You’ve probably noticed on your Facebook business page (fan page) that your posts aren’t reaching as many of your fans as they used to. It’s not your imagination. Facebook has been slowly reducing the organic reach of pages. According to TIME, Facebook reach for most pages is sitting at about 6 percent right now, and there’s speculation that it could drop as low as 1 to 2 percent. Not good news for business owners.
Why would Facebook do this? Well, the answer is money. (Isn’t the answer always money?) They want us to pay (buy ads) in order to reach more fans. So, what’s a marketer to do? Well, let’s explore the options…
Emphasize social networking
If you can’t reach fans through your page, go out and talk to them in other places. Networking is something that should be part of your social media strategy anyway, but most people neglect it. It’s time to put new energy into finding other pages that share your target audience, and interacting with their content. Click that ‘Use Facebook as [Your Business]’ button, and start engaging with others. You could also focus on tagging people in your photos (Yes, you will have to be Facebook friends with them.), and linking other businesses to your posts by adding a location. Sometimes, we forget that doing social media well means being social. You need those connections more than ever to help spread your content, and your brand.
Increase your marketing budget
Perhaps you will choose to give in to what Facebook wants, and implement an online advertising campaign. We’re not judging. Facebook advertising can be highly effective, and is a very good strategy for some businesses. You can try it out for your page using a very small budget to start, until you gage the effectiveness. Experiment with both boosted posts and regular Facebook ads. Advertising can also allow you to target hotspots where you would like to see more brand saturation, and be very specific in whom you reach. Advertising on Facebook has never been more effective than it is now – because Facebook hopes this is the way we will all go. No harm in exploring this as an option, if your marketing budget allows.
Shift your focus
Don’t misunderstand… it is not time to delete your Facebook page and give up on the channel entirely. Facebook is still popular, and if you work to build a solid fan base, then even reaching 6 percent of them could be worth your time. However, you should consider paying a little closer attention to some of the other channels, and see if shifting your focus could pay off. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, even LinkedIn are all good options. The right channel for you will depend on your business and your target audience. You could choose to hit some other channels harder, in order to supplement what you may lose on Facebook.
Overall, content and engagement remain the cornerstones of a good Facebook strategy. If people interact with your content, Facebook will continue to show it to them – and they will only interact with quality content.
Also, when you’re feeling frustrated, remember this: things change on Facebook frequently. This change may not go over well with businesses, and if Facebook feels they are losing market share, the reach may start to improve again. Facebook wants businesses to use the channel.
Remember when they made changes to the newsfeed, allowing people to filter out content from business pages if they wanted to? Well, people didn’t love that option, so it quietly went away.
Give some thought to your Facebook – and overall social media – strategy. This is still a good tool for reaching your audience, and it will pay off in the long run, even if business owners face some hurdles in the short term.
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