As people and brands continue to flock to Facebook and flood it with content, Facebook has reached a problem they never imagined they would be in… there is too much information within the News Feed for any one person to consume.
In light of this, Facebook announced once again, they would be putting the squeeze down on business page’s organic reach.
Facebook reinforced its top priority is keeping users connected to the people they care about the most – their friends. They will continue to give higher preference to posts from friends – even more so than ever before.
What Does This Mean For My Page?
For a user this is great. You get to see more pictures of your cousin’s baby and more pictures of your neighbors dog.
For businesses, the outlook isn’t so pleasant. This new update means a few things:
Average post reach will decline: If you thought your organic reach was small before, just wait. While we don’t know exactly how far average organic reach will shrink, Facebook itself has given page owners the heads up that it will drop.
Referral traffic to your website will decline: If you count on posts from your Facebook page to drive new visitors to your website, expect your traffic to drop as fewer and fewer of your fans see your posts.
Facebook’s unique publishing tools will become less attractive: Facebook has courted publishers with tools like enhanced video features, Facebook Live, and Instant Articles. Yet, the irony of these tools that are unique to Facebook, is that they continue to reach less and less people with News Feed changes like this.
While there are no unilateral changes being applied to businesses, the specific impact on each business page will vary on the composition of your audience and the media you regularly share.
Pages whose reach comprises mostly of referrals from shares, and likes/comments on shares will not see much of a decline in their metrics.
Those who still cling to organic post reach, will be hit even further.
How Should I React?
There are a few proactive things pages can do to counteract the new Facebook News Feed algorithm changes:
Use Audience Insights to understand what content resonates the most with your audience: Shares are more powerful than ever before. Developing content that your audience will share is more important as referral traffic from shares becomes a driving force in reach. Use Facebook Audience Insights to learn more about what common interests your audience has and develop content specifically for those interests in relation to your page or brand.
Develop a boosting strategy for your posts: Always target your boosts. I repeat, always target your boosts. Never before has it been more appropriate to have a boosting strategy for your day to day posting. Investing a few dollars to increase the reach and engagement of your posts will go a long way if you are targeting your boosts to specific audiences. Combining this with the information you glean from Audience Insights and you can work wonders into not only developing content that performs better organically, but also makes the most of your boosting budget.
Ride organic success with paid reach: If a particular post performs well organically, chances are it will continue to be successful with a little paid reach. Some posts you might boost out of the gate, which is fine. But you may find some posts that were outside of your initial boosting plan have taken off organically. Continue their success with a lower dollar amount boost. But again, always target this.
Control your content and track your successes: If you’re boosting posts of your own content, which I would recommend, then be sure your content includes a strong CTA and that you are tracking conversions on your boosts. If your content is converting and you’re getting ROI out of your boosted posts, you can then justify additional boosts.
As with any Facebook announcement, it’s not all doom and gloom. On the positive side, there are a number of things you can do moving forward to help counteract the continued decline in your page reach.
As with anything in social media, you’ll need to do your research and make strategic decisions. Results will not come easy, but it is possible for you to continue to use social media to drive relationships – and bottom lines.