Just a few months ago, Facebook told brands that on average only 16 percent of their fans will see an organic post. In my work with GroSocial clients, for individual pages, I’ve seen that number fall anywhere between 15 and 25 percent, but it has noticeably decreased over the last two months.
And organic page reach is only going to get worse. In fact, according to a report by Ad Age, Facebook openly admitted this to its partners, “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”
At over 1.15 billion users, Facebook is still an incredible opportunity for small businesses to reach potential customers, but with organic reach decreasing, how should your strategy change?
Post engagement doesn’t matter like it used to.
“Make your posts more interactive.” “Engage with your fans with regular Facebook posts.” You still hear these things all the time from social media “gurus.”
This isn’t 2007. Posts matter, but if only 16 percent of your fans see them, why would you spend your valuable time coming up with three or four daily posts?
One law firm I worked with posts every two or three days, and it was still able to grow its Facebook page from 350 to 3000 fans in five months.
You need to gather contact information.
If you spend less time on posts, you will have more time for social media activities that generate actual results. One of these activities is social media giveaways, and here’s why: When someone fills out an entry form, they give you their email address, which you can add to follow-up campaigns.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I talked with a Canadian gym owner who has seen tangible success with Facebook giveaways. In his most recent promotion, he gave away two free months of personal training, valued at $1000 each (but actually worth $200 in real cost), and spent $150 on ads, and here’s the result just one week after his promotion ended:
2 new signups (worth $1750 each)
4 consultations with the potential clients
130 new prospects
Those 130 prospects have been added to a follow-up campaign and new signups will continue to trickle in as they make their way through the funnel.
Expect an ROI, not an RON.
“There’s no such things as a free lunch.” Social media is not free advertising. It has always required a time investment, but now that Facebook and other social networks are crowded with your competitors, more and more, you will need to pay for attention.
Like the gym owner spending $150 on ads to promote his personal training giveaway, you will see more success if you invest in your social media campaigns. Expect a return on investment, not a return on nothing.
As social media channels continue to evolve, small businesses need to change with them. Regular social posts have their place, but as Facebook’s organic reach decreases, it’s time to shift focus from post engagement to collecting contact information. This allows you to leverage Facebook’s massive user base, but once you have a direct line of communication, you can market to them without paying a middleman.