Declining Reach and How to Combat It
If you’ve used Facebook as a marketing tool over the last few years, you may have noticed that it seems like your posts are being seen by less and less of your audience. Facebook has addressed this shift a few times and given their reasons for it. For example, they say that each Facebook user could potentially be shown 1,500-15,000 pieces of content each time they log in, depending on their number of Friends and Page Likes. No one likes the odds of being 1 of 15,000, so let’s take a look at some strategies for improving your chances and reaching more of the people you need to reach.
Post Highly Engaging Content
Sure, organic reach is low, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. One surefire way to increase organic reach is to post content that your followers are going to Like, Comment on, or Share. Facebook may initially show your post to only 25 of your followers, but if 10 of those followers Like the post, Facebook assumes it must be interesting, compelling, etc. and may then show it to 25 more of your followers. If those followers continue to engage, you can see the snowball effect that results.
Of course, posting great content is easier said than done, right? Everyone on social media is trying to post content that their target market will find interesting, but here are a few tips that work well, from what we’ve seen.
- Talk about exciting upcoming local events. (Who’s excited for the Super Bowl to come to Santa Clara? Do you think the fun is worth all the traffic?)
- Show the success and expertise of your team, and don't afraid to have fun with it! (Congratulations to Jane Doe on her first closing! Looking forward to all her future success with our team!)
- Support local businesses. (Had an amazing dinner at So-and-So’s Diner! Do yourself a favor and try the tiramisu, it's life-changing.)
Obviously, these posts are vastly improved by an accompanying picture, so don’t forget to put that smartphone camera to work! (Video is even better!)
Skip the “Organic” Part of Reach
A quick quote from Facebook...
“Like TV, search, newspapers, radio and virtually every other marketing platform, Facebook is far more effective when businesses use paid media to help meet their goals.”
You are more than welcome to long for the days of old when you could reach a few hundred people just by clicking ‘Post,’ but that won’t do much in the way of improving your business. Facebook is still one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business considering the targeting options and relatively low cost.
When you’ve got something you really want your fans/target market to hear about, commit a small budget to it, and start being seen! Everyone’s marketing budgets are different so create a plan that works for you. Perhaps, on a monthly basis, you’ll decide to put $50 behind every new listing post, $10 toward posts about your team, and $25 advertising lead gen posts. Regardless of the numbers, allocating an ad budget to Facebook content will pay off in terms of exposure to your target market and can absolutely produce leads as well.
The Bottom Line…
Yes, the old days of Facebook marketing were something special, but I would argue that its tools are much more powerful now, and those tools happen to cost money (like basically every marketing platform in the world). Start by posting things that resonate with your audience and committing a small marketing budget to your Facebook content. See what works and what doesn’t and go from there! You’ll be so much better off than those who bailed on Facebook the moment they had to spend money to reach their target market.