Facebook marketing has come a long way since its birth as a social network for college students at Harvard University in 2004. It has actually exploded from its humble origins into the ‘need to be seen’ online site for any business or professional.
We get asked by clients and professional acquaintances if the changes, restrictions and extra work now required to be seen make it a viable resource for advertising on anymore? Short answer – Yes! Long answer involves for details like why it is still a viable option for marketing your business.
First understanding the changes and what they mean. Yes, the changes in your post reach ability (naturally) has dropped from an average of 16% to only a measly 4%. In 2014, the average post reach if you had 10,000 fans only about 1,600 saw it ‘naturally’ on their timeline. Now take those same 10,000 fans and only about 400 would naturally or as we call it organically see your content. This restrictive approach was made and its intentions are to cut out the ‘overly promotional’ material. (Naturally or organically mean posts seen by any means other than a paid option).
This means FB builders saw that most people do not want to see a solid run of advertising in their timeline. They want ‘connections’ instead of pitches. Overly promotional is defined as one of the following three things:
1) Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app. 2) Posts that push people to enter contests, promotions or sweepstakes with no real context. And 3) Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads. With this change, Facebook is sending a message that preserving and protecting the user ‘experience’ is a priority.
The fact of the matter is, unless you are a publishing, advertising or media company, your organic posts will take a significant hit in their reach. Although you won’t have as much organically free success on Facebook in 2015, you can still build your business effectively, but you’ll have to work harder at putting out ‘quality content’. If you’re in the media, advertising or publishing, then quality content, or information that is interesting to a number of people, is simple to create. However, if you’re a small business in a niche industry, you’ll be much less interesting to people. So the answer to this restriction is Be More Interesting! Using Social Media is a skill of communication; talk to your followers not at them.
In order for you to make the most of it, time & creativity is now a bigger factor and hiring a media manager can help you maintain an effective presence. Creativity has been a driving force in the beginning but even more now. So making sure you are using the 80/20 rule, posting about interesting facts, adding a blend of positive posts as well as keeping a closer eye on your FB insights to understand what your following likes and does not like is key.
Know that if FB is your sole means of marketing, then you will need to start using additional social media sites and cross sharing with industry partners. Tip for the traditional businesses, be friendly! Consumers want to think they know you and are building a mutually beneficial relationship with you. Use their name and even their company when appropriate during responses to questions. Make sure you answer, the worst thing you can do is use social media as a one-way resource of marketing. No one expects the news paper, billboard, or commercial to reply directly. But, on social media they want a response in as many instances they demand a direct response.
Take some time to self-educate if there is no one in your community that can help you with proper, result driven social media usage. Social media is an amazing tool for businesses no matter the size or industry. You just have to keep apprised of the changes and adapt.
Happy Posting! ~K. Kirkland