Social media has changed the way businesses market their products & services on the web. A trend that we continue to see. One particular social media site that has been successfully leading the pack for a long time is Facebook.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Facebook is THE place for your business to have a strong social media presence. Mainly because it’s where everybody is — including your target audience.
According to Social Media Examiner’s popular annual report, 62% of marketers have named Facebook as the most important strategy amongst their marketing strategies.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because if you look at the stats, Facebook has…
- Over two billion monthly active users
- 1.2 billion users on its Messenger app
- More than a billion active users on Instagram
Since Facebook has the widest user base, it makes it easier (and maybe even cheaper in some cases) to reach your target market and build the right connections.
However, if you’re not utilizing the appropriate strategies, funneling targeted traffic from Facebook back to your site can get pretty challenging. No wonder “Facebook marketing” is still a puzzle for so many brands.
One of the strongest reasons as to why Facebook marketing isn’t working out for many could be simply because they’re failing to stand out from the rest.
When you’re marketing on Facebook, you’re basically competing with many other similar businesses in your niche who are targeting the same audience as you.
Your competition, just like you, wants a piece of Facebook. Which constitutes to the largest slice of the social media pie.So unless and until you focus on being different from others in your approach, you’ll have a hard time connecting to your target audience.
But is that it?
Nope. As competition grows, you also need to give your prospects a reason to leave Facebook and visit your site.
In other words, you need to impress them with an offer that’s too hard to resist. Something that makes them want to take action. And that’s only possible when people actually get exposed to your offer.
This is where Facebook organic reach comes in. Because ultimately, it all boils down to what percentage of your target audience actually gets to see your update. And if you’re not using Facebook ads, boosting your page can get pretty difficult.
However, if you can work on improving your reach and create a loyal set of audience on Facebook, things can look different. And a lot more in your favor.
Now, before we get into how you can do so, let’s first look into…
What Exactly is Facebook Organic Reach?
Facebook organic reach is basically the number of people who get exposed to your content without ads or any paid distribution.Sponsored stories and promotional posts on the other hand, come under paid reach. Meaning users that viewed your content due to a paid promotion. Which users actually get to see this content depends on the type of ad targeting options you choose.
But is reaching your target audience on Facebook that simple? Or is there more to it?
Many brands today try to depend on Facebook organic reach, creating a detailed marketing strategy to ensure they succeed. However, to their dismay, they don’t see the results they want to see after posting content to their Facebook page. Even after putting in real effort to create and share great content, there’s not much traffic to report nor engagement.
When this happens, brands are forced to rethink their Facebook marketing strategy or simply conclude that their audience isn’t really liking their content.
However, the truth is far from it.
Most of the time it has nothing to do with their content or timing. But more to do with the Facebook organic reach. Gone are the days when you could just post an update to your Facebook page and get most of your fans to see it.
Today, things are different. Thanks to the ever-evolving Facebook organic reach and changes to their core newsfeed algorithm, even some of the most popular brands are having a hard time reaching their audience.
In a recent survey, it was found that a staggering 60% of marketers believed Facebook has slowly yet steadily become “pay to play”. In other words, unless and until you are buying ads on the Facebook platform, your content will not be shown to the majority of your fans.In a study conducted by SocialFlow, it was found that brands experienced a steep 42% decline in their Facebook organic reach just in the first two quarters of 2016.
And when they analyzed the data from the third quarter of the same year, they noticed that brands saw a 52% drop, which is huge by any means.What’s more, when social@Ogilvy analyzed 100+ Facebook pages of different brands, they discovered that the average Facebook organic reach of content published was a mere 6%.
And it was even more surprising to see that bigger pages (with 500,000+ likes) experienced a little over 2% reach. Which clearly means that the social media giant wants bigger brands to invest into their advertising products instead of relying on the Facebook organic reach.
Tip #1: Share Engaging, Native Video Content
There’s little doubt about the consistent decline of the Facebook organic reach; every experienced marketer acknowledges it. In spite of that, native video content is being given more preference by Facebook.
Native video content is steadily on the rise on Facebook and is known for helping create real engagement. Which is why many brands are trying to focus on it. When compared to other types of content (links and photos), video is turning out to be a much safer bet.
If you look at the stats, a whopping 8 billion plus videos are being watched on Facebook every single day. As found by BuzzSumo, higher viewership naturally propels the number of videos that get shared on the social network.Looking at it from Facebook’s point of view, there are two main reasons as to why video content is being considered more important:
Reason — 1: Previously, photos ruled the roost on Facebook. Which obviously pushed business pages to post more photos as they also helped them stand out from the rest of the content.
