What the 'reachpocalypse' means for your business
During the organic rich years in the early stages of Facebook, it was easier to get your posts in front of fans.
Facebook is increasingly moving towards a pay-to-play medium
The mysterious Facebook algorithm means that the shift of responsibility is back on you to publish content that is relevant, visually attractive, useful and entertaining for your audience.
It also means that more of your marketing budget will need to be allocated to communicate and cut through to your fans with paid content.
How to be the perfect personalised newspaper
"Our goal is to build the perfect personalised newspaper for every person in the world. We’re trying to personalise it and show you the stuff that’s going to be most interesting to you."
Zuckerberg said each user gets exposed to more than 1,500 stories each day, but an average user would only get to see about 100 a day on News Feed.
In order to maximise that experience, Zuckerberg is working with a team of engineers to learn user behaviour and pick up signals that show what kind of content each user is most interested in.
"That means that if businesses are sharing content that may be useful to them (Facebook users), then we’ll show that. But if that means that businesses are sharing content that isn’t going to be useful for them, we may not show that, because it’s probably more important that they learn about a friend who had a baby and their baby is healthy.”
So what’s the solution?
For business, “Pages” for business has only been with us for three years. So businesses are still learning how to best maximise Facebook.
Like Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, sometimes it feels like plunging into the dark depths of an ocean. But despite the dark, you bump into success, avoid mistakes and find a way.
If you adopt Facebook purely as an advertising channel, your fans will turn off. Similarly, if your page is full of cat videos with no connection to your business – you will lose.
It’s about finding the sticky balance of promotional (on-field) content versus non-promotional (off-field) content.
Because you want your fans to engage and get sticky with the off-field content, so that your stacking the algorithm odds for the content your fans MUST see – your promotional (on-field) content. Amy Porterfield refers to this balance as “priming the pump.”
Jeff Bullas and Amy Porterfied, two of the world’s leading thought leaders on Facebook, provide the following recommendations on how to organically increase Facebook reach and engagement
1. Get personal
Facebook began as a social tool at college in North America. The foundation of the medium hasn’t changed much across its ten year history – it’s still a social hub of connections and conversation. So make your business shine with personality. Take us behind the scenes, add humour, celebrate customer successes and honour staff achievements. It’s about people!
Talk with you fans conversationally, straight business talk doesn’t cut it on Facebook.
2. Get emotional
This idea of engagement through emotion is embedded in our make-up. A few years ago, two researchers at Wharton studied content that went viral, in an attempt to determine commonalities, and, indeed, they found them. They discovered that very early on in that content, the following appeared:
2.1 Positivity – when people feel good or entertained by what they read, they are far more likely to share what they have read and/or viewed.
2.2 Shock and awe – facts or data that shock people are more likely to be shared
2.3 Anger, fear, anxiety – there is something in human nature that wants to share what they are angry about and to comment on it when they share it. This in turn stimulates more commenting and sharing. The same goes for things that instill fear.
3. Focus on the fans that are actually paying attention to you right now
There will be a percentage of fans who are not engaging with your page right now. Don’t worry about that group. Instead, focus on those that are engaging. That is, comment or like when they interact with your posts. Engage with the engaged users.
4. Ask questions
Ignite a conversation with your fans by asking a question. Make the question relevant or topical, that is connected to the pains or gains of your fan's life.
5. People will share posts that put them in a good light
Amy Porterfield explains:
"Studies have shown that people will share your post if it puts them in a good light. That’s why inspirational quotes get shared the most on Facebook. If it’s an inspirational quote and I share it with my friends, it makes me look like a person who inspires people. If you want more shares, then you want to make sure you are putting out content that people will be proud to share and will make them look good."
5. Get visual
On Facebook, images play better than text. Make your posts pop with eye-catching imagery. They will increase the chances of fan interaction.
6. Mix up your content
The new autoplay of video content (loaded directly to Facebook) is producing high numbers. It’s important to mix up your content with a variety of posts. Remember, that Facebook is aiming to create the perfect personalised newspaper.
7. Best time to post
According to Jeff Bullas, analysis shows that it is best to post during times when fans are not at work and between the hours of 8pm and 7am. So to increase your “likes” and “comments”, post during “non-busy” hours.