For years Facebook Fan Pages have been a great way for small businesses to market their business online – for Free. In the ‘old days’ you would make a post on your Business Fan Page and most, if not all of your fans would see it. Simple and Effective. However, things have changed with how many people are organically seeing your Fan Page updates and some are questioning if its even worth trying to promote your business on Facebook.
Let me break it down for you and show you how I see it, what these changes mean for your marketing strategy on Facebook, and what I will be doing to adapt to these changes.
The Days of Getting Any Free Reach on Facebook May Be Coming To an End…
It’s no secret that the portion of a business’s Facebook fans who see posts that aren’t supported by ad spend is dropping through the floor. Business of all kinds have seen a steady decline in organic distribution of posts on brand pages was declining — but it didn’t quantify the extent of the decline to be expected.
Some Sources Are Reporting That Organic Reach Has Fallen Off By Almost 50% Since October 2013…
Increasingly Facebook is saying that you as a Business Owner using a Facebook Fan Page to assume that a day will come when the organic reach of any post you make on your page is zero.
Firstly, Organic Reach is the total number of people you reached without advertising — fans and non-fans. A lot of business owners I have been talking with are seeing dramatically lower reach for posts that they are making on their Business Fan Page. This is because Facebook is working to “clean up” the Newsfeed for its users.
Allow me to explain…
The average person on Facebook has hundreds of Friends, “Likes” thousands of Pages, and if Facebook didn’t have an Algorithm that dictated what posts you saw then it would be a never ending stream of thousands of updates – and the ones you really cared to see would be buried under piles of updates you don’t care about.
Why I Think Facebook “Had To” Stop Showing So Many Of Our Fan Page Updates
When the Newsfeed for a user is completely cluttered with ‘junk mail’ that frustrates users.
This would cause users to leave Facebook. That’s bad for Facebook business…
Mark Zuckerberg, team Facebook, and Facebook Stock Owners don’t want that. So they changed/evolved how their Algorithm worked. In other words they changed the formula that decides who sees what posts in their newsfeed. One of the main things they have changed is how many updates a user sees from Brands and Businesses.
They changed how many of those ‘business updates’ you now see in your personal Newsfeed.
Business owners running on limited time and resources have asked these questions to me recently:
- “Kyle, what should we do now?”
- “Should we even bother with posting on Facebook anymore?”
- “Should we post at all?”
- “Should we be paying to promote our posts so our Fans can actually see what we are posting?”
I understand this is frustrating and confusing for business owners so let me break down my personal understanding of these changes, what’s working for me, and my plan moving forward.
So What Should You Do To Market Your Business On Facebook? Here’s My Recommended Plan…
Before jumping in, I want to let you know my overall strategy with Facebook Marketing. In a nutshell, I want to target who I suspect could be my ideal customers on Facebook and then get them OFF FACEBOOK and over to my website ideally to call me or sign up for my email list so I can try and convert them into a customer if its a good fit. This is my strategy simply stated. None of the tactics I share below are a good idea to pursue without a strategy such as this one.
With that said, lets dig in…
1. Post More Frequently – One way to continue reaching the volume of people you want to reach is to increase the Frequency of your posts. Posting at different times of the day, posting different types of content (ie. a picture in the morning, engaging video later in day, Blog post, etc.). Of course if you have limited time and resources you may not be able to post this much.
2. What You Post and How You Post It Matters – If you ever want any of your Fan Page posts to have a chance of being seen then you must abide by these rules:
- Rule #1: Thou shalt always use an Image or Video in your post. Part of Facebook algorithm is to ‘filter out’ text only updates from Fan Pages. In other words if you don’t include an image or Video along with a text update then you are almost guaranteeing less people will see it. If you notice the posts in Facebook that get the most engagement (ie, Likes, Comments, and Shares) they are usually videos or Images. Follow suit and do the same if you want the best chance at getting your updates seen.
- Rule #2: Read Rule #1 again and repeat, “I will never post only text again.”
Instead, I would focus on putting out more high quality content that people will like and want to engage with. Engagement is KEY on Facebook. If you do a good job with this people will like it, will share it, and you will get more Organic engagement. This is what Facebook wants but they key thing is you have to create good content that people will actually want to read.
Some ideas are to make a list of the most frequently asked questions you hear from your customers. Create helpful content for your customers that you distribute online that answers those questions. (This blog post is an example of me answering a common question I have heard multiple times this week from my customers).
4. Share Valuable Content on Facebook anytime I publish anything. As you know, I believe any business should be regularly adding helpful content to their website. It helps with your online presence, helps your search engine rankings, and helps attract potential customers.
Sharing your content socially is really important. Some of the Google updates in the last year address this directly and basically Google wants to see people “socially interacting” with your content. It gives them more evidence that your website and your content is valuable and that people actually like it.
If you put out information that people will actually get value from you can get traffic and new customers from Facebook. The brands that are putting out good quality content often are still getting good social engagement.