This forced Facebook to mellow down the amount of photos being shared by business pages. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping their users happy. The social media giant did not want the users to get sprayed with the same type of marketing content.
Native video on the other hand, is a fresh new media type that is more difficult to create for brands. And therefore is created & shared less by business pages. Which automatically gives it a better Facebook organic reach.
Reason — 2: Everybody knows video content is gaining an edge over other types of content. It’s being hailed as the media type that will dominate the web in the future. So it comes as no surprise that Facebook wants to be seen as a top video sharing platform — even above YouTube.
In a study done by Impulse Creative, it was found that Facebook video posts reached 90% more people than link based posts and 40% more people than photo posts.
Even Socialbakers discovered that they got a 135% increase in their Facebook organic reach by choosing video content over photos.
So if you want to increase engagement and boost your Facebook organic reach, it’s time to add video to your social media content strategy.
But do make sure that you are not creating videos just the heck of it. Even if you’re sharing videos, you need stellar content for positive long-term results.
Here are a few tips to make your Facebook videos stand out from the crowd and attract more views/engagement.
- Create square videos instead of landscape videos as they are known to perform better.
- Grab your viewers’ attention in the first 3-5 seconds.
- Add meaningful captions to your videos because 85% of people watch Facebook videos without sound.
- Create your video around one central point instead of multiple points.
- Make your title as descriptive and clear as possible while keeping it short.
- Add a strong call to action that helps you get more response.
Tip #2: Leverage the Power of Facebook Live
Facebook Live video was launched in April of 2016. And since then it has successfully helped many businesses connect to their followers at a much higher level than other types of content.
That’s right, Facebook Live can help you get a high engagement! Which can equal better Facebook organic reach.If you are a business that wants to grow its presence on Facebook, you cannot ignore the power of Facebook Live. You have to start experimenting with it.
When compared to regular video content, people spend 3X more time consuming content broadcasted through Facebook Live. Which makes it one of the most effective broadcasting tools we have on the web right now.
Due to likeability of Facebook Live and its ability to fetch high engagement rate, it gets more brownie points from Facebook. As a content type, it gets you more eyes because Facebook makes it as a priority in its newsfeed.
When Wishpond experimented with Facebook Live, they noticed a staggering 300% increase in their Facebook reach.When Socialbakers looked into the performance of their content in the Facebook newsfeed, they noticed that their Facebook Live video performed better than all other post formats.
Every time they posted a live broadcast, they saw their Facebook organic reach go up. If you look at the chart below, you can see that by posting just one live video they got a real boost in their viewership.Here are some of the basic steps you need to take to launch your own Facebook Live video:
Step 1: Find a topic for your Live video that is not only relevant to your target audience, but is also interesting enough.
Step 2: Spread the word about your upcoming Live video by creating an event on Facebook with sessions time and date.
Step 3: Download the Facebook Pages app for streaming your Live broadcast.
Step 4: Create a rough outline of your Live video so that you’re clear on the kind of information you’ll be sharing.
Step 5: Arrange the right camera equipment and test it out well in advance.
Step 6: Make sure you choose a room with ample amount of lighting minus any glares/shadows.
Step 7: Open your Facebook page app and start recording by clicking on the “Live” button.
Tip #3: Study What’s Working for Your Competitors
Most of the time you’re so focused on analyzing the performance of your own content, you forget to look around and see what your competition is doing.
Monitoring your own content is good. But looking into the practices of your competitors gives you an edge. It not only helps you create better content that your audience resonates with, but also lets you upgrade your marketing strategy.
The good thing is, Facebook makes the whole process a walk in the park. As long as you are clear on who your immediate competition is.
You can check out Facebook’s “Top Posts from Pages You Watch” feature to learn about others in your niche.The above report is an example of what data you will see once you’ve added your competitors. You can add all your competitors easily by clicking on the “Add Pages” button on the top.
Once set, you’ll be able to closely monitor the top content from your chosen pages. It gives you a fair idea as to how their content is performing in terms of engagement.
You can analyze each post further by clicking on the links provided in the report. And understand their content and context without any guesswork.
The idea is to add only those pages that are targeting a similar audience like yours. The more relevant their audience is to yours, the more valuable will be the insights you gain. Which you can immediately start applying to improve your own content strategy.
Focus on analyzing three important aspects when you’re monitoring their content:
- What type of posts are giving results
- What content topics they are choosing
- What is the tone/style of their content
Now, this doesn’t mean that you blatantly copy what others are doing. Your aim should be to seek inspiration, add your own unique insights to the findings, and do something even better than your competition.
