With Facebook’s launch in 2007, the site offered businesses a free online presence with easy access to customers. It was the perfect chance to publish updates about your business and products and put content directly into customer news feeds.
It was great while it lasted.
For the past year or two, business have seen diminishing returns from organic, unpaid reach of their posts. And the data supports this conclusion. Ogilvy & Mather reported that Facebook’s algorithm has reduced the average post exposure from 12% in October 2013 to around 6% in February 2015.
Facebook has even acknowledged and admitted that they are actively killing organic reach, and that it won’t stop.
As Facebook continues to try and build a winning monetization strategy, everyone will be feeling the pinch of the changing Facebook algorithm. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big brand with millions of followers or a small business with only a few hundred followers.
Just because Facebook’s organic reach is dying, doesn’t mean your marketing has to as well. Here are a few things you can do to accomplish your marketing goals despite the loss of a great – free! – social media tool.
1. Put some money behind your social media.
If you’re thinking that Facebook is useless, think again. Sure, you can’t expect your followers to see every update and post, but that doesn’t actually mean you should completely give up on it.
Facebook has changed their focus. They got brands, businesses, and marketers hooked on their free engagement, and now they’re worried about providing value for shareholders. This means they have to continue providing marketers with a way to actually reach their audience, but they want you to pay for it.
Facebook can still be extremely effective, it just costs a little more.
There are a few different ways to get your posts and your content in front of audiences on Facebook.
- First, you can boost your posts to further your organic post reach. This can get you in front of your own followers or a wider industry audience on Facebook. For the latter, you’ll need to make sure you have the robust targeting to actually reach the right people.
- Second, you can content based ads. This can be built to reach the same audiences as above. However, with this particular ad, you don’t have to use a pre-existing post. You can build this around a wide range of content, from blogs to case studies to white papers.
Facebook has a range of robust targeting options that can help you refine your ad to reach the right audience. However, you shouldn’t overlook your own followers and fans.
Leveraging your pre-existing relationship can be valuable.
2. Publish content online and supplement with social media.
One of the best tools available to you is your own website. It’s a great place to publish content of any length, though you may want to refrain from short, Twitter and Facebook-style updates.
The most important rule to remember is to provide consistent, relevant, and valuable content.
Creating valuable content can be hard. Trust me. But dedicating just a few hours each week into creating well written content can go a long way to accomplishing your marketing goals.
However, don’t forget about social media yet. Adding in simple sharing tools on your website can allow your readers and customers to share your content directly to Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Even though your Facebook posts are seeing diminished reach, your audience’s isn’t.
Social sharing is a great way to get some love and additional shares.
3. Email marketing works.
Some of you may have turned away from email marketing for free social media posts, while others may have not have even started yet. Either way, big mistake.
It’s time to rethink your strategy
Email is an extremely effective method for reaching customers. Once you have their email, you can send updates, content, and sales collateral straight to their inbox. In contrast to a Facebook post, which usually gets delivered to a customer’s feed around 2% of the time, emails are received about 90% of the time and opened around 5%. (Note: there is some differences according to your industry and how good you are at email.)
Just because you acquired an email doesn’t mean you should spam them. This is a very bad plan. Instead of relying on spammy sales emails, send content that will encourage actual clicks. Once you get them to your site, then you have an opportunity to get them interested in your product.
4. Look for other social media platforms.
You need to diversify your social media portfolio. Facebook has been the perfect way to stay relevant and top-of-mind in the past, but it doesn’t work that way anymore. Not for free, anyhow.
Instead of expecting your Facebook posts to do the same thing, even though you know they won’t, look around for other ways to get content and updates in front of your audience. There are probably other social media platforms they use that you can take advantage of.
You aren’t limited to just one social media platform.
LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, there are dozens of social media tools you can use to reach your audience. If you want to see where your audience is, we have some great research about the media consumption habits in the trucking and construction industries.
Ok, so Facebook isn’t the free powerhouse it used to be. In fact, Facebook’s organic engagement and reach stinks for businesses these days. But instead of moping about it, you need to go back to the drawing board. It’s time to shake things up.