Facebook used to be the golden tool for online marketing. If you asked a publisher where most of their traffic originated from in 2016, chances are they’d tell you it came from Facebook. And they didn’t need to invest a penny for it.
The problems started when Facebook changed its news feed algorithm. A few of the changes included:
- Showing less “clickbait” headlines
- Focusing on video content, especially live videos
- Showing more posts from family and friends and fewer from brand names
- Weighing engagement more than likes
- Benching “engagement bait” posts
Were these changes all great for the end-user? They were excellent for Facebook’s bottom line because the updates required brands to pay to promote posts that would otherwise go unseen. However, most of the impact was absorbed by brands, with many of them taking a substantial traffic hit. Some even went out of business.
Facebook has 1.5 billion everyday active users. There are just two websites in the entire Internet world that get more traffic: Google and YouTube. If you’re a growing brand, you need to be where your users are, too.
The fact is Facebook marketing in 2019 looks a lot different than it did in 2016. That doesn’t mean that it’s no longer an excellent potential traffic source. It simply means you need to be more tactical about how you utilize it.
Posting Less Is More
In the golden days of Facebook marketing, brand names’ dominating strategy was to post multiple times every day. That way, individuals who followed your brand would likely see a post no matter what time they went online.
Today, businesses that post multiple times per day risk being benched for spammy practices. The landscape has changed, too; users are now accustomed to seeing fewer material pieces from brand names. The more they see from a single unfamiliar source (not a family member or friend), the more likely they’re to snooze or unfollow that page’s material.
Engagement is very crucial for making certain you show up in the main newsfeed. The main challenge is the typical engagement rate for a Facebook post is a measly 0.09%. If it seems like that’s not a good number, you’re right. It’s awful. Last year was no better for Facebook advertisers, clocking only at 0.16%.
If you think it can’t get worse, it absolutely can. Facebook’s push to focus on material from friends and family made it even worse. If users see your posts and don’t engage, you’re going to appear even less. We recommend limiting your Facebook posts to 1-2 per day. Some even think that’s too many, too often.
So what’s the ideal number?
Like any marketing strategy, you can do trial and error. Try out one per day or four times a week. See which one brings you more engagement, then stay with that schedule.
How to Enhance Your Organic Reach on Facebook
Say you’ve figured out that a post per day is what’s going to bring you the very best outcomes. Now, how do you make sure that your post gets seen? There’s a great deal of ways, and the more of them you attempt, the better chance you’ll have of appearing in news feeds.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Always. Whatever you post on Facebook and other social media platforms, make it quality. If you’re uploading an image, make sure it’s eye-catching and sized correctly. If you want to publish an article link, ensure the image that gets drawn in looks terrific, and the copy is strong. And–this is very important–ensure that the landing page delivers what you promised it would.
If your brand focuses on video content, always make sure the lighting, framing, and background look excellent. Consistently check if the audio is crisp and clear. Overall, the video content should be concise and interesting.
The goal is not only to attract potential customers through quality content but to boost engagement, keep your audiences interested, and gain higher sales.
Produce More Video Material
Facebook algorithm likes videos, and so do Facebook users. Facebook Live videos are even more effective — they get 6x as many interactions as normal video posts. Facebook Live videos are also a lot easier to produce than pre-filmed content. You simply turn on an electronic camera and go.
Videos that tend to get a great deal of engagement include fast ideas, product demos, or reviews. Avoid videos that work like commercials. Rather, develop something that includes a value for your followers.
Post at the Correct Time
You’ve probably read somewhere that there are preferred days and hours to post on each social media network. But you should ignore them because every audience is different.
Think about it this way: if your target market is marketers, they’re most likely going to be on social media all day. But what if your audience are teachers? There’s a great chance they won’t be online between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Or what if you want to reach stay-at-home mamas? Mornings or late evenings when the kids are at school or in bed will most likely be your sweet area.
