As any keen observer of social media marketing will attest, one cannot cook up a healthy audience without breaking a few eggs. Where Facebook was once an all-you-can-eat festival of organic marketing, its huge growth as a social news platform has resulted in a shift of discourse towards paid promotion. Of course, the notion that a small-to-medium business can no longer succeed on social media without shelling out cash is absurd; organic reach is there for the taking, but just don’t expect it to be easy.
Let’s be realistic – Facebook is cluttered – and now more than ever, creativity and audience understanding is vital. With every algorithm change, Facebook essentially rewrites the marketing rulebook; yes, it’s frustrating, but staying ahead of competitors and knowing what resonates is the key to success. So then, how do you keep your organic reach optimal and fresh? Let’s look at the facts:
- Since 2013, the number of brands using Facebook as a promotion tool has risen 130%.
- There are 1.654 billion Facebook users; 50 million pages are owned by small businesses.
- There are over 2.5 million advertisers on Facebook.
- In the last two years, the number of brands promoting posts on Facebook has risen by 80%.
- Organic reach figures currently stand at 2%, a bold decline compared to 7% in 2013.
So then, it’s evident that businesses will need to mix up their strategy with strong original content and paid promotion, but what can you do to keep costs low?
- Embrace the Zeitgeist
That wee news feed on the top right? Do any of those topics relate to your business, and if not, how about your staff? Think about how you can name drop trending topics into your posts. For example, is there a new series of Game of Thrones out, or is everyone in your office playing Pokémon Go? Talk about it! Always remember: Facebook naturally favours organic ‘news’ and media above all else – that’s why it’s called a ‘news feed’!
- Look at Your Web Stats
If your website has a news page or blog, take a look at the statistics and find out how long people are spending on the pages before clicking off. Facebook will always allocate broader visibility to links with a strong bounce rate; if your pages are being discarded in the same manner as a nuisance pop-up, then it’s time to rethink your content.
- Live! Live! Live!
We get it, you’re anxious about ‘doing it wrong’. Rest easy, we’re all in this crazy digital age together and without experimentation, we’ll get nowhere. Facebook Live is killing it in terms of viewer rankings, and to neglect the 3-fold increase in viewers over recorded video is ludicrous. Do you have a new product or service you want to unveil? Make a splash and get the office on camera to show it off! Have fun, let people know who you are and learn from your mistakes.