How the New Facebook Update Will Affect Martial Arts Marketing in 2018

By Indro Dojo Digital | Drive Traffic

Jan 15

On Thursday January 11th, 2018 Mark Zuckerberg announced a major change to the News Feed that will “show you more content from friends and family, and less from publishers”

What is the update?
Basically, posts from Facebook Business Pages will no longer be showed in the News Feed unless you are running Facebook Ads.  Apparently, this will need to be done through the Facebook Ads platform, and not by boosting posts, although I cannot 100% confirm this at the time of this writing.

So is my business page now useless?
Your martial arts school Business Page will no longer have a reach unless you are creating highly engaging content or you are using the Facebook Ads platform.  Your Business Page primary function will be to associate a Facebook Ad account to it.

Can people still see posts from the Pages they follow at the top of the News Feed?
Yes if “See First” is chosen in the Feed preferences, those pages will be on top. 

Why is this happening?
Facebook is running out of space in the news feed, people are annoyed with the newsfeed traffic and Facebook basically decided to clean house.  They are trying to bring back the user experience to what Facebook was originally intended to do, to be a communication platform between friends and family to engage with each other and share information.  Also, they want you to buy ads.

Facebook wants you to create engaging content.
Facebook says that it will show Page posts in the News Feed if the users are engaging with it, liking, sharing and commenting.  There will be a huge shift towards Live Video because on average it gets six times as many interactions as regular videos. 

IN MY OPINION, THIS IS A GOOD THING.

I have tried to encourage clients for years to drive traffic to their websites by creating blogs with content of interest to their prospects, that is part of the Facebook Ads strategy we use for our Digital Marketing clients.  If you read other articles on this blog you will see that i have previously mentioned numerous times that the best way to advertise to Cold Traffic (people that are not aware of you) on Facebook is by focusing on a pain point and establishing yourself as an authority.  This is what we call “warming up traffic”, so that next time they are presented an offer for your school’s services they will be a step further in the Customer Journey (Please refer to my article on “Understanding Traffic Temperatures”).

Focusing on a pain point and establishing themselves as an authority should be easy to do for any martial arts school owner! Afterall this is the same information taught in class, that every martial artist has heard their entire lives; all you have to do is turn this information into content and distribute it on social media.  Here is an example of what we do to promote one of our schools with an anti bullying strategies video.  As you can see there is very little production value here other then the text overlay since this was used in Facebook Ads. Your phone is all you need!

 So now Facebook is forcing you to become a content creator. I think that when you start to create content on a regular basis, you are going to reap the rewards of this change in ways that you never did with your Facebook Page until this point! Also, it may not seem like it but this will be something that can be lots of fun and fulfilling for you and your brand. Speaking of which...

GROUPS AND PERSONAL BRANDS WILL BE THE WINNERS IN FACEBOOK MARKETING

Facebook has already announced that it will prioritize friends & family and Groups in the News Feed. There is speculation that at some point we may also be able to run ads in Groups as well as boosting content...

ACTIONABLE ITEMS YOU CAN DO TODAY!

I am writing this article just a couple of days after the announcement, so stay tuned because I’m going to bring you a ton of value on how to make your martial arts school stand out from the rest by becoming a content creator, but for now I wanted to provide you some actionable items:

1:  CREATE A GROUP FOR YOUR MEMBERS
If you are using your Facebook Page to post things like, “SNOWDAY, NO CLASSES TODAY”, well, first of all you have been doing Facebook wrong, and second you were already hardly reaching anyone before by doing this, now you will reach virtually no one.  

So the first thing that I suggest you do is create a group for your members.  You may even want to create a few groups and segment by age group eventually, but for now create one for all your members and start transitioning them out of your Page and into your Group.

I am going to create a dedicated post on the kind of groups you should make and some guidelines for how to engage them, but be aware that if you have a group, you better be active with it or you are back to where you started… Are you starting to see a pattern?  You have to get involved, there is no way around it, unless you want to miss out on what is the biggest advertising platform of our time, you are going to have to start engaging your audiences on Facebook.

2: I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU CREATE A NEW PERSONAL BRAND PAGE
I had already seen the writing on the wall with this a few months ago, and that is why I started transitioning my Website Dojo clients over to my Indro Dojo Digital Facebook Page, where I share marketing tips and will be delivering my content (and if you have been paying attention, I’ll have to create ads in the Facebook Ad Manager if I want anyone to see them). I suggest you do the same.

 When you start delivering content in the news feed, your name will blend in with the rest of the “Friends and Family” on the users news feed. When your agency or someone is running Facebook Ads for you, for example if you are promoting an engaging video, you will be able to show ads for your martial arts school to people that watched 10 seconds or whatever you decide of your previous video.  You will retarget the audience that consumed your engaging content.

Please make this your 2018 resolution:  Create a Personal Brand that will be the face of your martial arts school, and create an intention of establishing yourself as THE authority in your town on whatever your greatest strength as a teacher is. Not only will Facebook reward you for it, but you will become the GO TO person when someone is considering a fitness or martial arts program for themselves or their child.

3: HELP ME BUILD A COMMUNITY OF LIVE CONTENT CREATORS
Facebook is forcing us to become content creators, and that is a good thing. Let's build a community to give each other ideas and feedback on how to deliver the best content to our martial arts prospects! I have lots of ideas, but you will need to implement them.  I have also been experimenting with various streaming platforms, so I will share my findings in a group I have created called MARTIAL ARTS LIVE CONTENT CREATORS. Please join me there and let’s show Facebook that if anyone has content of value to deliver to their audiences, it’s Martial Arts School Owners!  I have no doubt that as soon you get the confidence to start doing this on a regular basis, it will be a game changer for your school and your lead generation.

Let’s go live!

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About the Author

I’m the founder of Printing Dojo and Website Dojo. We have designed hundreds of martial arts websites and I am sharing my digital marketing knowledge on this blog.