Let’s take a look at some stats first.
- 50,000,000+ businesses have a Facebook page
- 48 is the average number of times these brands post each day
- 2% is their Facebook organic reach and this number is drastically diminishing! (source-DMR)
The rate at which Facebook organic posts reach is dwindling, it can be safely said, the days of getting any free reach on Facebook are numbered and will be obsolete in not time. Which also means that advertising is the only way out for marketers to reach out to their audiences. In this blog, I’ll talk about the causes of this nose dive and some strategies to still make Facebook organic reach work. In 2015, popular social publishing tool SocialFlow after analyzing 3000 Facebook pages reported a 52% decline in organic reach.
Why is this so? Facebook is way too cluttered!! There’s indefinite content on Facebook but consumer attention is extremely finite. Late last June when Facebook changed its algorithm with EdgeRank, in order to re-center people’s feeds around just their friends and family, Facebook made business’ organic reach more dependent on people sharing their posts rather than a business directly appearing in someone’s newsfeed.
Here’s what Facebook said
More and more content is being created and shared every day competing for users’ attention. On an average, 1,500 stories appear on a person’s News Feed each time they log on. The more friends and Page likes a person has, the more stories appear.
Rather than showing each piece of content, Facebook shows its users the content that is the most relevant to them. Facebook’s News Feed ranks every story individually from least to most important by looking at thousands of factors relevant to each person.
But you still keep posting on Facebook. Why? Is social really worth all the effort? Do you require a dedicated social media team in-house?
A Facebook user may like your page, but is far less likely that they will see the content you posted, let alone interact with it and visit your business Facebook page. Putting together social media content and creatives are a time taking activity. Let’s take a few examples of some brilliantly done pages that have witnessed miserable shares and likes.
- Mantri Developers, one of South India’s most renowned real estate developers recently ran a Facebook campaign named Use Your Space that gave readers creative ideas to use places resourcefully. Stunning creatives were created that were on the mark; regrettably, engagement with the posts were dismal.
- The second example I’d like to take is that of brand Myntra, a leading Indian fashion e-commerce marketplace company. With way more than 3,500,000 likes, product shots (sans any leading model/artist) on an average get 1% likes.
So, should you stop using Facebook?
While I agree that Facebook is more of a paid ad platform and less of a free media channel, I’ll advice not to stop using the platform.
Apart from ads, how do you enhance your reach?
Remember there was a time when there was so much SMS marketing that nobody wanted to do it? Guess what? We still receive annoying calls for personal loans and SMS offers. This means someone is definitely missing you, right? The only change today is that we’ve learnt to block those calls and delete those messages.
The same applies with social. What was the last ad you remember that you saw on Facebook?
Unless someone showed you the picture of biriyani at the time when you are famished or that black lingerie that you’ve been vying for and ignoring but has been following you ever since you’ve laid your eyes on them! How do you think these work? It’s the existing strategies implemented well.
- Consider your content
Create great content and they’ll come to you. It works for websites for display and PPC ads. I’m sure it’ll work for social media. Facebook doesn’t create their own content. They get it from you. Solid content is a sure-shot contender for high organic reach via Facebook. I’m talking about how-to’s, guides, case studies, beginner guides, Q & A, trends, news jacking stories, best practice guides, lists, share your secrets, stats and the like. Hope you’re getting what I’m aiming at.
- Time it right
Like I’ve given the example of the biriyani and the lingerie, timing is key. Your competitors will target the slots when maximum users are online. This means that if you also publish at the same time, chances of your posts being visible at peak hours are actually LOWER than non-peak hours.
Thus, don’t live rigidly by the rules in your social media marketing book. Experiment with your options and zero in on what works best for your business. What works for others may not work for you! Simple!
- Post Videos
As of now, when it comes to Facebook content, video is appearing to be a lifesaver. Facebook has made its news feed algorithm more mindful of video, added public view counts to ensure people know how popular a particular video is. Facebook has even predicted that by 2020, Facebook will be 100% video dominated.
- Use cultivation strategy
- Openness & disclosure– Show what goes on inside your company
- Access– Show availability for customers and fans to reach out to you
- Positivity– Efforts to make a customer’s experience enjoyable and pleasant
- Assurance – Making customers feel that their concerns are important
Have I missed a step? Comments are open… let’s talk!