Busting the 5 myths about Facebook algorithms that can ruin your salon’s fan page

Facebook algorithms

Let’s be real – Facebook and its algorithms can be confusing sometimes. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings surrounding the topic of what type of content is preferred and will bring you more profit. Some people claim that you should post more lifestyle content on your business page, as it always gets more engagement. Some encourage you to share photos of your dogs and kids to get wider reach and more likes. Some even persuade you to use your personal profile for business purposes. It’s time to finally bust these myths, understand how Facebook algorithms really work, specify what is strictly prohibited, and discuss how to achieve marketing success.

Myth 1: Running business activities on a personal page is more lucrative

The (in)famous Facebook algorithm update of 2018 has significantly changed how News Feed algorithms prioritise content. After the supposed downfall of the business pages organic reach, many business owners started to panic and look for ways to boost their reach without having to pay Facebook for advertisement. Some of them thought it would be clever to run a regular, personal profile for their business, as “it is not such a big difference and you steer clear of Facebook shenanigans”. The attempts, of course, failed miserably – and here is why:

  • First and foremost, it violates Facebook’s policies to use a personal profile for commercial or promotional purposes. As soon as your “sneakiness” is detected, you can choose to either convert the profile into a business page or have it taken down.
  • The change in algorithms impacts personal profiles as well – so you basically do not avoid anything. If your posts are not considered valuable (more about that later) their reach will go down, regardless of the profile type.
  • On a personal profile, you can only have up to 5 000 friends -a business page can be liked and followed by an unlimited number of people.
  • Personal profiles have friends, business pages have followers. Where’s the difference? When you “like” a business page, you automatically sign up to “follow” it, however, you can “unfollow” a page, while still “liking” it. This way you don’t get the updates in your feed, but you still technically “like” the business. Personal profiles can only send “friend requests” (which, by the way, are pretty awkward to receive from a business) and clients are less likely to accept them, as being “friends” with someone grants them the visibility of your personal information.
  • Only business pages have access to Facebook Insights, can create paid advertisement or assign admin roles. Facebook Insights are incredibly helpful, allowing you to obtain and analyse information on your audience’s demographics and behaviours. Paid advertisements are not as scary as they may seem and if you target them well, they are definitely worth giving a go. Finally, giving your co-workers different access ranges is absolutely crucial – when you run a personal profile, you have to give the password to anyone involved!

Myth 2: You should seek a large following at all costs

Let’s begin with discussing the big Facebook algorithms bogeyman – the EdgeRank. It is a common name given to the algorithm that determines which posts users see on their News Feeds. As for now, it is a machine learning-powered collection of math operations with many different variables. Simplifying how the process works – initially, your post is seen by a fraction of your followers, but the more engagement (likes, shares and comments) it gains, the more reach it gets.

If your only goal is to get as many people to follow your business page as possible, then sooner or later you will end up with a huge crowd completely not interested in both your posts and services. The low quality of the audience equals little engagement – and little engagement equals lower reach and voila, your posts are seen by hardly anybody.

Understandably, you want your business page to look more credible – but believe me, it’s better to have 500 real followers who are genuinely interested in your posts and are likely to visit your beauty salon, than to have a silent crowd of 5 000. It’s like bringing people from a roundup to your salon – a huge crowd will storm in, but hardly anyone will make any purchase. Additionally, you will also discourage your real target audience with the lack of integrity.

And remember – buying Facebook likes is an absolute no-no! The consequences are severe – apart of tearing your EdgeRank to pieces and hitting the lowest low of the reach, you lose the opportunity to have realistic statistics on your target audience, and if you decide to run a paid advertisement – you will basically pay for reaching dummy accounts. Moreover, believe me – your real followers will notice the fraud, so you can already wave goodbye to your credibility.

Myth 3: You should post personal content on your business page to boost engagement

Let’s do a little imagination exercise, shall we? Think about any small company you like and follow on social media. Let’s say it’s a florist you buy all your plants from. She shares pictures of the newest arrivals (oh, those new Bromeliads would fit your decor so well!), information on special promotions (tempting, tempting!) and photos showing how you can arrange the interior with given plants (so inspirational!). Her content is great and very cohesive.

Then she shares a photo with her husband. She is a lovely lady so the picture gets tons of “likes”. Encouraged by the reaction, she starts sharing more personal stuff. For the next few weeks, you are bombarded with photos of her kids, dogs and groceries, as well as her vents on unreliable suppliers. You still like her and the flowers are still beautiful, but you are hardly interested in the holiday destinations of your own friend group, let alone some florist. So you unfollow her page and without the usual updates – quickly forget about her services whatsoever.

There is a huge difference between sharing something more light-hearted from time to time (an upbeat picture of your team, funnily staged photos of your salon, a tactful industry meme) and making an awkward diary out of your business page. Yes, personal photos get engagement – but it’s an empty engagement, one that will not translate into sales. People who react to such content (let’s be real – mainly your friends and family) are rarely your target group – and people who are your target group react out of sympathy, yet quickly get tired of such posts. Also, you may start to be perceived as unprofessional and socially awkward, not to mention – your business page can be browsed by anybody, so it’s a questionable idea to showcase the details of your life, your children or where do you live.

Myth 4: You should post engagement baits

A few years ago, when the algorithms started to emphasize the importance of getting engagement so much, Facebook was flooded with the so-called “engagement baits”. Do you remember all those awkward “Tag a friend who…” and “Like this, if you are…” posts, as well as silly contests where all you had to do is to share and comment? Most probably you’ve heard that they are a great marketing idea and maybe you’ve posted something similar on your business page.

In 2018, Facebook made it very clear that they don’t support such behaviour and started demoting spammy engagement baits. Currently, a post is considered valuable if it sparks “meaningful interactions”. Which means that:

  • Comments and “shares” are favoured over “likes”
  • Reactions such as “Love” or “Haha” are also favoured over regular “likes”
  • Long comments are considered as better
  • It’s best when the post sparks a conversation and there are replies to the comments
  • Sharing the link to the post via Messenger also boosts its value

As you can see – engagement baiting no longer gets the cake, not to mention that they are highly unprofessional and people are fully aware why you really post them.

Myth 5: You should post as much as you can

To achieve success on Facebook, you need two things – consistency and quality. However, “consistency” doesn’t mean you have to post something every other hour – in reality, one post a day is more than enough, and if you post 2-3 times a week you are still doing a great job. It’s better to create a few, but engaging posts that cause “meaningful interactions” instead of flooding your page with tons of rushed content created out of coercion. Both Facebook and your audience will appreciate such activity more!

Facebook is a great place to advertise your services – along with Instagram, there truly is no better place online to gain a wider reach and stay in touch with your target audience. However, remember that for more personal and sophisticated marketing campaigns, you will need something extra. Our system offers you a wide range of marketing tools, such as single and bulk messaging campaigns, allowing you to precisely target groups of clients with customised offers. What’s more, Versum integrates with Facebook, so you can add a “call to action” booking button and share reviews you’ve got via Versum on your business page. So if you want your marketing to be multi-channelled and truly complex – grab your free trial today!

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