So let me guess. You FINALLY just got your business page all nicely set up and you were just starting to get some excellent traction and engagement on your page and you were feeling pretty proud of yourself. Now, all of a sudden, your engagement and reach has pretty much dropped right off. It seems like a ghost town out there and you're wondering what happened to your audience. Don't worry. It's not you. It's Facebook.
Last week Facebook announced that organic post reach for Pages would continue to decline as part of a new effort to focus on person-to-person interactions. Publishers and brands who used to connect to people via their Facebook Pages will need to re-think how they engage with people on the platform going forward.
Of course, you can use conventional Facebook news feed hacks to mitigate a small extent of the loss, but in order to survive, we're going to need to make much bigger changes.
In this post, I want to highlight my top 6 strategies worth considering to help mitigate the loss of Facebook organic traffic for your business Page.
1. Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are the unicorn of Facebook engagement loopholes.
Going forward, the Facebook News Feed algorithm will prioritize posts based on how much 'meaningful discussion' they inspire. These are also the exact the types of updates which tend to do fantastically well in Facebook Groups.
In fact, lively Facebook group discussions can end up getting featured in the user notification tab, which, in turn, can drive an enormous amount of "free" post visibility.
I believe that Facebook groups, unlike some of the other loopholes discussed here, are likely here to stay, as they're a perfect fit for Facebook's new News Feed mission statement.
Publishers and brands haven't nearly contaminated Instagram feeds to the degree they have on Facebook - in fact, the notion of even having a business page on Instagram is a relatively new concept which just appeared in the last year.
Thus, especially if you operate in certain Instagram-y verticals (like travel, fitness, entertainment, food, consumer goods, etc.), you absolutely should be spending time connecting with folks here, as there's plenty of "free" organic engagement to be had.
Unfortunately, I fully expect Instagram publishers to suffer a similar fate to Facebook Pages at some point in future, though it may be several years from now.
3. Facebook Ads
While technically not a loophole, Facebook ads are now the only way for businesses to reliably connect with specific people on Facebook.
Ad costs have gone up like crazy over the last few years, and I expect this trend to continue. But for most companies, it's not necessary to drive "mad hits" to your website.
Instead, be super picky.
Focus your Facebook advertising on these areas in particular:
Promotion of Unicorns: Sponsored posts with unusually high post engagement rates (+10%) are still remarkably cheap (1-4 cents per click).
Remarketing: People who visited your site recently are the most likely folks to buy your stuff in the future.
Custom Audiences: It's like email marketing on Facebook. Just upload the emails and phone numbers of people in your customer database and they'll see your ads.
4. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger presents a fantastic opportunity for marketers to message directly to their customers, without ever showing up on anyone's News Feed.
Like email marketing, you can get people to opt-in to receiving updates from your company Page via Facebook Messenger. From there, you can use an automated system to send updates to subscribers and respond to inquiries.
5. Try out other Publishing Channels
While Facebook organic reach is dead, other (smaller) channels still exist.
I personally still invest time in the following networks:
6. Building your own brand
The unicorn of growth marketing channels is not Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, SEO, etc.
Brand affinity - like gravity - is an invisible, unstoppable force of marketing, it compels prospects to consume and recall your message, rave about your products, and pay a premium, too.
This year, before you decide on which channels to invest more in, and which to cut, ask yourself:
Do you truly understand the needs of your target market?
Does your product/service offer compelling & uniquely differentiated value?
Is its essence conveyed in an unusually memorable/inspirational way?
These form the essence of a brand, which is just amplified though your various marketing channels.
Focus here 1st - or else it's just garbage in, garbage out.
It appears that this change is here to stay for awhile and if the idea of all these changes and new options frustrates you when you were just getting the hang of a Business Page, let me know.
I thrive on building up brands on social media. This is my bread and butter. A social media manager can use the various techniques I described above to develop a strategy and ensure your brand is getting noticed.
Don't let your brand's image slip during these changes. Make sure to stand your ground, even if it involves asking for help.
If you have any questions or want to book a strategy meeting, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org