Viral photos with quotes, and pictures of cute cats, and text only updates aren’t working the way they used to. If you really want to attract potential customers from Facebook you must be sharing high quality content that people like and want to share.
5. I may choose to “Boost” a post when I have content I want to be sure more people see. If you really want your post on your fan page to be seen then in the new world of Facebook you have to “pay to play.” You can ‘button smash’ the Promote Post button and promote your post to your existing fans and/or friends of fans.
This is the least-targeted level of promotion.
The next step up is to use the Facebook Ads manager or Power Editor where you can laser target your ideal audience by identifying the geographic area you want to target, the age range of people you want to target, and a lot of other factors such as married vs single, has children, is engaged, likes animals, where they work and more.
The ads manager and Power Editor allows you to take more of a ‘sniper rifle’ approach rather than a machine gun ‘spray and pray’ approach. This is the method I choose to go with over just hitting the ‘promote post’ button.
6. Use Facebook Advertising Campaigns As Part Of Your Ongoing Strategy – I LOVE Facebook Ads and its my best strategy for getting customers from Facebook. From here on out if you aren’t using Facebook advertising then I can almost guarantee you won’t see much success.
I have generated a lot of leads and business from Facebook ads. A constant component of my Facebook Marketing I will always include running direct response Facebook ads to get people off of Facebook and over to my sites where I can turn them into leads and customers.
I am in a ‘Business to Business’ category and generate a lot of business from these ads so I laugh inside every time I talk to someone and they say, “Facebook won’t work for me because I sell ‘business to business.'” Feel free to believe that if you wish but you are wrong.
If you are business to consumer, Facebook is very powerful there too. Even more so…
My entire goal with Facebook Advertising is the following:
- Attract my ideal audience with Facebook ads (For example, one of my ad campaigns I am targeting Female Business Owners in the State of New Hampshire who are also members of the ‘Chamber of Commerce.’ I promote ads to these people inviting them to one of my upcoming webinars).
- Capture Interest and get them off of Facebook over to visit my Website. I will often post my blog posts on my Facebook page and then promote that post to an audience I feel will be interested in that post. If they click through and visit my blog post I then have a chance of getting them to become a lead (ie. sign up for a webinar, buy a copy of one of our books, or contact us for a Free consultation).
- Maintain a relationship with my existing prospects, customers, and Fans. By continuously posting fun, engaging, and interesting content I can keep an ongoing relationship with them.
I accomplish this with Customer Avatar targeting and a variety of ad formats.
- Customer Avatar Targeting – Facebook Ads platform gives you as a business owner powerful targeting capabilities so you can put your message in front of your target market.In order to know how to best target your ideal customers you need to create what I call a “Customer Avatar.” Truly understanding your target market is one of the most crucial things when it comes to starting to marketing your business online. It is only by having a clear idea in your mind of who you would like to reach, sell to or help that you can tailor and target your messages to have the strong impact on your target audience that you will need to make your business a success and attract customers. Here we look at a powerful exercise that can help you define your target customers – the customer avatar.What the customer avatar means is identifying your ideal customer – the person most likely to buy from you time and again and respond to your messages with the greatest positivity – and come up with an “avatar” for all the people in that demographic. Essentially, it is a visioning exercise where you think about your typical best customer, and what their life is like, are they married, are they Affluent, do they have kids, do they invest, do they own a business, do they like Dogs, do they own an iphone or an Android phone, do they buy things online, etc.The more clear you can be with this targeting the more you can take advantage of Facebook’s advertising capabilities to put your message in front of people most likely to become a potential customer.Moving on…
- I use Facebook Conversion Tracking – Its complicated to go into here but Facebook marketing expert Jon Loomer explains it very well here
- I use Facebook Retargeting to get people who have visited my Website to take the next step towards calling me. Check out this post to learn more about Facebook Retargeting and how it works. Here is an example of one of my Facebook Retargeting Ads:
- I use Facebook ‘Custom Audience’ Lookalike Ads to Duplicate more of my best customers – Lookalike audiences let you reach new customers who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to a customer list you upload to the back office of Facebook.
When you use Custom Audiences, you can choose to create a lookalike audience that targets people who are similar to your Custom Audience list. Lookalike audiences help you reach people who are similar to your current customers for fan acquisition, site registration, off-Facebook purchases, coupon claims and brand awareness.
That’s My Plan Stan…
That’s it in a nutshell but obviously there is more to it than this.
To sum it up I DON’T think Facebook Fan Page marketing is dead, I simply think you must adapt in order to continue to see success from your efforts.
I know that you can have success as well.
If you would like to talk about a Facebook marketing strategy that would work for your business feel free to schedule a free marketing consultation here.
To your success!
NH Strategic Marketing
PS – If you would like to learn more about Facebook lookalike audience targeting and to see if its a good fit for your business call me at (603) 573-9289 or Contact Me here
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