What The Decline in Organic Facebook Reach Means for Your Company.
It’s no secret that organic Facebook reach has declined over the years, and many marketers are not happy about it. Is it time to jump off of the Facebook ship and set sail for greater things? Or, is there some buried treasure still left on the boat?
What’s Been Happening?
If you’re a marketer who spends any time managing a Facebook strategy, than you would have noticed the steady decline in organic reach of page posts over the past few years. Put simply, this means that your company page posts are becoming less visible in your fan’s News Feed, and this means fewer clicks, comments, and shares. According to recent data produced by EDGERANK CHECKER, Facebook’s organic reach per fan has dropped from 16% in February of 2012 to 6.51% in March of 2014. This is significant.
The drop in organic reach has left many marketers feeling angry and wondering if Facebook is still the optimal platform for them to engage with their audience. You’re probably wondering what the social media giant has to say about this, so here you go:
Facebook released a statement explaining that the decline is organic reach is due to the following:
1. There is now more content being posted by brands to compete for a spot in the fans’ News Feed.
2. The News Feed is designed to show content that is most relevant to users, which includes high-quality, original content, that is not spam. So that being said, there is still 6.51% of organic reach up for grabs and here is a simplified equation of how Facebook determines which posts get shown.
Facebook making this move to protect the quality of the News Feed can be detrimental to social media success. So we as marketers must accept this change and evolve with it.
How to Make the 6.5%
Take Action: As a marketer there are a number things you can do to increase your posts chance of News Feed visibility, but you’ll have to put in the work if you want to get results.
Research: Increase your fan’s interest in your content by sharing quality information that they care about. Use Facebook Insights to determine what your audience is interested in and what other types of pages your fans are currently engaging with. Leverage your fans by asking them questions, determine what types of content they engage with and the types that they don’t. This will help you develop a content strategy that is highly targeted to your audience, and increase your chance of driving engagement.
Target: Know your audience and target your posts based on their specific geographic locations, interests, and demographics. Perhaps your weight-loss program attracts both woman 18-25 and woman 35-45, each group having a different motivation for purchasing the service. The younger demographic may be more influenced by body image, where the older demographic may be more interested in the health and wellness benefits. Make sure you target your messaging to be specific to each group. This will help ensure you are providing your audience with the content most relevant to them, and therefore help to increase your News Feed visibility.
Test Posting Schedule: Facebook Insights provides you with a real-time graph on what the optimal time of day to post is, based on your audience for each day of the week. Using these Insights, you can increase the likelihood of reaching a larger number of your fans. Experiment with your posts times, monitor your engagement and test, test, test to determine the best time of day to reach your audience.
Experiment with Promoted Posts: Facebook is evolving into more of a paid platform rather than an organic one; but hey, it’s marketing. Most mediums are going to cost you a bit of capital to get your message out there. Why should Facebook be any different? Test out a promoted post by selecting a piece of your own content that you think is highly relevant to your audience. By promoting the post, you increase the likelihood that a user will see your content in their News Feed. If you’re comfortable with Power Editor, you can also experiment with dark posts, which allow you to use the structure of a promoted post, without actually having the post live on your timeline. By adding some advertising dollars to your page posts you can increase your post exposure by 10-100x!
The Power of Facebook Advertising
Facebook provides marketers with highly sophisticated targeting options to access to more people, on more devices, more often. It allows you to segment your audience by demographic characteristics, lifestyle, behaviour, geographic location, and even by life triggers like ‘engaged’ or ‘single’. Audiences can be defined by either email address, Facebook UID’s, phone numbers, app user IDs, Apple’s Advertising Identifier, or Android’s advertising ID. Facebook advertising is cost effective and can help you grow your business and raise awareness by:
- Growing your audience through new Likes
- Driving traffic to your website
- Driving people to your store with an in-store redemption offer
- Driving event attendance
- Driving application installs
You can even measure your ROI by using Facebook’s conversion tracking code that allows you to create ads that automatically optimize for conversions. This will help you keep focused on the statistics that matter most to your business.
Don’t let all of the recent changes to Facebook steer you off course, it is still an integral part of any digital marketing mix so you shouldn’t jump ship… not yet anyway!
Want to harness the power of Facebook advertising to grow your business? Give us a call, or drop us a line!