Surviving the Facebook Apocalypse: Paid vs. Organic Reach
You may have heard about the massive freakout marketers had over the “Facebook Apocalypse” in the beginning of 2018. To recap, people noticed that the organic reach of their posts on Facebook had started drastically dwindling in 2017 and had rightfully started to stress out. This was a big deal! Instead of calming everyone’s fears, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the worst and announced that Facebook would be changing the News Feed (again) and the algorithm that dictates what users see would focus more on family and friends’ content over public content (i.e. a business or brand). This is what became known as the “Facebook Apocalypse.” A heavy term because, like I said, people freaked out.
^^Dramatic reenactment of marketers trying to hold onto the old Facebook ^^
Many companies already spend a ton of their marketing budget on Facebook advertising to increase engagement (i.e. paid reach) and with organic reach already drastically decreasing and likely to continue, people didn’t know what to do. Here at Get Community, we were also worried! Many of our clients were used to getting higher reach and engagement on their content and we wanted to make sure that the content we were putting out on Facebook for them was going to be seen. For many of our clients, it’s necessary to continue paid Facebook advertising to keep the reach numbers up, but we also wanted to make sure our organic reach didn’t dip too low. So we did our research. We read articles, ran A/B tests on Facebook ads, attended Social Media Marketing World to hear what other professionals were doing, changed our content strategy, and really put a focus on how we can create engaging and meaningful content so it wouldn’t get lost amongst everything else on Facebook.
Here are a few things we have learned along the way and tips for you to use in your own marketing strategy!
- Even though organic reach might be lower than you’re used to, keep posting! Not everything you post will go viral but it is important to keep your business page up-to-date and continue to have a presence on Facebook.
- Focus on the followers you do have instead of constantly trying to get new ones. A smaller, more relevant audience is more important than a larger, less engaged one. If your page has 200 likes or 10,000 likes, remember that those people have opted in to see YOUR content. They want to know what you’re up to and will likely buy what you’re selling! When writing content, you should spend some time thinking about that audience and how your content can serve them. The more they get out of your content, the more likely they are to engage with it by sharing, liking and commenting. All the things you want!
- Speaking of engaging content, one of Facebook’s biggest changes from the “Facebook Apocolypse” is that a post with little to no shares or comments will likely not get a lot of visibility. A well-thought content strategy can help with this! Encourage those who do see your post to share it with their friends (or just make it so damn interesting, they have to share!) and ask them questions that they can answer in the comments. Like I mentioned above, these people care about your page and want to interact with you. Take advantage of that!
- Bonus Tip: Spend a few dollars on paid advertising to boost a post you think has a lot of potential for engagement to your existing followers and their friends. That can help get the ball rolling and increase your overall reach! A mix of organic and paid reach might just be the magic ticket to get the engagement numbers you want
- Regularly do Facebook Lives! Research has shown that live videos get 6x more interactions than regular videos do on Facebook. Less videos overall are being shown in the News Feed, but the Facebook algorithm is putting a stronger emphasis on showing Facebook Live videos. A couple ways to keep your audience engaged while watching the video is by asking them questions they can answer in the comments, and giving individuals a shoutout when they join in the live viewing. Make sure to let your followers know about your Facebook Live beforehand so they can join in while you’re live! Facebook Live gives you a chance to show off your brand’s personality and help foster meaningful social interaction, which is why it’s so popular right now.
- Bonus Tip: Use some of your marketing budget to retarget people who have already viewed your past videos. Again, take advantage of the audience that wants to see your content!
- Check out Get Community’s Facebook Live, Live with Kelly & Ryan, every Friday at 10 a.m. for some inspiration! You can see our past videos HERE.
These are just a few things that we have seen work for us so far this year and we are excited to keep the momentum going as Facebook is bound to make more changes soon! However, I don’t think that remembering to focus on your audience in your content strategy will ever get old! Remember, it’s not all about having the highest reach, it’s about creating content for your audience that is useful, meaningful and interesting. Let us know what you’re doing to keep your audience engaged!
Catherine du Pont is the Director of Social Media at Get Community. She enjoys listening to her favorite crime podcasts, rereads at least one Harry Potter book every year, and loves to travel!