Fortunately, it’s simple to determine when your audience is online. It’s in Facebook Audience Insights. From there, you can try publishing various content types at optimal times based on your audience’s behavior and determine a reliable content calendar for your brand.
If you want greater engagement and more visibility on Facebook, you need to begin a conversation and be mindful of how you do it.
“Engagement bait” posts (the ones that clearly ask a user to like or share a post) used to be popular. They were effective, too. However, as Facebook’s algorithms progressed, engagement bait posts lost their allure and got benched.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try and get your audience interacting. It just means you have to make each connection significant. Here’s an example of what to do and what not do:
- Bad: “Click like if you agree to post twice a day on Facebook!”
- Excellent: “How typically do you post on Facebook? Have you experimented with different strategies? Let’s understand what works and doesn’t work for you.”
Two more ways to trigger engagement are by publishing content that stimulates users’ interests and finding a way to incorporate an existing occasion that everybody has an opinion about. A relevant quote that a user can associate with will result in likes, shares, and remarks.
Target Your Audience
Facebook’s Audience Optimization is a brand-new organic targeting tool that allows pages to target posts to those most likely to engage with them. This tool works if you have:
- Content on a specific range of topics: Your audience is most likely thinking about specific topics and materials when browsing social media. Facebook has a respectable idea of what those topics are. Use its optimization tool to target users currently thinking about the same content that you want to promote.
- Location-specific content: This is done by making sure you just show your content to followers who live in that location.
- Age and gender: If you’re a seller and you’re posting about a sale on women’s sundresses, having the ability to pinpoint the ideal audience is essential.
Audience Optimization is the replacement for the previous Interest Targeting feature. It’s immediately activated on pages with 5,000 or more likes. If you haven’t reached this metric, you can manually turn it on within your page’s Settings. As soon as it’s activated, utilize this tool to help Facebook “focus on posts that are most likely to be engaging for an individual without limiting presence for others.”
Minimize, Reuse, Recycle
Possibilities are you have some older content that has been a significant traffic driver for your brand. Keep it in the publishing rotation and make sure that it’s updated without any broken links or outdated info. Ensure to switch the featured image and description text now and then to keep it fresh.
Thinking Beyond the Newsfeed
Businesses are indeed finding the new Facebook algorithms a challenge. However, what’s surprising is some of them are using the new algorithms to their advantage. You can learn from these examples:
If you have many followers, creating a Facebook group is a great way to keep them engaged through conversations. Your group should not just focus on your business, though. Simply keep it industry-focused.
For example, if you’re an SEO business, develop a group concentrated on sharing SEO ideas and techniques. In between conversations, you can promote your SEO-related material. Ending up being active in other groups in your industry will likewise raise your business profile. Groups devoted to challenges–such as “1 Month to Better SEO”–also see high joins and engagement levels.
More than one billion people utilize Facebook Messenger. As it’s a fairly new marketing channel, businesses are currently experimenting with various ways to utilize it to engage customers. As an example, HubSpot experimented with using the platform to deliver material and ended up with a tremendous 80% open rate.
Using chatbots in Messenger is growing as well–and it works. Sephora utilized a chatbot to book in-store services and saw an 11% boost in reservations, not to mention increased sales from those reservations.
Maximizing these alternate Facebook channels may take some experimentation, but if you can crack the code, you’ll need to rely less on the news feed for natural reach.
It Pays to Increase Posts
In 2019, the truth is you’ll need to pay to use Facebook. Boosting your organic reach is vital — it can help you build a solid foundation. And if you want to grow your audience substantially, you need to spend money.
Eventually, even the best organic reach strategies will blow over, and Facebook will likely end up being a strictly paid platform for marketers in the future. Fortunately, it’s a relatively inexpensive advertising platform, and the extensive targeting choices make it an efficient one.
How Facebook operates continues to evolve throughout the years. And what we can be sure of is that it will remain vital for marketers, even in the near future. It remains to be seen — just how well marketers will adapt to the changing times.