Can you believe it is already July?! I sure can't, but that means that it's time for a new guest blog theme. This month we will be exploring social media, from new trends to proven best practices. To kick off this month's theme we have a post by Brianne Shelley, Inbound Marketing Lead at Splashscore. Brianne gives some insight to declining organic reach and how marketers can overcome it.
The author, Brianne Shelley, is the head of tech startup Splashscore’s Inbound Marketing team. Her responsibilities include creating content for the brand’s blog and newsletters. Brianne is experienced in copywriting, blogging, and marketing from her pervious positions as a copywriter at SapientNitro and LogoMix. In her free time, Brianne enjoys staying active, exploring the city of Boston, and updating her photography blog.
As the network’s potential for organic reach becomes increasingly more elusive, the price of paid reach on Facebook is rising. In fact, according to digital marketing agency Flightpath, average CPM on Facebook grew from about $3 in May to $10 in June! As a marketer, it’s important to understand what the changes are in order to know how you can take action.
Why Organic Reach is Decreasing:
Organic reach is declining because tons of content is created and distributed effortlessly thanks to smartphones and one-click buttons. Anywhere between 1,500 and 15,000 stories could appear on a person’s News Feed (depending on how many friends they have and how many pages they like). Competition for exposure is heating up, as brands are getting lost in the clutter.
More Page Likes
Facebook’s director of product management for the News Feed told TechCrunch the total number of pages liked by a Facebook user grew more than 50% last year. With every new Page like, there are continuously more brands fighting for the limited spots on users’ feeds.
The News Feed Design
Instead of showing every piece of possible content, the updated News Feed filters posts to show personally relevant content to each individual. This means, instead of displaying 1,500 posts (because that’d be a tad overwhelming), a person will see about 300. These 300 select posts are determined by a thousand different factors built into the Facebook algorithm. To sum it up, Facebook says their key changes in the News Feed are:
Showing high-quality content: Timely, relevant, trustworthy, sharable, interesting, and likeable.
Cleaning up News Feed spam: Hiding “like-baiting,” repeat content, and spammy links.
What It Means For Marketers:
Expect the cost of an effective post to rise. This means marketers may have to pay more to reach the same number of fans. According to a recent study by Simply Measured, the total engagement for the top 10 brands on Facebook is down over 40% even though total posts are up 20%.
Long story short: You may have to consider spending more money on promoting your Facebook content.
Pay careful attention to the quality of your posts. If you want your content to be seen, you must avoid low quality posts that look like spam or don’t generate engagement. Facebook wants its users to have a positive experience, meaning junk posts will not be tolerated or visible to your fans.
How To Adapt:
Facebook updated their News Feed algorithm to make the experience better for users. With the update to the algorithm, users now see only about 6% of what’s posted to Fan Pages. But, you can go above this average reach if you take advantage of the following strategies.
Create Quality Posts to Engage Fans
To get better user engagement, your brand will need to create timely posts that are relevant, sharable, interesting, and likeable.
It’s important to have fresh content posted often. Some worry about annoying their fans by posting too frequently, when in reality little more than half your fans will be on Facebook every day. Of these fans, most will be logged on for an average of 30-60 minutes. It’s vital to post multiple times a day to increase any potential of reaching fans through organic reach. Keep up your quality, post throughout the day, and strategically buffer time between your posts.
Incentivize sharing to increase your organic reach! Consider running a photo caption or idea-creating contest, asking a question, or offering a special promotion to fans. It’s also smart to team up with influencers to help share your content.
Pay For It
According to Andrea Vahl, co-author of “Facebook Marketing All-in-One For Dummies,” marketers should consider Facebook a subscription-based marketing service, rather than a free platform. You don’t have to dish out a ton of cash to get engagement on Facebook, but rather you should invest a smaller, but more calculated sum to effectively create the strongest impact.
Branch out and incorporate other channels – such as TV, direct mail, digital ads, Twitter, Instagram, etc. In order to incorporate all your networks try using hashtag campaigns to broaden your reach. You can promote this hashtag across all channels and embed it on your website to increase participation.
Use Social Data
In order to improve your marketing performance, you should gain an understanding of your consumer’s interests and capture their contact data in order to follow up. To make your marketing more personal and engaging, you should also collect user-generated content, like photos of them interacting with the brand! Lastly, make sure to track your social click-throughs and site activity for all social channels.
Optimize Post Performance
Experiment, experiment, experiment! Test a number of post types (photos, videos, status updates, links) to see which type is most effective. You should also track click-through traffic to figure out the peak time of day when you’re most likely to get the most engagement. Use this information to plan what posts you create and when.
The Wrap Up:
See that wasn’t so bad, was it? When you hear about a change in digital marketing, don’t let the nerves win! Facebook is continuously evolving and as long as you understand the changes and know how to adapt, you can stay ahead of the game.