A few years ago, the number of people who liked your Facebook page then saw your posts in their News Feed was, on average, 27%.
Now research shows Facebook organic reach has dipped to about 4% or less.
As if this news isn’t bad enough, Facebook says:
We should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero!
Now Facebook has become more of an advertising medium than a free promotional tool.
Pay to Play Facebook
Last year, the total number of pages ‘liked’ by Facebook users grew by more than 50% on average. However, the same users aren’t spending more time looking at their Facebook News Feeds.
To accommodate this, Facebook changed its EdgeRank algorithm that determines which posts their users see and which ones they don’t.
That’s why your organic reach is declining. Consequently, brands need to ‘pay to play’ if they want to stay relevant on the platform.
Brands already optimising their Facebook post reach with paid promotions are ahead of the game. If you haven’t set a Facebook advertising budget or you can’t afford a regular spend on Facebook then it will be much tougher to get noticed on this important social media network.
However, there are some low-cost and no-cost opportunities you can still consider.
Top 5 low-cost Facebook marketing strategies
- Improve your content – use remarkable photos and eye-catching images in your posts.
- Aim to engage – ask questions to encourage more comments and create posts your fans will want to share.
- Run competitions – recently Facebook relaxed its rules about how you can run contests on your page but it’s still important to adhere to their promotional guidelines.
- Ask your database of customers, friends and employees to like your page and your posts to continue seeing you in their News Feeds.
- Make sure your website is social media friendly and visitors to your website can share or like the content on Facebook directly from your website.
Measuring your success
You can monitor how well you are engaging your audience on Facebook by calculating your page’s engagement rate.
First, find the number of people ‘talking about this’ which is located next to your number of page ‘likes’ under your cover photo, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.
Checking your engagement rate is a good way to gauge and review the level of activity on your page because it summarises the past 7 day count of your total likes, posts, comments, tags and shares. If you’re looking for an industry benchmark, an engagement rate of around 1% is about average.
Other online marketing tools
To get the best coverage and results, spread your social media marketing across a few platforms. Other popular social networks to consider include LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Pinterest and Google+. Find out which ones are popular among your target market.
Don’t overlook the value of the e-newsletter as a core part of your marketing strategies. You can add an email optin on your Facebook page tabs and use a Facebook app like ShortStack to ask for people to join your email list on Facebook.
You could also build your email list on Facebook by running a competition, offering a free coupon or a giveaway as an incentive.
Sending a regular newsletter to your email list is one of the simplest, low-cost forms of marketing available to every business, regardless of budget. And it’s also the easiest to control!
For more on how you can roll with the changes at Facebook, check out Jeff Bullas’ blog here and scroll down to see specific tactics to create online traffic and brand awareness without paying the new gatekeepers such as Facebook to reach your own fans.