What Happened to my Organic Reach on Facebook and Twitter?
Remember back when “social media marketing” was new? At first, your followers were just impressed that your brand had a Facebook page. Simply using Facebook or Twitter made you look cool and hip. Sadly, that isn’t how things work anymore.
If you have 2000 people following your brand on Twitter, and 2000 addresses in a email list, guess which one is probably going to generate more clicks? An email is going to beat a Tweet nine times out of ten.
Just because the social media landscape is changing, doesn’t mean that marketers need to panic. Every problem has a solution.
I know that no one wants to be told to give up. (I’m still saying “whatsaaaaaaaaaap?” it will come back around) But there are times when we all have to face facts. If there is one obvious truth about Facebook, it is that even though the platform is built around user generated content, Facebook is in control.
Facebook is a publicly traded company that has to beat earnings year-over-year. Since Facebook passed the “tipping point” sometime before any of us knew who Barack Obama was, there just isn’t a financial incentive for Facebook to give you a free way to market to their audience. .
Yes, you now have to pay-to-play on Facebook, and that isn’t ideal. But where marketers have lost a frontier, we have gained a civilization. Facebook is a powerful ad platform with targeting options that rival Adwords, and some would say even surpasses it.
Leverage this powerful tool and take advantage of the absurd amount of data the Facebook collects about its users. Try different combinations of custom audiences and types of content. Experiment, A/B test, and track what happens to the clicks you drive to landing pages. Facebook’s ad platform is young, but robust. Your target audience is almost certainly logging into Facebook, you just have to go find them.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Facebook’s “sophisticated” news feed algorithm is Twitter’s strictly chronological twitosphere. This means that if your followers don’t happen to be glancing at their phone within a few minutes of you posting, they almost certainly won’t see it.
Every marketer knows that they need to post to Twitter multiple times a day. But how much is too much? How do you know when you’ve finally crossed the line between content distribution and SPAM?
This one actually isn’t that complicated. What time of day do you get most of your clicks and where are they coming from? Depending on your audience, it might be pointless for you to tweet at 6 PM. But here is a newsflash: the whole country doesn’t have 6 PM at the same time. 3 PM in LA is 6 PM in New York. Assuming you want to reach a national audience, you’ll need to break your engagement out by time zones.
If your brand seems to be getting the most engagement on Twitter at 9 AM across the country, that means you need to tweet at least four times to hit each time zone at 9 AM. With Twitter timing isn’t everything, but it is very, very important. Don’t tweet every few seconds, that will only annoy your followers. Your brand needs to post to Twitter several times a day, but you must be strategic about when you do it.
None of this advice matters if your content and the tweets and posts you build around it aren’t engaging.
- Focus on the pain point that your content solves for your target audience.
- Be conversational and approachable.
- Respond to comments and tweets as often as possible (try thanking one of your followers for a retweet, it will make their day).
Social media is changing, and marketers have to change with it. Clinging to a bygone era of easy social engagement is no more advisable than trying to shove a floppy disk into a Blue Ray player. It won’t work, and you will probably end up breaking something.