Facebook was the man on top for a very long time. But with new social media channels popping up daily, it made a lot of users drop off to go check out the other apps. Don’t believe us? Engagement on Facebook Pages has fallen by 20 percent since the start of 2017 and continues to do so.
Now, now, don’t get all doom and gloom on us now.
As a social media marketer, it is worrying to see trends like the above. But we feel there are ways we can combat this organic reach decline on Facebook, and we’d love to share some strategies with you. Facebook is still an incredibly viable resource for marketers, but the rules have changed.
The Dreaded Facebook algorithm
The Facebook algorithm, in its most basic definition, is a way to choose the substance that a client sees when they login to the stage.
For publishers, this forces a complete rethinking of how to engage audiences on the channel. A broad-based approach could still prove viable, but the sheer volume of content requiring management is not a winning strategy. So, what is attainable — and down to earth — for organizations both enormous and little to effectively take advantage of Facebook’s monstrous client base?
Strategies for using the Facebook algorithm to your advantage
1. Post and share great content
The best online marketing strategies begin and end with great content.
Do you want people to visit your website? Populate your pages with content your visitors will find valuable — informative blog posts, interactive guides, and well-produced videos.
Do you want people to shop in your online store? Provide them with features that will make their shopping experience easier and more enjoyable — product videos, vibrant images, and buyer testimonials.
A similar commitment to the content you post on Facebook is necessary if you hope to find meaningful engagement with your audience.
To develop content that connects, here are five key methods to start with:
• Know your audience – Researching your audience will help you determine the content that will resonate and induce a positive emotional response. It also ensures that you steer clear of posting material that will cause users to lose interest in your company.
• Post often, but make it count – There’s a common myth that claims you should limit your Facebook posting to a couple of times per day — or just a few times per week. That’s false. You should limit your posting to however frequently works for your brand.
• Timing is everything – Another aspect to successful posting is determining the best time to put your content on Facebook. You can use your Facebook Insights (more on that later) to figure when your target demographics are most active. Posting too early or too late does little for your engagement if the audience you are trying to reach is the middle of the day-type crowd.
• Avoid engagement bait – There is a good chance you’ve encountered plenty of Facebook posts that read more like spam or clickbait. This involves any post that runs counter to Facebook’s goal of increasing authenticity in how people interact.
2. Generate user interactions
This comes down to your ability to create engagement that motivates or inspires a group or community to connect and interact with each other.
Who your crowd is will convey some weight with respect to how this plays out, yet the key focuses that will assist you with holding fast to what Facebook is looking for include:
• Creating posts that start a conversation, whether it’s a broad trending topic or one that is unique to your audience base.
• Sharing content that sparks emotions or carries meaning for your audience.
• Seeking out feedback on ideas, products, or services
• Making sure your posts contain elements that draw attention and are worth responding to — live video; vivid, high-quality images; authentic, original content.
The biggest and most important this is to ensure everything you do pushes your audience toward natural engagement.
3. Reply, reply, reply
Making sure your audience hears back from you after reaching out benefits your company in two ways:
First, when a user replies to something you post, THAT is the first step in creating worthwhile engagement. When you reply, if the user posts a follow-up question or response, it tells Facebook that your content is essential to that user. Thus, more of your company’s content will appear in their News Feed.
Second, replying to comments helps build your brand’s image as one that is responsive to the needs and inquiries of its customers. Not only does this help increase awareness on Facebook, but it will carry over into other aspects of your customer engagement, especially online.
4. Consider Facebook ads
Facebook Ad costs are consistently rising. According to research from AdStage, this is due largely to the algorithm impacting users’ time spent on the platform. With users spending less time on Facebook, there are fewer ad impressions, and in tune higher ad costs.
Of course, other factors play a role, such as seasonality, your specific industry, and location. But why even consider the expense of Facebook ads when you’re building an organic presence on the same platform?
Because they work.
Plus, Facebook ads are flexible and scalable, two things which are harder to come by in a solely organic approach.
5. Let’s Get local
Facebook is pushing toward a restricted vibe as it focuses on its objective of progressively important associations. Nearby news is currently given top status over national and worldwide happenings. If you run a business with a smaller footprint, this should prove a smooth transition as many of your posts may already cater to your local roots.
More prominent firms can likewise exploit this pattern by creating content that intermittently centers around a city or area — particularly one where your company has a strong presence.
6. Go Team Go!!
The odds are high that nearly every member of your organization has an active presence on Facebook. Take advantage of this built-in fan base by having coworkers (cheerleaders) share your content with their already established networks.
7. Just Ask
One way to beat the Facebook algorithm is to avoid it.
Yeah, you read that right. You can accomplish this through the basic undertaking of requesting your audience to follow your brand. To avoid it coming across as engagement bait, add a mention at the end of high profile content pieces — blog articles or videos — and ensure you know how to instruct your readers to turn on notifications for your posts should the question come up.
8. Get the Facebook seal of approval
We’re sure to have seen pages with a blue or gray badge — the official Facebook seal of approval. Better known as Facebook verification, this distinction shows users that your page is an official presence on the platform.
Not only does this increase your page’s authenticity by proving you are who you say you are, it also helps your page rank higher in search versus others with similar naming conventions.
9. Look at your Facebook Insights
Overcoming the restrictive Facebook algorithm and building your organic reach on the platform is not a “post and go” endeavor. It does require a lot of research and a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t. So, please take advantage of Facebook Insights.
It is ALL about meaningful content and getting quality engagement.
After all, it’s called organic for a reason. Act natural, treat your audience — both current and future customers — as if they are a close friend or family member, and the Facebook algorithm will reward you.