I’ve been paying close attention to Facebook lately since they made the announcement that organic reach has decreased. At first I was outraged, how could they do that? And then, I began to pay attention to what was really going on.
What happened, was that Facebook made good on its promise to decrease organic reach…instantly. As a social media manager, I look after numerous Facebook accounts for my clients. I listened to what “experts” were saying, anytime someone wrote on how to beat Facebook at its own game, I would read and take notes. But I quickly learned, there is no magic formula to beating Facebook. After all, why should we? We are using their platform for free to get out our business message. Sooner or later, free had to stop. Right?
It was devastating to watch a post on a client’s page go from on average having 320 people see the post to only 50 seeing it. That’s when I decided to take a closer look at what exactly was happening.
From what I noticed, Facebook probably did a good thing to start declining organic reach and making businesses pay to reach their audience. Yes, you can still reach your audience organically (or in other words, free) but if you want to reach a larger number of your audience, then you must pay. It’s all based on budget, so it is still very reasonably priced. The reason why I said Facebook did a good thing, because it is just one step in the evolution of social media. Remember, if Henry Ford listened to his customers, he would have invented a faster horse, not an automobile.
There really is a lot of noise on Facebook. So many businesses are there, spilling there messages to everyone. From now on, to get past the noise and make our audience stop to pay attention, we need to be better than mediocre. Better than average. Better than our competition. We need to put out messages that showcase we ARE the expert in our industry. We cannot just do this once this week and maybe post in three weeks. We need to consistently on a regular basis be posting outstanding material that is ALWAYS relevant to our audience. No longer can your Facebook page be filled with motivational quotes and nothing else. More than ever, your Facebook page needs content…quality content…all the time! Test what works. I’m noticing posts that are text based seem to be getting more engagement. A text based post can include a link.
Now is the opportunity to streamline our marketing efforts. Blogging will be more important than ever before. We should be creating relevant posts on Facebook and linking people back to our websites, to our services, to our blogs, and to other social media accounts. It will take a bit of strategy, but we should, now more than ever, think what does our audience want from us? What makes them buy from us? Facebook was never meant to replace your website. If your business does not have a website and you only use Facebook as a way to reach your audience, you will need to rethink that.
I’ve heard people say “well, if Facebook is making me pay for what was organic reach then I’m not going to use it anymore”. With that I say, don’t stop using Facebook yet. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform out there and we need to continue to be where our audience is. Perhaps by the end of 2014, another social media platform will become popular. Or perhaps other social media platforms will watch what Facebook is doing and decline their organic reach too. It’s too hard to predict right now.
So before you decide to remove yourself from Facebook, ask yourself how can you improve your branding to your audience. Take note to see whether or not Facebook was working for your business.
How often were you using Facebook? If you were not consistently using Facebook on a regular basis before, chances are it wasn’t working for you. Not because your product or service wasn’t great, but because you weren’t putting in the effort.
Times have changed and we need to stop pushing our sales on our customers and taking them for granted that they will buy our product. Instead we need to interact with them, connect with them and build relationships that show we care about our products, our values and most importantly, we care about our customers. It is then, we will gain our customers trust and they will buy from us when they are ready.