If you have a Facebook page for your brand or business you know how hard it is to get your posts seen organically on Facebook. You know how daunting it is waiting for the views to climb on a post and nothing happens.
Well, Facebook released two posts on the 29th of June 2016 that discuss their plans with the newsfeed and why we are facing an even bigger uphill struggle for organic content.
The gist of it is this, post content that will either inform or entertain. So stop with the blatant self-promotion – Facebook algorithms aren’t interested. More importantly, they are probably right, your audience isn’t interested either.
When Facebook pages were launched we saw a lot of organic content, less edited, less copy-written, less plastic, in general, a lot more pleasing to potential customers. Given a lot of things have changed in the Facebook world since then we now see an environment filled with carefully crafted self-promotion posts that unless they are boosted really perform poorly.
So on the one hand, Facebook are right, post relevant posts, know your audience, you know, do what every social media guru has been preaching for the last 10 years.
On the other hand, it feels as if the cards are stacked against a small new page breaking through the noise of the Kardashians, Game of Thrones and memes without spending anything on promoting your page and boosting your posts.
Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.
Lars Backstrom, Engineering Director, Facebook
So here are some things to consider whether you have an established Facebook page or whether you are starting out with a brand new page. It is never too late to change your habits and turn your Facebook page around.
1. Why did you start your Facebook Page?
Well, first things first – why did you start your Facebook page in the first place? In most cases, you did it for brand awareness and secondly for potential leads or sales. Keep in mind that the intention of Facebook Pages was originally for brands and businesses to be able to connect with their audiences or customers – not just for shameless self-promotion.
As an aside: I frequently have to remind some of our clients that not all brands are necessarily good for Social Media, and it’s okay because your service may never be cool enough that people want to talk about it in public or share a post from your page. But it’s okay, because mostly when people need you they will come looking for you – which means that your website and Google AdWords campaigns are significantly more important than how much time you waste on Facebook posts.
So hand in hand with the above what your business or brand fundamentally is will influence how your approach Facebook content. IF you are you a retailer it will all about the sell through, as a wholesales it may potentially be about brand awareness and as a business to business service provider the focus would be on your case studies and USPs. Facebook breaks it down as per the image below. Keep this in mind when you generate content for your Facebook Page.
2. How are you building your audience?
Most Facebook pages start off with the personal invite to everyone you’ve ever met and connected to on Facebook. That usually gets you to a few hundred fans. Quite frankly, most of those fans will fade over time, their personal obligation to you overshadowed by the fact that they have no interest in the topic of your page. So, you can’t celebrate quite yet.
Typically what page owners do next is run a series of boosts or boosted posts without figuring out the Facebook Ad Console or how targeting works on Facebook ads, resulting in loads of views with probably very little interaction on those boosted posts.
Then you may have tried promoting your page or driving straight up likes (getting more fans on board). Hopefully you used some level of targeting with these ad types to get your page seen by the people who are ideal customers to your brand or business.
3. What are you posting?
And now that you are on your way to Facebook Page stardom you are probably attempting to post regularly – either by paying someone to do it for you or trying to remember in between running your business. Some posts will be doing better than others, most people rarely find the time to consider why and how to optimise future posts. So let’s go through a few key factors:
- Time of day your post goes out – look at your page insights. See when your fans are online. Then post at somewhat random times – if you fans are online between 09:00-11:00 in the morning post at 09:17 – never at exactly 09:00. Why? You might ask. Well, most of the major social media agencies and brands tend to stick to very regimented content plans – sharing posts at exactly 08:00, 13:00 and 17:00 every day. They get to do this because their content is preapproved and scheduled in to make sure no one forgets or runs late.
- What type of content are you posting? Go and look at your insights to see which of your content types perform better – go and study the results of your top 5-10 posts and figure out what they have in common. Is it an image? Is it video? Is it just a link?
- Then consider if there a correlation between what you are posting and your audience? Are you spending money producing video content but your page is aimed at lower LSMs that can barely afford data and are accessing Facebook from a feature phone? It doesn’t make sense, does it. Consider how your audience behaves online, take into account how they live their lives and make that part of how you post content.
- Are there always images in your posts? We live in an instant gratification world and we simply do not read long wordy posts unless there is a visual drawcard that leads to the next point –
- Does your posts have a clear topic? Is that topic also conveyed in your image?
- If you want people to click through to buy or read more did you provide a link?
- And then most importantly is your content informative or entertaining? If not, reconsider your post, it is likely to become the space junk of social media content, forgotten, never seen again and quite frankly no one really cares regardless how important you think it is.
These are just a handful of logical steps you should consider when you establish your Facebook Page, some of them may seem really logical and straightforward but you will be surprised at how many posts are never seen because people missed these simple checks.
We encourage Pages to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends.
Lars Backstrom, Engineering Director, Facebook