With Facebook organic reach declining is it still worth using for business?
Many businesses, that have been on Facebook for at least a couple of years, have asked why they are reaching less of their audience and concerned that "Facebook just wants us to spend money on advertising!" Many believe it may be time to give Facebook the big 'heave-ho', but we suggest otherwise to many of our clients.
Yes, of course Facebook wants to encourage businesses to spend money advertising with them, but that's not the main reason why reach for Pages is declining. Also, even though it may annoy you that you are now facing the need to pay for advertising, Facebook is still one of the easiest and cheapest forms of targeted advertising for small business, especially with their reasonably new Custom Audience features (we'll explain that more next week).
Facebook spends a lot of time considering how to improve the Facebook experience for their audience. Social media companies are constantly revising their algorithm, a mathematic equation that controls what posts appear in each news feed.
The Facebook algorithm is designed so that you, as a Facebook user, receive more of the posts you like, comment on and share; and less of the stuff you skim over and don't engage with.
How do you tend to interact with Business Page posts that come through your Facebook News Feed? Most likely, you spend a lot less time interacting with Pages than you do your posts from family and friends. So, Facebook will respond by showing you more posts from family and friends than Business Pages.
Add to this equation the fact that there is constantly more and more content available to each user. The number of posts available to any one person when they log on to Facebook could be 1500 post at any one time, up to to 15,000 if they have lots of friends!
So as more and more content competes for news feed time, the reach of any one Businesses posts will naturally decline. In February 2012 Facebook released that Page reach was around 16% on average. In February this year Time quoted reach being around 6%.
So yes, expect your Business Page Facebook reach to decline over time. There are however some super exciting ways to reach your target audience via Facebook advertising and we will cover that for you next week.
So the lessons to take home with you today are:
- When you do get a new liker on your Business Page make sure you engage them straight away so Facebook will provide them with another one of your posts;
- Try to get your Likers email addresses so you can directly communicate with them when it matters - offer a free download etc.
- Don't slam your Likers with sales posts and posts about your business only, give them valuable posts that they are likely to enjoy and engage with.
- Facebook Advertising is worth the money if strategically used alongside your regular posting plan. Explore ways you can reach your target audience using Facebook Advertising.
What Business Pages do you like to engage with and why?