Three tips to help improve your reach on Facebook
Admit it. If you manage your brand’s Facebook page, seeing the “Total Reach” numbers for your page posts take a screaming dive over the past couple of years made you see red.
Facebook sucked you in with a cost-efficient model, inviting you to spend all this time tweaking your Facebook strategy to make sure your posts appeared to as many of your fans and followers as possible. Then, in a blink of the eye, they quickly pulled the rug from under you, changed their newsfeed algorithm, and cut organic reach for your posts to such pathetically low levels that you were forced to question whether all your efforts were for naught.
But fear not. No need to throw in the towel. Yet.
Here’s why savvy marketers won’t . . . and shouldn’t.
Facebook is THE social network. With 1.3 billion users, and 757 million people logging in everyday (Source: Facebook), it is simply too big to walk away from. These stats, however, don’t mean you should blindly bend to the almighty Facebook . . . and dump all your marketing dollars to promote every single post on your brand’s page.
Before you begin executing, craft a strategy. One that includes Facebook along with all other social platforms. And one that includes a balanced strategy of all types of social outreach . . . both paid and organic.
The social networks are finally finding a way to fold in advertising successfully, offering more choices for how marketers can engage your audience. So if “pay-to-play” is the new (social) world order, you’re not going to be able to completely ignore paid opportunities if you want to extend your reach.
Here are a few tips as you develop your strategy:
#1: Evaluate, target and test. You can’t just “promote a post” on Facebook and expect results. Just like any other marketing tactic, you’ve got to strategically think about what paid opportunities will complement your organic strategy and make the most sense for your brand’s specific objectives — and audience.
There are numerous ways to do this. So test and evaluate which ones may work. For example, using a tab to host a special promotion can increase interaction to your Facebook page. Marketplace ads, while less glitzy, can drive tremendous awareness for your brand. Got something unique to share? Promote the post to non-followers and introduce yourself to new prospects/customers. Test a couple. Then, fine-tune your strategy, set a budget and stick to it.
#2: Make the best use of other social platforms. Remember, Facebook isn’t the only game in town. Chances are, your audience is engaged on other social media platforms. Socialites today are posting, sharing, or commenting on multiple social channels. In fact over 42% of social users interact with multiple social sites on a daily basis (Pew Research Center, Social Media Update 2013). Don’t be afraid to corner the market and incorporate other social networks, like Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to reach the audiences you really want to reach — organically.
Given the crossover of social media use, these networks are not following Facebook’s lead to limit organic reach. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. They seem to be introducing new paid advertising opportunities for brands to promote their messages and get more eyeballs looking at their content.
What you’ve got to do is think about which social network caters to your specific audience and then adjust your messaging and content for each one to extend reach — and get the best results possible.
#3. Think of “paid” social opportunities as if they’re earned. Be social. Everything you do socially should not sell. Embrace your audience and use the social channel like it was designed to, interact with them. Successful strategies don’t just revolve around paid initiatives. Engage your audience and they will engage with you. It doesn’t matter which social network we’re talking about. The goal is connection. It can be as simple as . . . a tip. A reason. A fact. Your fans and followers want to feel like they’re getting something.
As marketers, we may not like the pay-for-play model. But brands who integrate paid opportunities into their strategic marketing plan will be more likely to find greater success at extending their reach.