Does this seem familiar?
Since Christmas your Facebook brand page has suffered. Reach has declined and no matter what you do it just gets worse. Unless you repeatedly pay to “sponsor” your posts, your business page keeps losing eyeballs. Despite having opted in to see your posts, your followers are no longer seeing what you post.
What are you supposed to do? Well first…
What’s going on here?
Rumors of Facebook’s supposed decline are just that. Facebook has grown considerably in the last year—and more people than ever are connected, posting, interacting with, and liking pages. The problem is that there are simply too many people, and it has all become a cacophony of social noise. The average Facebook user could be served around 1500 posts a day. Super users with large friend groups could be served closer to 15,000 posts—simply too many for anyone to view or manage.
Because of this massive growth, Facebook started filtering people’s feeds so that they only see the most relevant and engaging content. This is where the rub lies.
How Facebook filtering works
The algorithm that Facebook uses is incredibly complex and consists of about 100,000 different indicators, but it can be boiled down to five basic factors:
- Past interest. How many likes, comments and shares do the creator’s past posts have?
- Post popularity. How many people have interacted with the current post so far?
- Popularity with the person. Has this person interacted and liked previous posts?
- Type of post. Has this “type” of post (link, video, status update, etc) been popular with this person in the past?
- Age of the post. How recently was this post published?
What this really amounts to, is that if your posts are not consistently liked, shared or otherwise interacted with over time you, like others, will disappear from people’s feeds. Poof.
How to stop worrying and keep your posts from disappearing
You might want to take a seat. Comfortable? OK, here it is—strait up—the free ride on Facebook is over.
It’s not going to be easy anymore.
If you want to be popular on Facebook, be prepared to spend a lot more time creating unique and high quality content for your followers. You are going to have to work hard to get engagement. Realistically, you are probably going to need to pay for reach. You are going to have to decide if the time and effort are worth it for your business.
- Start paying. If your target audience is active and engaged on Facebook, the benefit of sponsored ads and posts is well worth it. Start small and work your way up. Test and see what gains traction. You don’t need a huge budget to see success on Facebook.
- Have amazing, unique content. Posting links and funny memes won’t cut it anymore. Your posts need to reflect what your audience desires and most strongly reacts to. You will need to start posting more unique content with greater frequency. As a start, try posting more photos, ask more questions in status updates, and tell stories of success.
- Keep doing what works. This may seem obvious but if you find that certain types of content get higher levels of engagement keep repeating that type of content.
- Diversify. You may want to start diversifying your social media efforts, if you find that your audience remains unengaged and that your reach keeps dwindling. Not all social media channels are created equal; B2Bs may see better results on LinkedIn, tech companies may find that Twitter is the place to be, and—if your audience is looking for something yummy to eat or pretty to buy—Pinterest is a real winner.
Don’t give up. Facebook may no longer be the can’t-lose location it used to be, but for many businesses it’s still one of the best booths in the social media bazaar.
Are you having difficulty with your social media strategy?
Have diminishing returns on Facebook affected your business?
Leave a comment below.