Use these insights as a starting point to effectively connect to your target audience at a much higher level. Work on creating a smoother plan that is suitable to your own business.
Tip #4: Say No to ‘Engagement Bait’ Type Content
When you post great, relevant content on Facebook that your audience likes, it becomes easy to engage them. And that’s what leads to natural conversations that are valuable in Facebook’s eyes.
All the comments on your Facebook posts are part of natural conversations, which can eventually help you boost your Facebook organic reach. Why? Because these natural conversations allow you to add value and work within the infamous newsfeed algorithm.
The idea is to create natural discussions. Not just on any topic, but only those topics that will help you elevate your brand. Topics that can help you deliver real value to your fans.
The more natural these conversations are, the better it is. Because ‘engagement bait’ type of content will only backfire. Which means you cannot and should not ask your fans to comment on your posts, like your content, or tag it.
Facebook’s algorithm works against engagement baiting posts because it comes under “forced engagement” that doesn’t add value or meaning to the content.Even if you somehow get your ‘engagement bait’ content seen by your fans, you will only end up making a bad impression on them. People are too smart these days to fall for engagement baits. So you’ll only be wasting your time and efforts.
If you want to connect to your target audience, you need to avoid gaming Facebook and focus on generating natural conversations. Which also helps you humanize your brand and make your page more meaningful on the whole.
While you should try to produce content that creates real discussions in a creative manner, make sure you avoid content that is controversial in nature or something that can start a heated debate.
Yes, it’s definitely not easy to get people to talk to each other and interact on your posts. Especially for those with a new Facebook page, trying to get more engagement can seem like an uphill battle.
But it can be done, given that you are unique in your approach. And are taking the right steps.
One advantage of engaging your loyal Facebook fans is that it makes your page more important in their mind. And since Facebook lets people see more posts from their favorite pages (by choosing the ‘See First’ in newsfeed option), you can actually get more of your content in front of time as time goes by.
As long as you are focused on getting more and more people talking on your page, the easier it will be for you to increase your Facebook organic reach.
Tip #5: Choose Quality Content Over Quantity
Due to increasing competition in the social media arena, brands are always striving to produce and share more content than ever. The focus is always on “more”, even if it comes at the cost of consistency.
In the earlier days, when Facebook wasn’t as popular as it is today, posting more content worked well because it helped you get more views. However today, your Facebook marketing strategy could be suffering due this mentality. Putting quantity over quality is not a smart move.
Facebook has become a behemoth, and therefore highly competitive. Which is why the Facebook organic reach has kept declining overtime. The number of people you are able to reach today is drastically lower.This just goes on to show space on Facebook is not only getting saturated, but also more valuable for all those who want to get more exposure to their content.
Even though a significant number of businesses are finding leverage using Facebook for marketing, a number of them are quitting the platform due to the lack of good results. However, not using Facebook is a mistake because by taking the right steps it can work in your favor.
You just need to think differently than your competition in terms of how you post your content and when. You need to focus more on posting quality content less often so that it gets seen more. This mindset is contrary to what everybody’s trying to do, which is exactly why it works.
When popular social media management app Buffer noticed a sharp decline in their Facebook organic reach, they decided to shift their Facebook posting strategy in a different direction to reach more people.
They began posting a large amount of content in the period between January to October 2016, which translated to as many as 40 Facebook posts per week.
If you look at it from a superficial level, what Buffer was doing made sense. Since each post had a lower Facebook organic reach, posting more content should have technically helped them reach more people.
But over time they noticed that by increasing their daily number of posts, their Facebook organic reach went down. The more content they posted, the lesser reach they experienced.Buffer then decided to change their posting strategy again to suit the current Facebook algorithm. Instead of sharing more content, they decided to post less often, only when they had high quality content to share.
The result of this shift helped them triple their Facebook organic reach and improve their engagement rate to a high extent.
Buffer no longer posts more than twice a day to their Facebook page. They’re careful to only share the best and most relevant content with their followers when it’s available.
The bottom line is, you cannot take a blanket approach today and win with Facebook marketing. Instead, you have to change your focus to posting only high quality content, even if it means posting less often.
Facebook has most definitely become a “pay-to-play” platform. But, like many other online platforms, they want to give the best user experience. If your organic content does that, then it will be shown to more users.
Follow the tips we gave you to ensure you’re sharing some of your best content to date. So you can start building a loyal following. If you’ve found some different tips along the way, feel free to share them in the comments below. We love reading success stories from our blog subscribers!