It’s not you, it’s them. Or at least, that could have something to do with it. Earlier this year, Facebook changed the algorithm for how posts show up in the News Feed. This should be no surprise, Facebook is constantly changing their algorithm for what users see in the News Feed on a daily basis. But what the change earlier this year meant for brands with Facebook Fan Pages is that your status updates would be seen by a dramatically less number of fans who have an interest in seeing your content. In the past, many of your friends would see your content, but now you’re lucky if even 6 to 8 percent of your fan base consistently sees the content.
The reason why your posts aren’t showing up is because the algorithm has changed. So check Facebook Insights and look at your reach and then look at impressions. If you notice a downward trend over the past few months then you need to think about what to do about it. Below I’ve outlined a few considerations to make that can help you get a handle on the situation and confidently assess what steps you can take to ensure you are still getting the visibility you crave on Facebook.
The Type of Post You Make Matters. Are you paying attention to Facebook Insights on a regular basis? You should be. Notice that they are now giving you data that helps you see and understand how the type of post you are making has an impact based on impressions, clicks, and shares.
Are You Tracking Competitors? You should be. Another beautiful thing about Facebook Insights is that it gives you the ability to compare your page to others. In fact, it even gives you suggestions of similar pages and tells you how well some of their recent posts are performing. Facebook is handing over a bit of competitive intelligence here, and you should be taking advantage of it.
Facebook Wants You To Buy Ads. Let’s face it. Facebook went public and dropped the IPO on America two years ago, and a lot has changed since. It seems as though they have experimented with various models to ensure the site is profitable. Obviously, ads are a big source of revenue for the firm, so putting brands in a position to “pay to play” is no surprise. Just be mindful of how you choose to position your ads. Remain authentic. Remember, part of the lure with social networks as they first emerged was the fact that there were people talking about brands without being paid and without the brands paying. And over time, online peer reviews and comments became a big thing. They still are. Which is why you want to ensure that your brand is remaining true and not compromising its integrity by going ad crazy, developing ads that seem misleading or disingenuous. Buying ads does make sense, buying fans—-maybe. The unfortunate fact is that even as you do acquire new fans, many of those new fans won’t see what you have to say unless you’re boosting posts or sponsoring other types of ads to appear in the news feed. Which leads me to my next point— don’t go crazy with boosting posts. I’ve watched several brands spend hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis just boosting posts. If your goal is brand awareness and nothing else, then maybe that’s not such a bad thing. But if you want to generate leads or sell a product or service, boosting posts won’t get you where you want to be. Think before you spend.
What To Do About It
Determine Your Facebook ROI. Now is a good time to evaluate your brand’s presence on Facebook and make a decision on whether or not you want to continue investing in it. As a rule of thumb, I think it’s a good idea to maintain some type of presence and not abandon it, but you may need to figure out how much effort your brand will put into it.
Consider Buying Ads. If Facebook has been good for you historically, then it could be a good idea to increase your Facebook ads investment. If your brand has no experience with ads, consider getting the help of an expert who will guide you through the process. Facebook currently has a variety of ad styles available. Facebook Offer Claims is a great option for retailers and restaurants. With this type of ad you can post a limited time promotion and fill in the details. Website Click ads bring traffic directly back to your website. If you have a web developer, give them the tracking pixel that Facebook assigns to your ad group. This will more accurately track how many clicks are coming to your website or landing page from Facebook. Post Engagement ads are the same as boosting a post. Facebook will allow you to choose a post you made recently and give it more visibility. Again, it’s a great tactic if you want brand awareness but if you want it to lead to business then you need to have a clear call to action.
Bridge Facebook With Other Channels. Remember that Facebook doesn’t have to exist on an island all by itself. If your brand utilizes YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networks then be sure to integrate all of those channels together. And don’t just think about digital channels, think about traditional channels. From television to radio, get creative with how you can ensure your Facebook fan page continues to gain exposure while targeting customers through traditional marketing methods.
Remember, the social media environment is one that is ever changing and it pays to stay on top of trends. If you don’t have time to keep up with it, find someone who will, get proactive instead of reactive, and you’ll find yourself in a position to regain Facebook (or social media) love in no time.