In the latest on the prestigious blog Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner interviews Mari Smith and Jay Baer on the decrease in reach Facebook posts have been suffering in the past few months. This statement by Baer conveys my thoughts on the matter exactly:
Jay says the tricky part of it all is trying to figure out the cause. It’s hard to advise people right now, because even the professionals don’t really know. There are a lot of organizations that specialize in Facebook research, who are actually trying to crack the code to see what the new best practice is.
So how did we get here?
What started as a great platform to interact with friends and family became more like a channel of communication embedded in many people’s lives. Thus, marketers got to work and users’ news feeds have become ‘saturated’. This prompted Facebook to adjust their algorithm to filter posts they send to users and reach has decreased significantly. Facebook page administrators have come up with strategies to counteract the diminished reach of their posts. Some of the practices have been:
- Post text only updates with no visuals and no link previews.
- Post more frequently to increase the chances of being seen.
- Use the new ‘story bump’ feature and comment as themselves on their own posts so that these will appear on their friends’ news feed.
- Use the ‘Boost Post’ feature and pay to be seen by their fans and their friends.
All of the above have created an even more crowded environment. Competition for attention and engagement is fierce and Social Media managers are focusing on other less trafficked platforms. Diversification of your Social Media strategy is definitely a MUST this year but it is not going to lessen competition for Social Media users’ attention. There are predictions that the big companies with inflated marketing budgets will be the winners as they can afford the ‘pay to play’ game.
As Jay Baer stated, no one really knows what the best Facebook marketing strategy is. Facebook might not even be the most popular SM platform in the near future. Instead of speculating over several possible scenarios, let’s focus on what we DO know and what we CAN control.
- You own your BLOG, your SHOP and/or your WEBSITE.
- Some of your potential clients hang out on a particular social platform depending on their demographics. Check out this infographic by Masters in Marketing on Social Media Wars.
- Social platform usage varies very quickly and you have to stay updated.
- Being useful is a MUST and your competitors are or will be creating useful content to share for FREE.
- Social Media cannot be ignored, it is an important part of your marketing strategy.
- You know what your business needs and your available resources are.
- The crowd isn’t going anywhere, it is here to stay as Social Media will continue to establish itself as a new communication channel for the masses.
Should you sacrifice your beautiful graphics? I say NO.
Should you post more often? Only if you have more to say that adds value to your message.
Should you try new post types? Yes, following your voice and your strategy.
You have to find the right balance and maybe add a few more text only posts every now and then – provided you have something to ADD that is relevant to your Facebook audience. Concentrate on writing blog articles in line with your marketing strategy and use your Social Media channels to distribute them and bring people to YOUR blog or website. Grow your e-mail list and distribute your articles or messages to your subscribers.
In a nutshell:
- Continue to improve your original visuals to accompany your message.
- Optimise your blog and write articles containing your unique message to your followers.
- Encourage your followers to subscribe to specific e-mail lists based on message and frequency.
- Post in line with your social media strategy, do not deviate from your goals.
The visuals can be used on your Social Media posts, on your blog posts and on your e-mail campaigns. Again, this brings us back to the importance of hiring the services of a graphic designer.
What do YOU think? How have you reacted to the decreased Facebook reach?