Social media is now widely accepted as being both a valuable and an essential marketing tool, but whilst many small businesses recognize the importance of social media, few fully understand their goals or how to achieve them.
Social media is now widely accepted as being both a valuable and an essential marketing tool, but whilst many small businesses recognise the importance of social media, few fully understand their goals or how to achieve them.
As the largest social network, Facebook is often the first consideration when a business makes the decision to get started in social media. This could, in part, be down to the fact that many small businesses mistakenly believe that their aim is to obtain as many page ‘Likes’ as possible, giving little or no regard as to how they can effectively turn those ‘Likes’ into sales leads.The secret however lies not in merely chasing ‘Likes’, but in having the ability to translate those likes into engaged, receptive sales leads.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that someone who likes your page is a sales lead – a ‘Like’ is just the start. You will still have plenty of work to do before they become receptive to your marketing messages..Organic reach has become harder to achieve on Facebook and marketers are turning to creative ways to get their messages seen.
About Facebook Organic Reach
It’s a fact that organic reach on Facebook is at an all-time low of 2% to 6%, and it continues to decline. What may surprise you is that having a large Facebook fan base doesn’t seem to be as beneficial as it once was. Large brand pages with more than 500,000 likes have the lowest organic reach (~2%).More than 60 million businesses have a Facebook page, yet only 4 million are active advertisers. You can imagine that Facebook would love to entice the 56 million non-advertisers to give ads a go.Many businesses are stuck in a pre-2012 frame of mind, hoping that if they post more often, organic reach will suddenly kick back in. But that’s just not going to happen. The good news is you can significantly improve your organic reach with strategic efforts. That brings us to what I call the “Itstechnica Method”!
Facebook is Still About Being Social
Building a community and human interaction is what social media is all about. Just remember that your audience is made up of actual people who want to connect with other actual people. If someone leaves a comment, make sure you reply quickly, but also make them feel heard and valued by making it personable. Let them know that you are closely monitoring your Facebook page and you are interested in connecting with them. If you respond to them quickly, they are not only more likely to engage with you more regularly, but they will also tell their friends about you!
Regardless of how you do it, ensure that visitors to your website can share content to Facebook and Like it as well. There is no better method to increase your visibility and organic reach on Facebook than by having fans and visitors promote your content for you.
Of course, while Facebook should be included in every marketing program, it is not a “silver bullet.” There are many other ways to attract and convert business. Make sure your program is balanced and adjusted regularly. Over the years, you will see that the “best technique” changes often, and often without warning. Make sure you don’t let any one social channel or technique consume all of your time and attention – as we have all seen, things can, and will, change regularly and without warning. Be prepared with a well-rounded program.
Publish regularly-But always place quality ahead of quantity.
If you share content on the regular, it’s going to be difficult to drive traffic to your facebook page but you won’t succeed if you’re harassing your followers every five minutes with new content. Like with everything else, you’ll have to find some middle ground so your audience neither forgets about you nor gets tired of you.
Think about it: if you publish valuable content on a regular basis its more likely for your publications to reach more different users with whom you’ll generate larger interaction and Facebook will give your company page priority for appearing in your followers’ newsfeed — in addition, it will help you in optimizing your content strategy and in finding out what type of publications work best for you
Did you forget to update your page for a while? You always have the chance to revive it and improve organic reach by frequently publishing content that’s useful to your audience.
Publish timeless content-The life of a post depends on various factor and one of them is its usefulness and betting on content that won’t go out of style. Therefore, it will be useful for a long period of time and users will keep giving “likes” and by commenting it will appear in newsfeeds once again if one of your followers reacts to it. This is what causes posts to be circulated for longer periods of time.
Be aware of schedules
If you publish when your competitors are on the site, you’ll more likely obtain a lower Facebook organic reach since there will be a lot of publications fighting to appear in your audience’s newsfeed.
What about publishing while your competition “sleeps”? No doubt, you’ll have a better possibility of catching attention.
Jon Loomer, one of the leading experts in Advanced Facebook Marketing, conducted an experiment in regards to this.
He basically analyzed at what time his fans were online and then programmed his publications for an hour after the “peak hour”. He discovered that “non-peak” or less frequented hours functioned very well and occasionally functioned better.
Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm takes into account the amount of time each user dedicates to a publication and its quality equally, as well as other content metrics such as “likes” or comments; thus the more value your content provides the better the engagement from your audience will be and you’ll have a better chance of your content appearing in users’ newsfeed.
Invoking emotions by creating personalized publications related to your market sector tugs on these “heartstrings” that we all have, and once you win their heart over you’ll also gain their newsfeed.
Posts which invoke users’ emotion generally achieve better viral ratings.
