Has Facebook lost its organic social luster for businesses?
Just a few years ago incorporating Facebook into your marketing plan was an absolute must, but as of today is it as necessary? Recent adjustments to the Facebook news feed combined with a sense of boredom by the user base seems to indicate that once necessary aspect of using Facebook to promote a business is now on the decline. Has Facebook lost its organic social luster that made it so popular with small and medium businesses?
If so, how will that affect you?
The Reduction of Reach
Over the past week reports have been coming out that Facebook has alerted marketers that they will likely see the organic reach of their page posts decline over time. How much will it decline? That is currently up for debate however there are some that think it will be reduced to as low as 1 or 2 percent based on insider rumors. That sounds pretty low.
Facebook has never been shy about changing things to their algorithms or display, even when large numbers of users complain. In fact it seems they have a sort of attitude about it assuming with such a large base of users that people won’t leave.
While that might be true, the amount of time people are spending on Facebook does seem to on the decline. With the increase of ads on not only the sidebar but also the feed, layout changes and reduction in what we see from feeds we actually do like, browsing Facebook is a lot more work than it used to be. People are simply too lazy to want to scroll continuously to be entertained if they get interrupted by ads every fourth or fifth post.
With the change in how you see other people’s feeds you are less likely to see everything you actually might want to see just by surfing your own feed.
Marketing and Facebook
So does this reduction in reach mean you should either abandon Facebook or not include it in your marketing plans? No, of course you shouldn’t do that. The social engine is still the largest of its kind and provides a certain level of exposure that is hard to replicate. However you should curb your enthusiasm over it and expect less which means focusing on it in a slightly different manner.
It used to be you wanted to have posts that other users would “like” and share so people they were friends with would then see the information in their feeds and it would organically grow your reach. With the change in what is shared this is no longer possible. So now here is what you need to focus on:
- Having a page – Creating or maintaining a Facebook page is still a key point. It not only gives you another access point for people who search via Facebook, but it also offers a way to share information and events with people who have “liked” you.
- Marketing for “likes” – Work on creating marketing campaigns that increases your total number of likes. New promotions, share-with-a-friend, or any other idea to get more people to like your site is important.
- Use your page weekly – Add something of value at least once a week if not two or three times such as informational posts, deals, sharing of something unique, etc. Try not to overload people, but instead focus on quality. Ideally do it on a schedule so people learn when to expect news or information from you which will increase the direct views you get.
- Use Facebook to find subscribers – Email is still the top method for converting customers and you can use Facebook to help increase the size of your list. You can post to your page asking people to sign up for emails that share information they are interested in to turn those simple “likes” into long-term customers.
- Celebrate moments – This doesn’t need to be a press release as Facebook is a social site. Instead look to share things like the 1 year anniversary, a new product, a promotion of a key person, or even the company barbeque. Check in, post a photo, make it funny and let it showcase more of the personal side of your business.
- Look at Instagram – For more visual businesses Instagram is a great place to be to expand your reach. As Instagram and Facebook are integrated it is easy to combine the use of both of them.
Is there more you can do? Of course there is, but this is just a starting point. After you have covered these steps then you will be ready to move to the more advance aspects of utilizing Facebook is the most optimal manner.
For now the focus needs to be on creating your page as a destination and then gaining more followers. People will still use Facebook but instead of just surfing a feed there will be those who simply visit their favorite pages within Facebook to get the specific information they are looking for without being subjected to ads.