At the beginning of 2019, I almost deleted my writer Instagram account. I halted because of the little warning that popped up: If you delete this account, the username will never be available again.
Well, what if I changed my mind three years down the road? I closed out of the browser and left my little writer account a desolate, post-less place with only a headshot and a link to my blog in the description.
Then, I quit my job in November. My blog and its empty little Instagram were suddenly the only writing content I had to “sell.” I found Don’t Keep Your Day Job, made a plan, and converted my empty little Instagram to a business account. I created a business Facebook page, posted a link on my personal accounts, and waited with hands tightly gripping my phone.
Followers! Mainly family and a few friends from high school. My mom and mother-in-law shared the page, and a few of their friends started following, too. I was on cloud nine! I was going somewhere!
And then my Facebook posts only got 3 likes… 6 likes… all from the same family members and high school friends who liked the page in the first place. What was going on?
I attended Mrs. Samantha English’s Fall 2019 Facebook and Instagram Update webinar, and the information she imparted blew my mind. This was why everyone complained about “the algorithm!” This was why I only saw posts from a handful of my Facebook friends and never saw posts from others! This was why I hated Facebook!
And it was only going to get worse.
- Mrs. English’s webinar contained so much detail and actionable info on the recent and upcoming Facebook and Instagram changes. She especially helped me understand “organic reach,” or how posts are sent out to those who choose to follow us, and why my page performs like it does.
- Key takeaway in case the webinar doesn’t come back around: Facebook only allows your post to go to a handful of your followers. If that handful of followers engages with the post, then Facebook will send the post out to another handful of followers, and so on. However, your post may never reach your entire follower list if the first groups don’t engage. To make matters worse, likes don’t count anymore. Facebook prefers comments and “hearts” or “sad faces” to judge engagement. Instagram follows suit, but only comments can be used to judge engagement on that platform.
- Mrs. English was personable and maintained good pacing that kept me engaged in her webinar. She didn’t have me groaning or rolling my eyes after an hour.
- The webinar came with a nice workbook for taking notes, and there was plenty of margin space for me to fill. She also specified which pages to skip printing to save ink, which I appreciated as I’m hoping for a new printer for Christmas and don’t want to buy ink one month out.
- The Marketing Academy for Small Business Instagram page is aesthetically pleasing. A quick scroll shows they recently rebranded their content, and the posts maintain a consistent structure so the pictures in the feed align.
- I have to give Mrs. English an extra bonus point for going to my husband’s alma mater. Go Racers!
- As aesthetically pleasing as the MAFSB accounts are, neither the Facebook nor the Instagram page had much engagement. The pages had between 100,000-200,000 followers, but posts only showed three or four likes and maybe one comment. As knowledgeable as Mrs. English was about the inner workings of Facebook and Instagram, I wondered why her pages weren’t performing better.
- At the end of the content of her presentation, Mrs. English explained that the changes she had described did not apply to ads. After spending an hour studying “organic reach” and “targeting,” the comment felt a bit like a whirlwind change. However, Mrs. English acknowledged that ads led to the success of her business, and the course she sold is built around that premise.
What I Tried
- After this webinar, I prioritized replying to every comment on my social media posts. I also mustered up some courage to start commenting on other bloggers’ posts. If we’re going to beat this big bad Facebook algorithm, we’re going to have to work together!
- This webinar showed me that I needed to direct posts to promote engagement. I started adding more questions to my posts in hopes that people would respond.
- I haven’t tried Mrs. English’s suggestions for “organic targeting” yet, but specifying which demographic of followers to show a post to was a great tip in light of Facebook’s new algorithm.
I highly recommend following the Marketing Academy for Small Business and attending one of Mrs. English’s webinars if you can. While the course she sells at the end of her webinar seems to follow traditional marketing strategies like you might learn at a college or university, the information she imparts in the meat of the webinar contains actionable steps and important terms you might not know otherwise.