If you have been paying attention to your Facebook business page performance, you know that your organic reach has been taking a hit. In fact, studies have found that organic reach on Facebook now sits in the single digits, and brands with large follower numbers (500K) have felt the biggest impact. While the decline in organic reach has been happening for the last few years, the biggest impact occurred when Facebook changed the algorithm earlier this year to prioritize “meaningful interactions.”
So what are meaningful interactions exactly? Facebook’s top ranking factors include comments, reactions (love emoji anyone?), and sharing content via the platform or their Messenger app. This means that you can no longer get away with simply securing likes on your post and call it a day. Rather, your content has to engage someone enough that they are willing to comment or share, and it makes sense when you think about it. It is far easier to simply click the like button when scrolling through your feed and then move on. Whereas actually stopping to comment or share means that the content elicited a much stronger reaction, and that is exactly the kind of feeling that Mark Zuckerberg wants to drive.
This change equates to marketers needing to move away from a product-centric or brand first approach and into a customer or “you” focused approach on Facebook. No wonder Facebook users report disliking too much promotional content from brands. There is a surfeit of this product-centric content on Facebook these days. These posts are all about the brand and not about the audience. The truth is that you aren’t going to create much conversation if the focus is on your brand goals alone. As such, your strategy needs to shift and concentrate more on the things that your customers want as well as need. Think of posts that educate your target audience or provide informative value, posts that inspire or posts that entertain. In fact, according to a recent study from Sprout Social, 59% of consumers want the post to teach them something. In addition to that interesting stat, 30% want a link to more information. Now think about that! Who doesn’t want to look smart to their friends?
To build an effective strategy, you need to dig into the analytics of your page and really understand your followers. While you should start with the demographics of your audience, it is important that you take it one step further and understand the brands that your Facebook fans like, the gurus they follow, and the websites that they frequent. We recommend directing your attention to the niche or more targeted, lesser known elements that your followers like. Knowing that they love a lesser known personality like Nick Ortner, for instance, is more valuable then knowing that they love Oprah in terms of really understanding where their specific interests lie. Once you understand the analytics of the page, move onto the content strategy. Ask what types of content will provide the most insight and engagement for this audience. This can prove tricky because people seek out and consume different content, but there are some good rules to follow.
We have said it before and we will say it again, video is naturally engaging and should be included in your Facebook strategy. Facebook Live is all the rage right now, and that is an ideal approach if you can pull it off. If not, create other video that connects with your audience. People love to share content like behind the scenes videos of your business (the real, raw stuff), or you could tell a compelling version of your customers’ story, or you could create a interesting how-to video. Remember even a video shot on your mobile phone can be extremely engaging (remember the Chewbacca mask mom?). It doesn’t have to be professionally produced.When done right, video is the ideal storyteller. It takes little upfront planning, but it is well worth the time and energy.
Reposting or sharing other’s valuable content is another wise strategy. Seek out your industry leaders or influencers and share their richest content with your audience. Create a consistent schedule around curating and sharing this content such that your followers come to expect to receive it. This is an excellent way to associate your brand with the authority and influence of someone else while providing high quality content.
Joining or starting your own Facebook Group is another great way to foster engagement. Utilizing groups allows you to be part of the conversation within your industry or target market. Even better, groups can be centered around a specific topic, lifestyle, product/service or brand so there are many opportunities to test out which group works the best for your company. We love seeing brands start their own group because this is an excellent environment to nurture your customers with helpful advice, offer Q&A’s, and increase customer loyalty. After all, any strategy worth its salt is all about creating community. Joining or creating groups allows your brand to do just that.
Of course, we all know that there is more than one reason for the changes to organic reach, and certainly increasing Facebook’s ad revenue (which has also increased in cost) is one of the main drivers. However, virtually every brand could use a little challenge in terms of upping their game and really driving engagement through Facebook. No one said it would be easy, but with some strategic-thought and creativity, these efforts will separate your brand from the competition and create raving fans.If your brand needs help, we’re here for you.