We started working with clients to help them with their Social Media Marketing campaigns in early 2009. Facebook had 150 million users and had only been allowing businesses to become entities on their site since November 2007.
In 2009, we worried that too many updates would clog a fan’s Newsfeed, so we posted updates on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. We avoided too much “selling.” We posted sharable, fun and informative content. And it worked … for a while.
In 2014 Facebook announced a major algorithm change affecting the News Feed. There were now over 1.28 billion active users and over 30 million business pages. The goal was to reduce “spammy” content and focus on quality posts, such as status updates and legitimate articles and links.
We no longer worry about posting too much. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm changes, as well as the sheer number of people who post, have made it almost impossible for most companies to reach even a small percentage of the people who have liked their Pages. (Some studies suggest that, on average, only about 6% of posts make it to fans’ News Feeds.)
In order to compete, companies must post often (we post 3-4 times a day, not 3-4 times a week). More importantly, they must concentrate on posts that involve their audience, encouraging them to like, comment on and share the posts. (Researching and posting information that we believe will we shared or commented on now takes a large part of our day. However, when we get it right, posts can gather thousands of views, likes, shares and comments.)
Finally, while our Social Media Marketing strategies have changed dramatically since 2009, we understand that further algorithm updates are inevitable. As more brands move to Facebook, there will be more competition for space in the News Feed. This will call for more creative ways to reach audiences. This may also include increased ad spends and, for most companies, finding Social Media Managers who can develop strategies that fit into a company’s overall marketing plan.
Is all of this effort worth it?
The benefits of an active, Social Media Campaign do spill over to other areas of marketing for a company. In fact, “91% of experienced social marketers see improved website traffic due to social media campaigns and 79% are generating more quality leads.” (Social Media Today)
Social Media Marketing does work; you just need to work it.