TL;DR: A decline in organic reach has turned social media marketing into a pay-to-play landscape, and we have some tips and tricks on how to navigate these murky waters.
If you manage a Facebook page, you’ve likely seen a significant decrease in organic reach over the course of the last few years. Facebook attributes this decline to a couple factors:
There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. As a result, competition is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure.
Rather than showing people all possible content, the News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them.
Marketers may also experience this phenomena on platforms beyond Facebook (e.g., top Tweets and Instagram getting rid of its chronological grid). There are many algorithmic factors that deem a post worthy of appearing on a user’s feed. In fact, there are close to 100,000 individual weights in the model that produces News Feed — and that’s on Facebook alone! Regardless of how compelling the platform deems your content, your organic reach is still likely only about 2 percent.
The decline has turned social media marketing into a pay-to-play landscape, and we have some tips and tricks on how to navigate these murky waters.
1. Shift your focus from fan acquisition to fan engagement
The "build it and they will come" approach doesn’t work on social media. On a fundamental level, this means marketers shouldn’t be concerned with the number of fans or followers they’ve acquired, but rather, implementing strategies to ensure that their desired audience is engaging with their content.
2. Quality over quantity.
Does your content calendar include five Facebook posts per week? How much manpower does it take to maintain this posting frequency? Is it worth it? Did you know you can garner the same results with only one post per week? To achieve this, focus on fewer, bigger, better pieces of content and promote them.
3. Use your budget wisely.
There’s no denying that Facebook can deliver the biggest bang for your buck. Not only does the platform boast more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, but it also allows marketers to extend their advertising reach across Instagram and their Audience Network.
A small budget can go a long way, especially with an objective-based advertising approach. Let’s say you want to drive traffic to your website. Consider website conversion ads. They work with the Facebook Pixel on your website, so you can reach your website visitors who are most likely to take your desired action. If your objective is brand awareness, try Facebook brand awareness ads, which are optimized for ad recall (the estimated number of people likely to remember your ads within two days). And, don’t forget about video ads because video is content king on Facebook.
There are many advertising types across social platforms. The most important thing to remember is to create engaging, high-quality, shareable content and align your advertising types with your campaign objectives.
4. Play well with Facebook.
Facebook wants to ensure that every user’s experience on the platform relevant and entertaining. That’s why they prioritize certain ad types. Try these out to optimize ad performance and reduce cost per result on the platform:
Canvas: Facebook’s post-click, full-screen, immersive mobile ad experience that loads nearly instantaneously. Canvas is essentially a microsite that lives on Facebook, so it keeps your audience on the platform.
Messenger Ads: More than 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses every month on Messenger, both automated and people-initiated. You can use Messenger to reach people at scale, then continue to interact with each of them individually
When it comes to social advertising, we’ve barely scratched the surface. Need help with your paid media strategy on social? We should chat.