popular post to this day!

2. Utilize other social media outlets.

Are you on Twitter? Google+? Pinterest? Tumblr? Find out where your ideal clients are hanging out and make sure you’re there too. Rather than relying on a huge Facebook following, spread out your influence to other parts of the web. Think outside the box! Learn how different social media sites work and use them creatively to boost your exposure and engagement.

3. Change the way you use Facebook. 

All this doesn’t mean you should neglect your Facebook page. But instead of focusing solely on the numbers of your fan base, try to improve engagement with the ones you have. Instead of just trying to be seen by as many people as possible,  make yourself irresistibly valuable to those who do see you. Become a page that people WANT on their newsfeeds, and you’ll be more likely to show up there.

As you’re implementing these and your own ideas to revamp your social media strategy, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What do I want my social media presence to accomplish?
  • Where and how are my present and future clients using the Internet?
  • What information and interactions will they find valuable?

The answers to these questions will help you develop a social media strategy that makes the most of the tools you have available online to engage current clients and attract prospective future ones.
Rebecca Weaver and her husband Roger run Presenting You Photography in Ephrata, PA, where she manages social media (among other things). When they aren’t doing photo-biz stuff, they’re usually hanging out with their three young children. You can visit their small but growing Facebook page here.


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  1. Betsy Barron on October 31, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Informative article – however there was no mention of publicizing your business on your PERSONAL Facebook page as a way of staying in touch with current and potential clients and customers. Since the change made to policy about fb biz pages, I’ve been posting ‘sneak peeks’ and client photos to my personal FB page and often sharing to my biz page. I’m curious if you have any data/info on how successful this strategy can be, assuming your clients are your ‘friends’ which mine are in most cases.Many thanksBetsy BarronFine Art Photographyhttp://www.thebetsy.com215.512.5845

  2. Michelle on October 31, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Hey neighbor! I live ‘down the road’ from you in Lancaster! Thanks for sharing. I’ve gotten frustrated with FB and didn’t know what was going on! Thanks for explaining and giving some tips on what to do.

    • Rebecca W. on October 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Michelle! Glad you found the article useful. Facebook seems to only do one thing consistently and that is change!

  3. Lori on October 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Interesting and frustrating. Thank you for sharing this important information.

  4. Doug Cohen on November 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Nice post Rebecca! Betsy I would be a little careful about the personal page strategy no matter how frustrating these changes have been for all of us – just my two cents. I only post studio stuff on my personal updates if I’ve written a blog post people can use whether they are a potential client or not like social media tips. If you start doubling up your content on both your business and personal pages your message can start to get lost. To Rebecca’s points, the best bet seems to focus on creating great content, and make sure your eggs are never in one basket – especially a basket you don’t own like facebook. Not saying this to sound preachy or like I know everything, because I’m still pretty mad and flabbergasted about the changes too trust me. Now while I agree with Rebecca that you can’t rely completely on Facebook, that is not a new concept that arose as a result of these changes. Anyone who was doing that definitely was a sitting duck. And while you can and should start focusing on your website, blog and other platforms, it’s not practical to just abandon your efforts on facebook. Facebook is not going anywhere and you especially can’t abandon it if that’s the only place you have any following. While you are building your presence elsewhere you may need to “sponsor” the occasional status update until facebook gets their head out of their butt (IF they do) and gives us a sensible compromise to work with. I don’t like it at all but what are you gonna do…. So I came across an article by Jay Baer which discusses when to sponsor posts and one of the things he mentioned was to only sponsor a post if after waiting 6 hours it’s exceeded a 1% engagement rate. Then give it a boost. Don’t try to boost a dog that no one is responding to – it is probably a waste of 5 bucks – only sponsor the posts that already prove to be engagement worthy. Here’s the link: Hope this is helpful.

    • Rebecca Weaver on November 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Great thoughts, Doug. Thanks for sharing!

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