It seems almost impossible to generate truly incredible organic success on Facebook these days.
Getting huge numbers of likes, shares, comments or reach is a struggle for all marketers and it’s this kind of frustration that forces us to either empty our pockets into Facebook ads, or abandon the network altogether in favour of Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram where engagement is somewhat easier and positive ROI is somewhat more likely.
However, although Facebook marketing can be a tiresome game of trial and error and a long wait in terms of positive results, it’s hugely important that we, as marketers, don’t overlook the channel entirely.
As the largest social network in the world, with 1.23 billion monthly users and over 700 million active daily users, Facebook is alive and kicking. The numbers are still there – in fact, they are growing by the day.
It’s just that they’re harder to reach. With Facebook’s algorithm changes, updates and new objectives, we simply have to be much more creative with our tools and strategies in order for our content to be seen. We need to let go of our old methods and embrace new tips to inch closer to that ever-elusive ‘organic success’.
1. Don’t be a waste of social space
Successful marketing on Facebook lies in one key thing – understanding its algorithm. Thankfully, it’s neither as difficult nor as technical as it sounds. What you need to know is that Facebook is very focused on creating the best possible experience for its users and it achieves this by only serving them with the best possible content. So, even though they might follow 400 pages, they will only see the most useful, interesting and relevant updates on their timeline. And this is why only a small percentage of your fans see your posts. Your content is only shown to those who like, comment, share, click on or engage with your posts in some way.
Therefore, to increase your reach you just need to produce better content. If only it were that easy, right?
Producing amazing content every time is no easy task. But, a great way to start ensuring that you’re posting only quality updates, ask yourself, “would I, personally, engage with this?”. If you would not like, comment or share your own post, don’t hit that publish button. If you don’t love it, don’t expect anyone else to do so.
If you consistently post content that does not get engagement, your reach will continue to decline, as Facebook marks your updates as ‘irrelevant’. It is vitally important not to waste your social space. Only fill your feed with outstanding content. Posting for the sake of it will only be to your detriment.
2. Eye up your target
Good social media marketing is all about relationships. Having 100 Facebook fans who are truly dedicated and interactive is far more valuable than having 100,000 Facebook fans who just scroll on by your latest updates.
If you have a loyal following, you can turn your fans into brand ambassadors and this is invaluable, as people are more likely to trust the opinions of their peers and social connections more than a brand.
Establishing these relationships is not a quick and simple task. It takes time, effort and passion. Firstly, you need to have a very solid profile of your target customer. A “woman between the age of 18-45” will not suffice. You need to know exactly who your customer is, in order to provide them with content this is specifically useful for them.
Get to know your audience by social listening tools, i.e. listening to their feedback, going the websites they visit and paying close attention to comments they make underneath other articles or in forums. This is a great way to discover their true opinions and by mining through these conversations, you’ll also find some great ideas and inspiration for new content.
3. Keep your content fresh
Another great way to boost engagement is to vary your content as much as possible. This means posting a combination of pictures, gifs, memes, quotes, videos and links, as this will keep your feed fresh and interesting.
If your content is always in the same format, with the same artwork and wording, it will go stale and your fans will stop noticing it. And, as mentioned previously, if their interaction decreases, your reach will too.
4. Timing is everything
It goes without saying that you should always keep an eye on your Facebook Insights – the platform’s own analytical tool. After all, any kind of marketing strategy is pointless without goals and measurement.
One very useful function of Insights is that it provides you with a suggested ‘ideal time’ for posting, which is based on the behaviour and activity of your audience. So you can see when most of them are logged in.
The only problem is that this ‘ideal time’ is the same for most business pages and is usually at around 7pm-9pm. This means that this timeframe will be seriously competitive, as all businesses rush to post something during this period.
An effective alternative strategy is to ignore the recommended timeframe and experiment with your own off-peak posting. By scheduling your updates for unconventional times, like early mornings and late evenings, your content will be more likely to appear and stand out on your fan’s feeds, as these times are significantly less competitive.
5. Sharing is caring
Going viral on Facebook always happens as a result of sharing – whether that means directly sharing your post on their newsfeed, or tagging a friend in the comments section.
If fans share your content with their friends, who then share it with their friends who share it with their friends, you will notice a kind of ‘virality’ as your content spreads far and wide.
Like and share competitions or polls and questions are a great way of achieving this, as these kinds of posts tend to stir interactivity more than a picture or a link does.
6. Get it on video
One of Facebook’s most recent objectives is to overtake YouTube as the biggest video streaming service. As a result, it rewards video updates with significantly more reach than an image or link. That’s probably why your newsfeed happens to be flooded with funny fail videos or cute animal clips.
Creating your own video content is preferable if you can do it, to avoid any ownership or copyright issues. But if you can’t, simply share from other pages. Facebook is focused on creating a community and therefore rewards page-to-page sharing with increased reach too.
7. Stop selling
Facebook is a social network above everything else. So remember that your fans are logging on to engage with friends and be entertained – they do not want to be sold to. So, therefore, seeing a post that asks them to buy or sign up to something is a major turn off.
If you want your fans to interact with you, limit your sales-type posts to 5-10% of your overall content and use the remaining 90-95% for content that offers them value. For example, informative blog posts or hilarious memes.
Think like a person, not a brand, before publishing anything and you will soon see success.
About the Author: