Social Media Marketing June 5th, 2019
Facebook has pinned over 2 billion users who scroll through clickbait content that marketers have spent countless hours making. Those same users are also enraged by trolls, fake news, entertaining videos, and getting into arguments in the comment section with people they have never met.
Like all users, marketers are addicted to Facebook to gain more reach, create brand awareness, and drive sales. However, marketers are starting to feel resentful after years of chasing success, as they feel their effort is going to waste since they are no longer getting the traffic or engagement for the content they have put time into.
It would seem that organic reach is dead. Or is it?
Facebook recently announced significant changes to its algorithm to favor content made by people for their business. According to Mark Zuckerberg; there’s a good reason for the change.
“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
This move is understandable. For years, our newsfeed has been flooded with memes and content from pages we follow. We rarely see content posted by local news sources or from our Facebook friends. This means that Zuckerberg wants to gear Facebook to build meaningful relationships rather than a marketing platform.
The update also discussed how they’re reducing the engagement bait where Facebook pages encourage you to comment, like, or share a post.
The good thing? Facebook groups have been pushed up to the news feed, which is a sort of relief for marketers and organic reach.
Now comes the bad part. It’s worth mentioning that Zuckerberg himself lost over $3 billion because of this decision. Whether it’s a case of developing a conscience or a smart marketing move to promote paid ads, there’s no doubt that these changes leave a severe hole for the marketers to fill.
There are over 6 million advertisers, and over 100 million business pages on Facebook. With a colossal competition like this, there is no doubt that the new update is the final nail in the coffin. Out of all business pages, many are yet to start paid advertising, and the recent update will force them to pay if they need more social traffic to their business page.
More marketers are coming to Facebook for paid advertising to tackle one common problem: near zero organic reach. It makes sense that if you post a new update, the chances are no one will see the post unless you pay Facebook to promote the post the same way you paid Facebook to make people like your page. Of course, the advertisers with deepest pockets will win the auctions over the small fish in the pond.
Annoying right? Is there anything that can be done to get more organic reach? The answer is yes!
Facebook organic reach is not entirely dead. You just need to find that winning marketing strategy to kickstart that booming organic reach.
Still asking people to “Like us on Facebook”? Do this instead…
Facebook isn’t all about newsfeed. While people spent a lot of time getting into users newsfeeds, this isn’t easy as it used to be. People are spending more time in Facebook groups and, even better, they are receiving notifications when new content is added.
Find groups which are relevant to your product or services and engage in conversation with the group members productively. Try not to spam or post commercial content too often. You might get kicked out of the group by the moderator before you make your presence known. Use Facebook groups to build trust and awareness instead.
With the boost button and more features rolling out for Facebook groups soon, there is no doubt Facebook is focusing on groups to make an integral part of your marketing.
Those long, text-heavy posts are boring for users and Facebook alike. Visual content is how you can make an emotional impact, no wonder why videos are more popular on Facebook than anything. Newsfeeds started as a place for reading, and Facebook is slowly changing this to make users think of Facebook more as a video platform.
Additionally, videos create an additional opportunity for Facebook to place their ads inside the video. Though the bar is set high for small businesses to take advantage of the Ads, we hope Facebook will make necessary changes.
On the watch platform, BuzzFeedTasty has 19M views and 102k shares for a video just over a minute in length. This makes a new platform for users to increase their organic reach and a showcase for premium video advertisers.
Videos lasting 3–5 minutes is optimal and get the best reach and engagement. According to BuzzSumo, the optimal length for a Facebook Live is between 3 and 4 minutes. If your audience engages with the video for longer, Facebook will let you continue to broadcast.
Algorithm changes are every marketers nightmare. You can no longer reach your target audience as directly as before since Facebook has been in a continued push to remove branded content from newsfeed. The good news is influencer marketing offers brands a great way to get into the news feed. Brands should focus on influencer marketing if they haven’t started already.
Reach out to the influential people who have a huge follower base and passionate about your brand or product and ask them to share your content. This is a great way to reach out to people you want to reach. In fact, an influencer in your niche is the best way to educate your target audience about your product or brand. They can also provoke enthusiastic reactions and comments in their posts. The marketing strategy by GoPro is an excellent example of how this strategy can be used.
Finding the best time to post Facebook content is massively important as well as challenging. A well-timed post can lead to more likes, shares and comments.
According to a Buffer study, the best time to post to Facebook is between 1pm – 3pm on during the week and Saturdays. We also found that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays.
As the study suggests, mid-week is the peak period on Facebook, and the peak times are around lunch breaks. This is the time where people have more time to peak into their social media accounts and dig out some interesting posts and engage correspondingly.
Each niche is unique, and finding what time your audience is most active is the best time to post your content for more engagement. Find the time that works best for you and keep testing. Network algorithms and audience habits may change with time.
Facebook messenger is another platform with a huge potential for organic communication and acquisition. With over 1 Billion users, messenger allows features of email marketing like automation, integrations, and list building campaigns. Marketers don’t have to worry about spam filters or promotions and can also leverage messenger chatbots for your own marketing.
Once you engage with someone over messenger, you can opt them on to your list of sending regular direct messages. The messages could be anything that is useful for that person and building a brand in your subscribers’ mind.
Those open rates will soon start to decline as marketers make more use of the messenger on Facebook. As has happened with organic posts, Facebook will force advertisers to pay for those open rates in the future. But for now, marketers can take advantage of opportunities like one-click payments integrated into messenger and all the advertising options available.
Question posts are a great way to get more engagement. One way communication is old-fashioned for a platform with much competition like Facebook. A well-crafted question hooks the mind of the followers, and they can’t help but respond in the comment section. Maybe even start an argument with an unknown there. Engagement means not just the like button. We want people to hit that comment button to drive more engagement.
And yes, they take up less space in the news feed, which is vital as 90% of the users access Facebook via mobile devices.
Facebook wants you to spend on its platform, and you will have to pay for those quick results. Focus on targeting the audience, which is relevant to the content you have created and use ads to amplify them to your targeted audience. This means you can build a follower base pertinent to your niche. This audience can maximize organic reach next time you post content to your business page.
Here is one final recommendation…
Go beyond the basics of Facebook advertising. Targeting capabilities of Facebook have changed considerably over the past few years. Additionally, numerous other features can also enrich the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Custom Audiences: Target audience based on your email list.
Lookalike Audiences: Target Facebook audiences similar to your existing customers.
Conversion Tracking: Can be used to track your website visitors actions after viewing your ad.
Audience Insights: Get aggregated information about your existing audience to better target your ads.
Website Custom Audiences: Target users who have already visited your website.
Facebook Exchange: FBX is driven by real-time purchases where advertisers can serve retargeted ads for users who have visited your product or specific service page.
Customizable Reports: Create reports based on metrics you want to see.
Everyone thinks they can do it, but the more time you spend on your business page sharing your content, the more you realize it’s less effective. This also means the old tricks may not be working anymore or you’re probably doing it the wrong way.
Inconsistent posting means your audience is less valuable for you, and you have more important business to take care of. At least that’s what Facebook thinks!
Marketers should post consistently more than ever to keep your audience engaged. Set up an editorial content or schedule posts on Facebook using apps like Hootsuite or Buffer.
A joke is not funny the third time, and the audience tends to leave at that point. That’s precisely what’s going to happen when similar content is posted multiple times. A lot of people discourage seeing the same link or same content more than once.
After all, it doesn’t make sense to share the same content over and over… Or does it?
Most of us are aware of Twitter’s 140 character limit. Such a small limit is one of the most defining features of Twitter. Character limit is one thing we should give attention to Facebook as well.
Most marketers write as much as they want. However, this has a negative effect on getting reach or engagement. Shorter posts get more engagement than those extended boring captions.
The ideal length of an organic post is estimated to be between 40-80 characters.
By now, you might realize that Facebook and YouTube are opposite ships. You might love a video you just watched on YouTube, and you want to share it with your Facebook audiences. Chances are Facebook will give less reach for the YouTube link since the video is shared from their competitors.
It’s better to download the video and upload it on Facebook or, if the video is owned by someone else, find their profile and share directly.
The truth is Facebook organic reach is not entirely dead. It just evolved from it used to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t make use of the new matrix. Simple changes like more engaging video content, focusing on quality over quantity, and targeting the right audience can be a game changer.
Finally, remember to focus on building the brand over sales and make changes to your strategy often to find what works best for you. You will be surprised by how well your organic reach performs with all those changes!