Use the right images
Using the right images can help you increase organic reach on Facebook, and this platform favors the organic reach of publications which contain photos or images with the exact dimensions recommended by the social network.
These images appear completely formatted, thus they are more visual and attractive.
In regards to the measurements, the ideal dimension is 1200×1200 pixels for a complete image and 1200×627 pixels for an image in a post with a link. And Of course, the more attention it catches the more attractive the results will be.
Furthermore, a post with a good image is always more appealing to the audience making it easier for them to be interested in it. But tell that to Starbucks who is a pro at publishing great images on their Fan Page.
Expand Your Organic Reach With Paid Promotion
Here’s where you start to pay to boost the reach of your content to improve your Facebook marketing ROI considerably. Rather than promote everything, apply some strategic selection to amplify the established organic reach of specific posts with Facebook ads.
For some posts, your objective may be to raise awareness and increase engagement and video views, for example. But for other posts, you’ll want to promote those with a link so you can drive traffic to your website. (Of course, remember to have the Facebook pixel installed and test retargeted promoted content.)
After you select your posts, decide how you want to allocate your budget. For the best results, spread out your ad spend and avoid blowing your entire budget on a single post with one boost or one ad.
Here’s an example: Suppose you have a Rs.3000 budget to amplify a specific post. Take the first Rs1000 and create an ad set to promote the post. If your post includes a link to your website, choose the Traffic objective. If it’s a video, you might choose Video Views as your objective.Facebook’s ad algorithms will start amplifying your organic content and paid content. Run your ad for two to three days, and then pause it for a day or two. Next, take another Rs.1000 and create a different ad set and repeat the process for the same post. Finally, repeat this process again with the last Rs.1000.
Pro Tip: The Itstechnica Method has proven you can extend organic reach over many weeks and months, even. With a quality, evergreen post and using the wave theory of applying budget, pausing, and then applying more budget, you’ll find the life of your post extended significantly.
Don’t be afraid of negative comments
Don’t be scared of negative comments posted on your wall. Many businesses rush to delete them which only serves to make fans distrustful of you. Tackle negative wall posts head on – respond swiftly and be helpful and accommodating. Abusive or highly critical comments are best removed, but use your judgement. If a comment is posted relating to customer service issues, you can usually respond to these in a way that positively demonstrates high levels of customer service. Being friendly and helpful on social media is an excellent way of driving trust in your business, a crucial element in converting fans into customers.
Negative comments can provide an opportunity for your customer service to shine!
Whatever you do, ensure that you monitor your Facebook wall. There is nothing more off putting than sporadic posts, or customers posting questions or comments that go ignored for days or even weeks. Try and build in just a few minutes each day to actively look for opportunities to engage with your fans
Collaboration with other businesses is key to succeeding on a platform that’s cluttered with updates. By collaborating with other companies, you get access to their fans as well as an opportunity to engage with them.
Collaboration not only sets you up for a wider reach but provides your audience greater visibility into your brand and helps you establish your business as a thought-leader in your industry.
Pay Attention to Trending Topics
Social media monitoring is an essential part of a lead generating social media strategy.
What is your audience talking about?
What are they engaging with?
Knowing answers to these questions and preparing content around them will help your audience connect and engage with you better.
Keep a close watch on Facebook’s trending topics. Use services such as Buzzsumo to identify which content piece under your chosen topic is getting more shares.
Tag A Relevant Page
You can tag relevant Facebook Pages within your own post and anyone who likes the tagged Page will potentially see your post. If you work with other brands or are sharing another Page’s content then this is a great way to increase your potential reach.
Type the @ sign in your post
Immediately after typing the @ sign (leave no spaces) begin typing the name of the page or person you want to tag. As you begin to type the name after the @ sign a drop down of pages and individuals following your page will appear.
Once you see the drop-down menu with choices that match your intended business or individual, select the page or person you want to tag and it will appear in your post highlighted in light blue. This indicates that you have successfully tagged the page.
Despite the decline in organic Page reach, people are consuming more content than ever on Facebook. The competition for their attention is just heating up and Facebook’s algorithm is adapting to this.
What can we do about declining Facebook reach? We have options—paying for advertising, going some place else—and we have some organic tricks to try. If you decide that Facebook is worth it for your business (and with a user base of over a billion people, your audience is likely there somewhere), then hopefully these tricks can help.
- Be transparent, helpful, and accessible.
- Share behind-the-scenes content.
- Engage your audience with questions.
- Share self-explanatory pictures and visual content.
And if all else fails, take some pressure off by not worrying about reach so much. There are other stats you can chase with just as much fervor.
What has been your experience with Facebook reach? Are there some tactics you’re trying to boost your numbers? I’d be interested to hear your experience and what you’re up to. Please do share in the comments.