If you are starting to feel like Facebook pulled the old bait-and-switch on you, you are not alone. Many businesses feel like they were drawn to the promise of a vast audience, and just when things started to get rolling, the rug was pulled out. Reaching your audience organically—that is, without spending money—is becoming extremely difficult. Here is what you need to know to find your fans’ feeds and some practival advice for overcoming the Facebook algorithm change.
1. Facebook Says Relax
You might be frustrated with their decision, but the reason for making it more difficult for your content to break into people’s news feeds is legit. Facebook was concerned that the news feed was becoming too promotional and that users would quickly tire of all the offers and coupons and leave Facebook altogether.
To boost the visibility of your content, make sure you are providing helpful information to your audience, not just a bunch of ads and promotions. In other words, when you are considering another promotional post, don’t do it. Instead, offer useful content that will establish a brand identity that your customer like and offer useful information to keep your name at the top of your customers’ minds.
2. Customers are People
Have you ever accepted an invitation to a party at a friend’s house only to discover after arriving that you will be sitting through a one-hour presentation on candles, vitamins, fat wraps, or some other direct sales offer? You still get the drinks and the food, but the festive atmosphere is a dud.
That is a little bit what it is like for your customers when they take their lunch break and turn to Facebook for a little entertainment and find nothing but coupons and special offers. Remember, your customers are also regular people who live regular lives. Find a way to tap into that by appealing to the broader interests of your readers. Tell stories, provide an inspiring quote, share an amazing photo, or offer a new way to make your life easier.
In other words, appeal to the human side of your customers, not just their wallets.
If you’re in sales, check out this post on using social media for sales.
3. Pony Up
There it is. The one thing you probably did not want to hear. The truth of the matter is that your branded content will never compete with Aunt Millie’s kitty pictures or your coworker’s adventures across Europe. The fastest way to break into the news feed is to create an amazing promotional post and pay for it to get a little attention.
The good news is that Facebook provides a lot of ways for companies to get some traction without investing huge sums of money. Also, just because a post is boosted with cash does not mean that organic reach is out of the picture. For example, if you boost a post by paying for it to be shown to more of your followers, you increase the likelihood that someone will share it and expand your reach organically.
Facebook’s targeting is also extremely accurate. In fact, they say they provide an 89% accuracy rating for targeted campaigns. If you consider how much information Facebook has about their users based on their profiles and activity, no other advertiser can come close. When you target an audience with Facebook, you are practically guaranteed to reach them.