On January 11, 2018, Facebook dropped a bomb on the digital marketing community when Mark Zuckerberg promised to return the platform to its roots, prioritizing person-to-person interactions over person-to-Page engagements. This announcement was the result of Zuckerberg’s desire to create a less cluttered, and more valuable environment for users. Since this adjustment favors user generated content, Brand, Company, and Publisher Pages can expect to see a reduction in their organic reach to less than >1.
Although this update is making waves across the industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Facebook has been publicly reducing organic reach for years, and, since 2014, brands and publishers have struggled to maintain an average organic reach of 2%. Despite the lack of organic reach, brands shouldn’t abandon Facebook and their loyal fanbases as a marketing channel. Rather, they need to dial back the quantity of posts they’re authoring, while dialing up the ad spend. Facebook is the largest driver of referral traffic on the internet and brands cannot afford to lose their presence.
2018 Strategic Recommendations
- Facebook is officially a pay-to-play model. Instead of posting multiple times per day, we recommend dialing back the amount of content produced to 3-4 pieces per week. The budget saved on producing less content should be put toward post distribution via paid amplification. When posts are boosted with as little as $100, post visibility increases to 20,000+ users. Keep in mind that ad rates are estimated to increase, given increased competition for Newsfeed visibility.
- Avoid clickbait tactics such as asking fans to Like and/or Comment on your post. Instead, focus on creating highly engaging content that users will want to share in their Newsfeeds. After all, sharing is caring.
- Regularly partake in Facebook Lives and develop a live video strategy.
“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” - Social Media Today
Invest in influencer marketing, as public figures are not being penalized by the algorithm update. If you decide to go this route, make sure the influencers you select do not possess Facebook “Business” Pages and are open to using the Facebook “handshakes” tool. This tool will allow creators to tag brands in their posts without punishing them, resulting in added newsfeed exposure for the brand.
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