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The latest Facebook changes: Three things to do NOW

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On January 11, Facebook announced changes to their platform https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104413015393571 that are expected to make it more challenging for businesses to engage with individuals. Facebook experts say this means business posts are likely to be seen less often by individuals, even by those who like or follow your page, and some companies are already reporting declines in engagement and reach.

It's more important than ever to own your list. Using social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are still great ways to reach people, but they're someone else's platform, and therefore you're at the mercy of any changes they decide to make in their algorithms or policies. The Facebook changes are just the latest example of this. Owning your list by collecting and maintaining direct contact information for your customers and prospects gives you control over when and how you engage with them.

Here are three things you can do in light of the new Facebook changes:

1. Don't abandon your social media pages! They are still beneficial for cultivating relationships. Use your social media pages in a selective, targeted manner. Posts using video and Facebook Live will help capture attention from your clients and from the Facebook algorithms. Boosted posts and Facebook ads can help you get in front of your target audience, and try Facebook Live instead of posted videos.

2. Collect email addresses so you can send targeted emails. Use promotions or contests to bring people to your website and ask for their contact information in order to sign up for the contest or get a discount or download. MailChimp and other providers offer relatively inexpensive ways to get emails to your audience.

3. Leverage groups as a way to engage in relevant discussions in Facebook and LinkedIn. Participate in an existing group, or create one relevant to the type of solutions your business provides. This can be a great addition to a business page.

And, if you would like a different angle on the Facebook changes, check out Inc. Magazine's take on Facebook and their own Innovator's Dilemma: https://www.inc.com/jeff-bercovici/facebook-innovators-dilemma.html