How originators can adapt to Facebook changes

by Kimberly Greene02 Jul 2019

It seems as if there’s always more to do and to learn in order to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to capturing more clients and getting more business.

Megan Anderson laid out her fail-safe steps to creating great social videos at Mastermind 2019, but she also alerted originators of a recent change in Facebook’s algorithms. The social media giant is always changing their algorithms, Anderson said, but they recently changed it to have more of a so-called “living room effect,” where the only people who see your content are those who you’re connecting with on a regular basis.

For those mortgage originators with huge followings, or for those who don’t check in often, this could be problematic.

“Let’s say that you have 5,000 followers, 5,000 friends. Well, if you make a post, not all of those 5,000 people are going to see it. With this new living room effect change, let’s say that you’re only active with about 50 of those 5,000 friends. Well only those people that you’re active with are going to see that post. So your reach isn’t 5,000 in this case, it’s 50. The way that we help combat that is to create engagement,” Anderson explained.

There are two simple ways to combat this change and ensure that your content is still reaching as many people as possible.

The first, Anderson says, is to use birthdays as an excuse to engage with followers. Easy, right? Most originators already use birthdays as touchpoint to call, to send messages, or to send gifts to their clients. Making it a point to connect with clients on social media on their birthdays is another good way to hit the milestone as well as keep them as an active contact as far as Facebook is concerned. And people like it.

“How great does it make you feel when someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while tells you happy birthday? It feels pretty good, and it makes you want to engage with them and start talking with them,” Anderson said.

She also suggests using birthday messages as a way to take a magnifying glass to your group of followers. When the birthday reminder pops up and you realize that you’ve wished someone a happy birthday for the past couple of years without a response, then it’s probably time to take a closer look at that connection. Have they responded to you, even with just a thank you? When was the last time that that person engaged with any of your posts at all? It’s okay to cull your followers. You might lose a few hundred people, but if that means that you have more active connections with the people that do follow you, then culling that list has created a positive impact for your reach overall. High levels of engagement is what’s currently getting more of your content seen and shared, which means that your followers will organically grow and you’ll be sending messages and providing content to the people who  actually want to engage and see it. You have to make room for the people who are actually going to engage with you, Anderson says, and stop wasting time and content on the ones who won’t.

Facebook is also making groups a priority. Because of this, Anderson encourages originators to join existing groups and/or create one of your own. If you think of any group of people—residents in your neighborhood, the PTA at your kids’ schools, a group of people who share your favorite hobby, the local realtor association—chances are, they already have a Facebook group that you can join. If not, there’s no reason why you can’t start one.

If you do start a Facebook group, Anderson says, you have to provide some value in order for people to want to join, to boost numbers and engagement.

“You could have guest speakers in there, and you could also provide valuable content, things like [MBS’s] Wealth through Real Estate, the current market forecast, buy versus rent, cost of waiting, credit repair, and pre-approval versus pre-qualification.”

But remember, don’t make it too sales-y. Facebook and its groups a way to build connections so that people know you and like you; it’s not the place to make the sales pitch.

These changes that Facebook have made are similar to previously-reported algorithm changes that Facebook put into place. Those also had goals of prioritizing content that had the most engagement over others. That meant that posts with lots of likes and comments got seen more often—thereby encouraging more likes and comments. If you added new content, it was still there, but it didn’t automatically make it out to the masses.

Combating that change and making sure your content didn’t get blocked required avoiding so-called engagement bait, things like “click here” or “leave a comment below”. That was too obvious for Facebook’s liking, so they penalized posters for using that kind of language. Facebook also didn’t like when posts included links and other shared content that took users away from its site. This is another reason why social video is so important, particularly on Facebook. Not only is the medium appealing, but Facebook likes content that can be viewed on the platform.

Why are they making these changes? Facebook has grown to bring in a lot of revenue through its advertising capabilities, and it has an incredible ability to reach extremely targeted audiences. Lots of good marketers have discovered that you don’t have to buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, but Facebook is onto you; they want to drive as many people as possible to their paid advertising channel, and/or keep people on their site.

Although it can be difficult to keep up with all of the changes, taking some of the steps outlined above can ensure that your content continues to get seen by the right people at the right time.