I have been poring over multiple reports for the last few days identifying trends in social media and one has stood out and actually shocked me. Most marketers and small businesses are still on Facebook, despite many of them – especially those without advertising budgets – having a hard time thriving in the space.
Facebook’s algorithm change earlier this year turned social media marketing on its head. In an attempt to keep user’s News Feeds balanced, Facebook lowered the organic reach capability for brand Pages. Brands weren’t able to engage their large social communities in the same way as before without relying on boosted posts and advertisements. The changes and the continuous decline of organic reach have people muttering that Facebook is dead, but we refuse to pull the plug, No matter how much our reach plummets, we continue to go back to our business pages week after week hoping for a miracle.
We get it, Facebook. You need to keep your users happy and that won’t happen if the News Feed becomes one big billboard. But can you cut us a little bit of slack?
For our SumAll Facebook page with a little over 20,000 followers, reaching 800 of them is 402% above the average. Without boosting this post, our Facebook audience will never know about the best practices guide we published, which will ultimately make their lives much easier.
What can make it better?
Well, Facebook was listening – to its users at least. It has rolled out the See First tool that allows you to control what you see at the top of your feed. You can choose which friends’ and business pages’ (wink, wink) post you see first. You get control of your News Feed back, not Facebook’s algorithm. Now you won’t miss important social media news, stats and tips from your favorite social media data company.
Here are some additional tips to help you increase your reach:
1. See when your fans are online via your Facebook Insights. For us, Thursdays at noon is the time when most of our fans are online. That would be the optimal time to post our best content for the week. By looking at this tab, you can see what day and time combinations make the most sense for you.
2. Share links with an image preview instead of including it in the caption of a photo.
3. Don’t beg for likes and shares. Explicitly asking for likes or shares is frowned upon by Facebook and people. Don’t look desperate. If you are providing the right kind of information, people will be compelled to share.
4. Avoid selling. Save the advertisements for Facebook ads. Facebook penalizes organic posts that are “salesy” and push people to buy something, enter sweepstakes, install an app, or reuse content from ads. Just avoid doing it, because it won’t be seen anyway.
I certainly feel your pain on Facebook reach. It can be frustrating when you invest time and energy creating content that you feel goes nowhere. One hour creating a graphic that only eight people saw… great. We get it. Sometimes good ways to adjust are creating a Facebook group or focusing on other channels like Copyblogger who recently deleted their Facebook page.
What do you think?
Where do you think Facebook is headed? Are you investing ad dollars on your pages? Let me know how marketing on Facebook is working out for you.