WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR GYM?
On January 11th, 2018, Mark Zuckerburg and his Facebook team made an announcement regarding the upcoming Facebook update and the significant changes it entails for Facebook Pages. These changes are so significant that the Social Media Marketing world have dubbed it the ‘Facebook Apocalypse’. Read the full announcement here... (read more)
In brief, Facebook have vowed to move the Social Media platform back to being ‘social’. More meaningful interactions and discussions with friends and family. Less posts from publishers and brands and not-so-newsworthy articles. It was a big announcement, with big implications for the future of Facebook Pages for businesses. So how will this affect your club’s Page and how worried should you be?
In regards to your current members/page followers
If your club’s Page is meaningful and purposeful, is up-to-date and has high-quality posts relevant to your members, you probably don’t need to worry. It means you’re doing what Facebook want you to do – connecting people. See the updated News Feed Values here: (https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/06/building-a-better-news-feed-for-you/) If your members are commenting on your posts genuinely and are viewing and interacting with your Page on a regular basis, your posts are likely to appear in News Feeds as much as they usually do.
‘Posts with purpose’ should be your priority moving forward. What do we mean by that? Don’t post just for the sake of it thinking you need to fill space, post for a reason. Posts that give new information about the club (“Look at this new piece of equipment!”), ask members questions (“Share your best pre-workout snack!”), celebrate member’s achievements (“Craig ran his first half-marathon this weekend, well done Craig!”), are entertaining (“Check out this class highlights reel from this week!”) or just share the heart-and-soul of your club (“Watch this interview with club manager Jackie!”). These posts will naturally facilitate interactions and discussions that the Facebook Algorithm like, and as a result will favour your posts and page over the other pages that don’t. See more about the Algorithm and how News Feed Rankings work here: https://media.fb.com/2017/10/24/introducing-news-feed-publisher-guidelines/ If certain post types are not generating interactions, omit them from your Social Media plan so not to affect your ranking. And it goes without saying that all posts, static or video, need to be of a high, professional quality. Competition between your Page and other Pages is now fierce.
In regards to marketing/reaching new audiences
Our assumption is, once these changes take place, paid advertising will almost be the only way to have your posts reach wide and new audiences. Organic Reach will be difficult to achieve. It will also mean that ‘winning’ the top spot for advertising spaces will be difficult and advertising, if not set up efficiently, will become expensive. Understanding how to run Facebook advertising beyond boosted posts is important for clubs, right down to the bidding optimisation, post frequencies and ad placements. As is smart spending with strategy and staying up-to-date with changes to the Facebook Algorithm.
It is clearly stipulated in the announcement ‘engagement-bait’ posts will be demoted, so like/share/tag posts can no longer be a marketing strategy for businesses. To reach new people, content for paid advertising must follow similar principles to your page posts, aiming to ‘spark conversations’ between people. And to get attention in the first place, content needs to be valuable and videos, images or graphics need to be high end.
Facebook is the leading marketing tool for health and fitness clubs, attributing to over 46% of sales. So understanding and utilising this technology effectively to market your club is essential to stay in competition with other clubs, and to outshine them.
Making Way for New Technologies
For some time now Facebook have been pushing Videos in News Feeds. As stated in the announcement, this is no longer the case with static images and standard video posts being equally prioritised. However, more recently Facebook have been pushing Live Videos. See a December announcement regarding this here: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/12/news-feed-fyi-for-video-intent-repeat-viewership-matter/ These posts will continue to have extra leverage as they are an interactive experience for users, not a passive one, and this is what the changes are all about. So ensure Live Videos are part of your Social Media plan, and even better if your live videos encourage people to ask questions and make comments in relation to the videos content and live videos are episodic. It is expected that in coming months Facebook will be introducing other technologies such as ‘chat-bots’ and more complex messenger and story functions to further enhance user engagement and experience, so keep your eye out for further announcements.
So just remember, the point of the these changes is to make this leading Social Media platform more social. Authenticity and community is key. The same way you try to foster a welcoming, inviting, inclusive space within your club’s four walls, Zuckerburg wants to see you creating these spaces online too. So think about your members and what you can offer them on Facebook to enhance their experience of being part of your club, and potential members and what may make them feel welcomed and included in your community. In doing this there is no doubt your Facebook Page and in turn your health and fitness club, will flourish.
A CFM strategic marketing campaign includes the best Social Media and Digital Marketing Team in the fitness industry. They specialise in Facebook Business Advertising, videography, graphics and continue to the industry standard. To find out more about how a CFM marketing campaign can help your club contact (03) 8643 7474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
written by Hannah Robertson, Head of Social Media @ CFM