Last week we posed the question "Is too much filtering killing social media?" We looked at the way Facebook and Twitter are putting systems into place to filter the glut of information that fills up newsfeeds and concluded that while some parsing of information is needed, there’s a big difference between having the process being user-driven and having it predetermined by social networks. While Twitter’s approach represents an optional way of sorting favorite tweets from friends, Facebook’s approach is a strict clamp down on the organic reach that business pages can expect to have when communicating to fans.
If you’ve been holding your breath while watching your organic reach dwindle over the past year, it looks like the situation is about to get even more dire. According to some reports, Facebook is working to slash the organic reach of business pages to as low as 1%. What does that mean for you? If you have close to a thousand fans, you can expect to reach about one hundred of them through organic reach (that is, without paying Facebook money to promote your post).
Is everything lost? Should you opt out of Facebook in protest? Not so fast. Unpaid reach may not be what it used to be (and that’s definitely disappointing), but don’t throw in the towel just yet. It’s time to get creative, refine your social strategy, and put these steps in place to make sure you reach the largest audience you can.
1. Avoid desperate and empty calls to action. Are you out there begging for likes and sharesFacebook is onto you. Ditch calls to action that are just about growing your followership. Good calls to action include things like “Click this link to find out how you can support our cause.” Bad calls to action sound like “Please like this picture of my dog so he can win this online puppy pageant."
2. Include quality links. Facebook’s filtering system prioritizes news items from trusted sources. Sharings news from reputable sites is more likely to help you reach more members of your audience.
3. Tag important people and places. This is tricky because only personal profiles can tag people in images you post. Still, tagging is a great way to increase the amount of people who see your post. If you are Facebook friends with people on staff at your business, use your personal profile (not your busineess page) to tag their personal accounts. While you can’t tag people directly, you can tag other business pages, so when you find items to post that relate to other organizations with large audiences, make sure to tag them. That way, you can reach their followers as well.
4. Find stuff people love to share. Ok, this is easier said than done, and it’s always been true, but it’s more important than ever to find content that your audience loves to share. When someone shares an item you post, it opens it up beyond your own followership and makes it available to a different audience outside of your normal reach. Keep track of what’s trending and anticipate what your audience craves by looking back at old posts that have been good at driving engagement.
Feeling bitter about Facebook's filtering system? Get started with a new plan to double down on your efforts today. You may not have the same organic reach you had before, but by being creative and putting these practices into play, you can avoid losing your fanbase entirely. What do you think about the new organic reach policy? Should marketers step up their game? Or should Facebook scale back its attempts to drive businesses to pay to promote posts? Share your thoughts below.