By now you’ve probably heard the news about the decrease in Facebook’s Organic Reach. As a page owner, you are probably more than a little peeved. I know I was and Grandma was especially cranky about it. You can see her video below.
But after thinking about it a little more, I decided to do my own social media experiment to find out what was happening currently with my social sites. I found out that Facebook is still winning for me by a long shot. And then I read AgoraPulse’s Facebook study of 5,300 pages and saw that the news may not be as dire as some are making it out to be…..yet.
We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Facebook is clearly stating that Pages are not going to get as much exposure without advertising. So what is a Page owner to do?
We need to adjust our thinking in how Facebook plays into our marketing mix. Facebook is not the free form of advertising any more. It is pay-to-play and we better pony up some cash each month.
Think about Facebook as a “subscription” model. Just like we subscribe to other online marketing tools, Facebook requires a percentage of your marketing budget to be most effective.
You will be able to get organic reach – it will not go away completely. And I would suggest doing your own measurements so that you can see exactly what kind of response you are currently getting on your other social sites.
Facebook’s reach numbers irritate us because we can see them plainly. How is your Twitter reach? How many people are actually seeing your LinkedIn status updates? We don’t have that data. Here are 5 things that you can do in response to the decrease in Facebook’s Organic Reach.
#1 Move your Fans to your e-mail list
Having your Fans or followers sign up for your e-mail list is a good idea for all your social sites. Now you can’t download a list of your Fans and then put there e-mails into your e-mail system. There is no way to do that. You have to have them opt-in to your list. You can:
- Have a free giveaway (free report, free set of tips that they can download, a whitepaper, etc). You can host this optin on your own website or use one of these 8 Facebook Apps. I recently made a longer tutorial on how to do this with TabFoundry.
- Have people optin to get a coupon for your product or services.
- Run a Facebook Contest. You will need to make sure it’s using a Facebook App rather than the Timeline contests.
- Host a webinar. Make sure you let people know that they will get your follow up updates.
- Encourage people to sign up for your newsletter with regular posts on Facebook. Newsletters aren’t always the most enticing thing to sign up for but if you let people know what awesome things you share in your newsletter about your niche, then you will get better conversions.
Regularly offer great free content through your e-mail messages so that people are encouraged to stay subscribed. Social will change – e-mail is yours!
#2 Plan on Ad Spend
Your Facebook Ad budget doesn’t have to break the bank every month. Recently John Haydon of Inbound Zombie saw some great results from just spending $20 on boosting posts that were doing well already. He also did some investigating into his Facebook Insights and saw that short, text-only questions were doing well for him so he incorporated more of those. He got a nice uptick in engagement in just one week.
You also want to make sure you are maximizing your Facebook ad spend by doing things like split testing so that you know what keywords and copy works best for you. You can also use things like Facebook Custom Audiences to effectively target your ads.
#3 Build up one other social site
Hedge your bets by strategically building up one other social site. If you have most of your marketing time spent on Facebook right now, start spending more time on LinkedIn, or Google+. I found in my recent experiment that LinkedIn was showing good engagement for me with very minimal effort. What could I accomplish if I spent more time there?
#4 Measure what matters
Reach isn’t your end goal. Reach is nice because you potentially are seen by more people. But your end goal is more subscribers, more leads, and more sales. So make sure you have measurements in place for those goals. Here are some great social media goals and how you can measure them:
- More Engagement – Facebook Insights and the People Talking About This number.
- More Traffic – Google Analytics or WordPress Jetpack Stats
- More e-mail signups – Special tags in your e-mail lists, separate e-mail lists for only Facebook
- More sales – Google Goals, ask your customers, coupon codes, Facebook Conversion pixels in ads
#5 Use your Facebook personal profile to post about your business
Not everyone wants to use their profile to post about your business but it can make sense because your profile is seen much more in the News Feed. You don’t have to go overboard but an occasional post letting people know what your business is doing is a good way to remind your warm market about your business. And if you don’t want to bother Aunt Elenor with your business posts, make Facebook Lists and send your business posts only to your business-type friends.
You can also use other Facebook features such as Groups but there are some things you should factor in when deciding between a Facebook Group and a Page for your business.
Bonus Tip: Post engaging content
I know you are already doing this but keep doing it. Engaging content coupled with good copywriting will keep you in the News Feed more often.
So I hope that gave you some good ideas to combat the evil Facebook Organic Reach. How about you, have you noticed that your reach is down? What are your thoughts on how you will approach Facebook in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below. And watch Grandma’s video – she’s a little peeved.