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How Upcoming Facebook Updates Will Impact Authors

Upcoming Facebook updates will begin reducing the visibility of posts by publishers in order to prioritize social interaction. Learn what you can do to maintain the interaction of your Facebook audience.
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Upcoming Facebook updates will begin reducing the visibility of posts by publishers in order to prioritize social interaction. Learn what you can do to maintain the interaction of your Facebook audience.

by Fauzia Burke

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that sent shockwaves through the social media stratosphere. Facebook, the largest of the social media networks, will begin to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”

Simply put, this means Facebook, home to over two billion (yes, billion with a ‘B’) users, will begin to de-prioritize posts from publishers, organizations and businesses in favor of those from real people (i.e. your high school best friend and second cousin twice removed). For authors that depend on Facebook to communicate with their readers, this can be shocking and troubling news.

[10 Ways First-Time Writers Can Get Noticed on Social Media]

If you’re one of those authors, stay calm. All is not lost.

Facebook’s updates will mainly impact large publishers (think Huffington Post and Buzzfeed). Chances are, you are what Facebook labels a small publisher (500,000 followers or less). See? Bigger is not always better.

No matter your size, there will still be an impact felt by authors across the board. If you are nimble and can implement the following tips into your daily strategy, you’ll have a fighting chance.

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Encourage Sharing

Suggesting that your readers share content is an easy and effective way to remain visible on Facebook. Be careful not to use the word “share” in your posts, as Facebook will flag it as clickbait. Brainstorm indirect ways that you can ask readers to share content without asking them to literally share your content.

You should also consider assembling a circle of influencers that can be trusted to share your content on a regular basis. Enlist your close friends and superfans to help you get the word out by sharing your content to their friends and followers.

Monitor Comments

The quest for social engagement is nothing new, but the speed at which you respond is more important than ever. Timely responses to your follower’s comments will help keep you visible. When you respond, it’s important to keep the conversation going. Ask a question. Bring more people into the thread. Facebook will reward authentic dialogue between real people with more eyes and impressions.

Start Livestreaming

Livestreaming can seem like the Wild West, but it’s not as scary as it might seem. You might feel as though you have nothing to say or worry that you’ll do something wrong, but as long as you brainstorm creative ways to go live, you’ll be ok.

No matter what, be yourself and have fun with your brand. Your audience will appreciate it and Facebook will deliver the impressions.

Incorporating these tips into your existing social media strategy will give you a better chance of surviving the Facebook newsfeed changes. Who knows, you might even come out stronger than before.

Fauzia Burke is the founder and president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. She’s also the author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) and Chief Marketing Officer of Pub Site, a platform for building author websites.

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