One of the changes that has been most troubling is the downward spiral in organic reach (who sees your content) that business pages have experienced in the last couple of years. It may surprise you to learn that less than 6% of your content is being seen by your fans (people who've liked your page).
Before you throw in the towel and abandon your business page, let's look at what you CAN do in order to get more of your content seen. It all comes down to increasing engagement. Will your fans like, comment and share your post with others? Facebook rewards high quality content by letting it squeeze past their filters and right onto your fan's news feed. So what can you do to increase engagement?
- Follow the 80/20 rule. Are you posting relevant, useful, entertaining content or focused on selling, selling, selling. Make it about them 80% of the time and keep the self promotion to a minimum, under 20%.
- Be consistent. Post at least two to three times per week. Use a marketing and editorial calendar to help. Try Facebook's auto-scheduler to stay on track.
- Timing is important. Just like with email marketing, when your message reaches your audience makes a big difference in its being read. Learning as much about your audience as possible can help determine the best times to post. Check your Facebook insights to see when your fans are most frequently online. Figure out as much as you can about their lifestyle. Are they night owls, busy parents, twenty-somethings who are tied to their smart phone the second they wake up, or do they work where there's little access to the internet during the day. Time your posts to reach them when they are most receptive. Test, test, test.
- Keep it short. Posts that are between 100-250 characters get about 60% more likes, comments and shares. (Source: Facebook). We're all busy. We read a lot of this on a mobile phone. We can only consume so much. If you have a lot to say, say it on your blog or website and link to the full story. Check your Google Analytics to see if they cared.
- Use images. Adding an image to your post can increase engagement significantly. Keep it real, authentic, whatever you want to call it -- use humor, and ask for engagement. Show two or three images that are contrasting styles and ask which one your fan likes best. Depending on your business, here are some ideas: pet store: cat vs. dog; marketing: laptop vs. desktop vs. tablet; hair salon: bangs vs. no bangs; You get the idea.
- Pay for it. Finally, the truth comes out. Facebook is moving to a pay-to-play model. "But it used to be free. Why can't we just keep using everything without paying?" Stop whining. It won't change anything. Build Facebook promotions into your annual advertising budget. (You do have a budget, right?)
Figure out how to get your social fans onto your mailing list and you won't ever have to worry about Facebook's next move again. If you need some help, let's talk.