If you’re a marketer or small business owner and over the last 6 months you’ve seen a dramatic decrease in your organic reach, you’re not alone. Not to get all doom and gloom about it, but this problem is not going to go away and is not destined to get any better in the near future. We’ll outline a key marketing strategy which you can use to guarantee your awesome content is seen by your adoring fans and how it will help you future-proof your social media.
What is the Facebook algorithm?
You’ll hear this great phrase thrown about a lot in the social media industry and for an important reason. Since ‘Fan Pages’ launched in 2007, businesses have been able to promote their wares on Facebook, often reaching thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of fans and followers. However, in 2012 a problem started to arise. Businesses realized that only a tiny fraction of their Facebook fans-16% on average- were actually notified of their new content. This was a large wake-up call for social media marketing moguls, who quickly set to work to try to cheat the algorithm and get their content to the top of Facebook’s distribution list.
Why the change in the algorithm?
Facebook became very much like a concerned parent for its users, wanting to make sure that they only received the best and most relevant content to suit their interests and searches. This is all very well and good, but it means that a lot of Page content is going unseen by their own followers. This means that you could have a Page with 10,000 Facebook followers, and just 650 of them could see that Page’s posts in their news feeds.
How can we beat the system?
Contrary to the previous opinion, it is now understood that a Facebook marketer should not be concerned with the follower number count if he or she wants to attract the right clients. Rather Facebook marketers should be solely concerned with ads, and in particular ‘Facebook’s Boosted Posts’ to increase engagement on a Page.
What are boosted posts?
Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you would have seen that Facebook is heavily promoting its ‘boost’ button. This feature gives you the option to place an ad in a specific post to ‘boost’ it out to a specific target audience. Your content is then placed higher on the distribution list than your organically marketed competitor content and effectively beats the algorithm.
More Money Means More Reach
Boosting your posts really does work. However, this does come at a price and James Del neatly summarises the current Facebook landscape with the following statement:
“Facebook may be pulling off one of the most lucrative grifts of all time; first, they convinced brands they needed to purchase all their Fans and Likes — even though everyone knows you can’t buy love; then, Facebook continues to charge those same brands money to speak to the Fans they just bought.”
In 2017 it is safe to say that Facebook is encouraging marketers to see its platform as a paid advertising platform rather than as a broadcasting channel. To our benefit, this change is advantageous in increasing the quality of the content being produced. Placing an ad in a particular post allows you to test your audience’s engagement on topics. You can then optimize your content based on these results.
When should I start?
Right away! There’s no time like the present to start testing your content with paid ads. Remember. If you boost a post from the Page then the targeting for People who like your Page and their friends supersedes other targeting parameters. If you boost from the ad create tool at www.facebook.com/ads/create then you have more control over targeting. As a final word of encouragement – if you needed anymore – Facebook has been continuously making the statement that at some point we have to expect ‘organic reach will eventually arrive at zero.’ Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Do you need any help with your Facebook Ad campaigns? Get in contact, we’d be happy to assist you to beat the algorithm!