Facebook was once the site of preference for the majority of social media marketers.
It still is for many. The big difference between then and now, is that Facebook has become more about advertising to reach an audience.
Brands now must consider paying to be seen, given the large number of posts that go up on Facebook each day. The competition for viewers is just too overwhelming.
Facebook’s algorithm places priority on displaying content from friends before content from a company page.
With the average number of Facebook friends per user at 338, that’s a lot to compete against. Especially considering that many users post multiple times per day.
Given these realities, it’s no surprise that page post engagement on Facebook has plummeted.
What’s a marketer to do? Give up on Facebook? Just run Facebook ads?
Although it’s much more challenging these days, I believe hopes of organic success on Facebook can still be realized.
Ideas for Boosting Organic Engagement
You’re going to have to market smarter on Facebook for any chance at success.
To start with, determine if Facebook is the right place for you and your company. Since Facebook leads every social media site in users and engagement, it probably is a good place for you.
In order to be successful, you’ll need to carve out a unique Facebook strategy. As you think about it, consider the points below in developing your strategy.
1. Be intentional about driving visitors to your Facebook page. This is going to take more than displaying a Facebook icon on your website or emails. Instead, for example, when you create page posts, copy the link and send it to your email subscribers. Send them directly to your page to engage there. This will help the post be more popular in Facebook’s algorithm through extra engagement, resulting in more views by others. It will also help to increase your number of followers.
2. Being seen on Facebook doesn’t mean you have to post numerous times a day. Consider a less is more strategy. Buffer, in experimenting with its Facebook page, determined a post or two a day works best. Take a look at what Brian Peters had to say:
The main reason why I believe we’re seeing such a dramatic increase in reach and engagement is that we’re only posting one or two pieces of content per day on Facebook.
This serves two valuable purposes:
- It forces us to only share the best of the best content because we literally have limited space
- It allows the Facebook algorithm to focus on delivering one piece of content (vs. multiple) to our audience
I encourage you to experiment with only posting once or twice per day on Facebook. You might be surprised at how quickly your best content filters to the top. Limiting the quantity of posts encourages a deep focus on posting quality, which sends positive signals to the Facebook algorithm.
Shoot for one or at most two posts a day. This will help you select only your best content so it will stand a better chance of being seen and engaged.
3. Posting content optimized for Facebook helps dramatically. Create content that works best on the site by engaging people there (not linking elsewhere), utilize images and videos, feature medium length copy (one to three short paragraphs) and encourage comments and likes.
4. Experiment with Facebook Live video. Live videos receive high priority in Facebook’s algorithm. You could engage in a Q&A with visitors, or present on a topic as well. For best results, promote your live video event on your owned media and other social channels. This will have users seeking out your page and video. Engaging with your community in real-time through live video technology is a great relationship builder.
5. Develop Facebook only promotions or contests to give users a reason to look for you on the site. Encourage (or require) them to comment or like the post to participate or enter. Promote the event extensively to drive visitors from your other media.
6. Encourage your Facebook followers to select notifications from your page. If they do, they’ll be notified at the top of their news feeds whenever you post. This way they’ll never miss your content whenever they log in.
Organic engagement and growth on Facebook is much harder than before, but not impossible. Facebook is still the largest, and for many the preferred social media site. Companies that market well on the site can help boost awareness, loyalty and trial. Winning on Facebook takes a consistent strategy, creativity and long-term commitment. The potential benefits are well worth the effort.
Comment below on what you think about Facebook and how to market on the site. Are there special challenges you face? Is there anything that’s worked well for you?
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.