You know the old saying, “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it“? As consumers, that’s how many of us feel about Facebook whenever they put out updates and change their algorithms around. If you’ve ever gotten frustrated changing your news feed from displaying “Top News” to “Most Recent” for the umpteenth time, you can surely relate. They may seem like minor changes, but on the business side of things, it’s a different story. Those who have analyzed trends in social media marketing have all come to a similar, headache inducing conclusion: it’s getting harder and harder to build organic engagement on Facebook. What does this mean for you and your small business? Essentially, Facebook is decreasing the overall ability of users to see your content when you publish it…unless you’re willing to pay.
Take a look at this chart from Ogilvy to get an idea of how much organic engagement on Facebook has decreased in the past year:
What’s a marketer to do in order to build a loyal following? You have a few options:
To pay or not to pay
After hiring someone to do social media marketing (whether in-house or through an agency such as ourselves), many businesses are surprised when they’re asked to spend additional money to purchase ads and promote posts via social. This is a barrier that needs to be broken. In the modern world of social media marketing, you should have a monthly budget for the team creating your content, as well as a separate one for promoting said content. If you’re creating a brand new Facebook page, you’re better off allocating the majority of your funding to Facebook ads and promotions to build your following first.
Don’t block Facebook at work…encourage it in moderation
Those in a position of power often see Facebook as a distraction from work. And you know what? They’d be right. However, this is a good thing! Studies have shown that having some Facebook time can help employees be happier overall.
One way you can take advantage of this to help improve your reach on Facebook is to get employees liking, commenting on, and sharing your company’s status updates. The more your staff is involved, the better your social media will perform over time.
Plug in your email list
You might not be a big social media person, but there’s a chance you have a large list of customers you’ve worked with in the past. You can invite them to like your page by using Facebook’s feature to import contacts. This allows you to include up to 5,000 email addresses at a time! They may be more likely to become a fan of your page if they’ve seen that you sent a personal invitation from your own Facebook account.
Shares > Comments > Likes for Facebook reach
Want your fans or your employees to help increase your Facebook reach so that your content gets seen by more eyeballs? The very best thing they can do is to “Share” your posts. What are people most likely to share? Funny photos, memes, inspirational quotes, community events you’ve taken part in, and anything else that has some sort of unique or interesting vibe to it.
Use other social networks
For some businesses, Facebook is not the most important social network they can be on. While it’s still useful to maintain a Facebook presence, you might be better served by focusing your primary social media efforts on Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz, or Google+, depending on your business.