A college Philosophy Professor once told me, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” It seemed like a silly piece of advice at the time, but now I realize the deeper meaning of his advice. As I transitioned my career into the marketing field, I really started to notice the ‘free lunch’ aspect of many marketing campaigns. From giveaways to discounts, everyone seems to be offering something for free these days which left me wondering…are these things really free? Enter Facebook.
Every month, nearly 1.39 billion people from around the world log into Facebook without spending a penny. All it takes is an active e-mail address and password. Over the years, Facebook has reassured us that the popular Social Media outlet will remain free (for now). So, with that being said, did Facebook prove my professor wrong? Is it actually an example of a free lunch?! With changes to the algorithm, many business large and small believe Facebook is not really free anymore.
Facebook created the new changes with its users in mind. With all of the connections to friends, family and even businesses sharing content, Facebook did not want users to feel overwhelmed so it came up with a way to control what shows up on your News Feed. Facebook wants to provide you with timely content that is relevant to your interests in hopes that you will never delete or stop using your account…gasp!
For many businesses large and small, the new algorithm brings with it a hidden price tag found in the number of organic reaches. Organic reaches are the number of users who see a post without paying to boost it. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the changes and businesses are scrambling to find new ways to promote their brands on Facebook. The decrease in organic reach is especially crippling to smaller businesses and non-profits who may not be able to incorporate Facebook into their monthly budgets. Many of these businesses are noticing a dramatic reduction of almost 50% in organic reach.
Before you pull out your credit card or delete your Facebook Business Page, here are some ways to help you maximize your posts.
- Use the Facebook Insight feature to see when people are most likely to engage in your content. Is it before work, during lunch or maybe even while laying in bed at night? Learn what time of day your followers are most likely to engage and post then! Hint: scheduled posts are a great way to stay on track.
- Get people to engage. Engagement increases your popularity. Review your post history and see what gets your followers clicking. Remember, as I talked about in a previous post, keep your posts visual and your text short to maximize your News Feed optimization. Use high-quality content to get people clicking without having to ask them.
- Stick to your roots. Review your mission statement and stay true to your message. Share information that is relevant to your brand even though it may be tempting to share a popular viral video. Give your followers posts that relate to the reason why they signed up for your page in the first place.
- Stay away from traditional marketing. Social Media marketing is a completely different ball game. It’s a two-way street and not a one-way announcement. Use Social Media to create authentic relationships that turn into loyal costumers. Interact with followers, respond to messages and provide costumer service.