I’m considering attending Social Media Marketing World in San Diego this Winter, are you? The main reason—aside from my love of San Diego—is, of course, to soak up the collective vision and wisdom of the top social media marketers converging for the conference.
While checking out the conference pages, I came across this video presentation by Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, entitled Social Media Marketing Trends: How Marketers Should Respond. It’s a great video about the living, breathing world of social media, discussing where the industry currently stands – and where it’s going (we’re actually still in the pioneer stage!).
A focal point of both the video and conference agenda is Facebook. The conference has 15 sessions on Facebook alone, 2 and 3 times the number focused on other channels. And this makes sense, considering research tells us that 2 out of 3 marketers consider Facebook their most important channel, by far!
Marketers have Facebook on the brain! Yet, many are frustrated by the reduction in the efficacy of their Facebook marketing, specifically their organic reach. Despite the typical slow and steady growth of business pages, reach and traffic for most are WAY down over the last few years.
Social Media Examiner's stats put this fact into perspective:
Why is this happening, you ask? The answer is Facebook’s algorithm. In theory, Facebook’s algorithm isn’t all that different from Google’s. Facebook wants to deliver the most relevant and high-quality content to the user. With high supply and low inventory, the News Feed is extremely coveted real estate!
We’d like to dedicate this post to see what experts are doing to combat this decline, and in turn, help us all create better marketing for our Facebook pages.
Overall recommendations from the experts for improving Facebook engagement fall into these categories…
Expert Tips for Strengthening Facebook Engagement1. Community – Focus on nurturing your existing community. Join or start a Facebook group. Speak to them in your posts and comments, and in their language. Call them out, encourage and reward them. Members of your community are more likely to become evangelists who can ultimately boost your brand.
2. Video – Facebook Live and Native Video are THE preferred content category on Facebook. Most pages that publish video can attest to higher than normal engagement compared to their static posts. According to a study of video engagement by Quintly, native (embedded) Facebook videos have a 186% higher engagement rate and are shared more than 1000% more than videos linked from other hosting sites. Wow! And marketers are treating Facebook Live like their personal broadcast channel! Learn more about Facebook Live with Hubspot’s new guide:
3. Quality Visuals – People respond to and have stronger recall of a message when its tied to a great visual. When people respond to your post and image, you will enjoy more reach on Facebook. There are many great tools that anyone can use to create eye-catching images! Canva, Pic Monkey, and Ripl are a few of many choices. Or check out our past post on customizing your marketing stock photos. Many top social media marketers discuss prioritizing visual marketing, including Juan Felix.
4. Targeted Posting & Tagging – Marketers are not finding a correlation between increased frequency and increasing reach. To combat this, they are focusing on getting more out of each post with targeted posting. Let’s say you are a software company with two main buyers: engineers and CTOs. The same blog article could be promoted separately (over time) to the two different buyers, with distinct posts speaking directly to them. Also, if you’re posting through Business Manager, you can choose your audience for further organic targeting (see image below). If you were advertising, you would add a targeting layer to reach your intended audience.
Tagging companies and people appropriately in the post using the @ and their name is another way to boost your reach. An example of this would be if you quote a thought leader or business in your article and you “@mention” them in your post.
5. Remind Users to Engage – Your followers are busy, and everyone is vying for their attention. Don’t be afraid to ask something of them or inform them of better ways to engage. Pose questions, request they “share or like if they agree”, tell them to click, and point out how to give your page preference on their feed (see below). If you like OUR content, please feel free to do this for PMG! This will provide a better chance of seeing our posts on YOUR feed. (See? That wasn’t so hard.)
6. Advertising – In an increasingly pay-to-play environment—and with laser-targeting available—advertising on Facebook is an enticing and efficient tactic to reach followers and prospects. A quick Google search presents many courses, webinars, blog posts, videos and infographics that discuss the ads platform, strategy, and tactics to employ. While Facebook advertising costs are growing with its popularity, you can put almost any budget to good use. The ad world considers Facebook and Google THE places to spend online dollars.
Top Facebook expert Mari Smith recommends amplifying reach of important posts with paid promotion. She has a specific method for doing so. Steal this hack!
- The Mari Method for amplification: First, allow organic reach to accumulate for up to 24 hours, then pay some of your total budget to boost the post. Wait for up to 24 hours for reach to accumulate again from the promotion, then, apply more money for increased paid promotion.
Facebook marketing is a moving target. Things are always changing, and we are here to help. Check back often, and follow us, as well as the experts we’ve quoted in this article. You may also be interested in this eBook about content creation for Facebook. Download it today!