One of the trends that we pointed out in our 2017 Social Media Trends is the harder acquisition of organic on social media networks. And true enough, many businesses that use social media in their marketing efforts are indeed having a rough time getting organic reach on their post nowadays, especially on Facebook, just see the graph below:
Plummeting Organic Page Reach on Facebook
Source: Convince and Convert
But what does it mean?
The chart above, which is based on a study from Social@Ogilvy shows Facebook’s declining organic reach plotted against its stock price in the same period. What we can infer on this graph is that Facebook’s stock price is inversely proportionate to organic reach, which means that in order to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders, Facebook must change their algorithm at the expense of the organic reach that businesses used to get on their platform.
This downward trend started in 2013 – the time when Facebook switched from EdgeRank to the machine learning algorithm. Prior to the new system, it was so easy to boost the organic reach of a page – all you need to do is post your content and audience will automatically see your brand on their newsfeed.
But then after Facebook switched to the new algorithm, posts from marketers, brands, and business has been less favored than the posts from user’s friends and family members – see why videos about cats and pandas suddenly flooded your newsfeed? That’s it. – From 2012 to 2014, organic reach went from 16.00% to 6.51%, a 60% decline. Below is how the new algorithm choose what to show in a user’s news feed:
Source: Single Grain
However, somehow, it makes sense for Facebook to limit the reach of pages. Given that an average person likes 70 pages, the volume of content from the brands they follow can overwhelm their newsfeed and can even result for the user to unfollow the brand.
The bottom line: Facebook cares more about their business than yours. They must preserve the interest of the people on their platform or they will face financial repercussions.
Thankfully, there are still some ways that you can do about this declining organic social reach. Check our tips below:
1. Strategic Posting Schedule
Most of the time, the success of a social media marketing campaign boils down to a proper posting schedule. Using your page’s insight, consider the following to ensure that your post has a higher chance of reaching your followers:
- Allocate Time for Different Type of Content- Try to post different types of content and observe which type performs best during what time. For instance, you can post a link about the latest news in your industry so your followers can catch up on what happening in your niche, then on the afternoon, try to post lighter content such as memes or quotes.
- Post at Different Times of Day – Every page and followers prefer to consume content at different times of day, so the only way to find out is to experiment. You can try to post during off-peak hours as there isn’t much competition for attention.
2. Target Your Preferred Audience
One of the newest features in Facebook is the Preferred Audience Targeting, which works almost the same like Ad Targeting except that it is for your organic posts. This feature helps narrow the targeting based on user’s interest and location, allowing you to reach people who are truly interested in what you have to offer without being a nuisance to the rest of your followers. Here is what the new feature looks like:
To use this feature:
- Check Facebook’s Official ‘How to Guide’ to activate this feature
- Select the small ‘Crosshairs’ icon underneath to add ‘Interest’ tags and set Audience Restrictions
3. Avoid Using Clickbait Headlines
We have been seeing a lot of content on Facebook and other social media sites that are using a sensational headline to grab attention and get the click at some point. However, most of the time, the content itself is not as sensational as what the title suggests – hence just a click bait.
The new algorithm of Facebook now detects clickbait headlines in a content after it is posted on their platform, identifying the pages that post this type of content regularly, limiting the reach of those post subsequently.
Instead of clickbait-y titles, here are the tips to create a compelling headline today:
- Use Numbers – Provides your audience an exact figure of what they are going to get on your content.
- Ask a Question – Signals that you can provide answers your audience need.
- Use Active Language- Creates a sense of urgency and action that motivates your audience.
- Provide Useful Tips – Showcase how valuable your business is by providing helpful and actionable tips to your audience.
4. Take Advantage of Hashtags
The hashtag is one of the most useful yet often overlooked tools that can help people find your brand and your content across different social media platforms, especially on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Here are some considerations to use hashtags more effectively:
- Keep it simple, relevant, and unique.
- Use the trending hashtags to join a conversation.
- Search relevant hashtags before you use it.
- Create your own hashtags to brand your content and posts.
Twitter’s Worldwide Trends
Facebook Categorizes Hashtags based on Content Type
5. Mention and Tag Relevant People and Pages
Co-citation is already proven to be one of the most critical aspects in boosting SEO performance nowadays. The equivalent of this technique in social media is mentioning and tagging. The tag and mention feature not only notify a person or a page but also compels them to engage on your post and share it to their own set followers.
Here are some tips in using tags and mentions to boost your organic reach:
- Mention other page or people on weekends. A study shows that on average, Thursday sees the most company mentions (15.78%), followed closely by Tuesday (15.68%) and Wednesday (15.52%), making these days the hardest to be heard by the brand you are trying to reach out.
On the other hand, Saturday and Sunday see the fewest mentions, with only 12.22% and 11.36% respectively.
- Tag Relevant Influencers. Tags can serve as a shout out to a relevant influencer who may find your post relevant and authentic. When they reply to your post, make sure to reply immediately. Aside from they can share your post on their own network, your followers will also be encouraged to read your post because someone of high authority finds it great and helpful.
6. Use Video Content
With the decline of the organic reach is the rise of video content, especially on Facebook. Users watch more. Facebook users watch 8 billion videos every day on the social network, and these videos are pretty much effective in generating engagement. And just look at this recent research by BuzzSumo, which reveals how many times Facebook videos get shared on a monthly basis:
To effectively use video on your Facebook profile, consider the following tips:
- Optimize for Autoplay. The Autoplay feature on Facebook is a great way to attract audience immediately. However, many would turn this feature off to save on data charges. Alternatively, you can target longer video content on desktop users and see if it more effective in driving engagement.
- Provide Subtitles. Adding subtitles to your video makes it easier and convenient for mobile users to watch it on places where they can’t or don’t want to play it with accompanying sound.
Source: Nas Daily
- Consider Using Live Videos. Reports show that users spend 3x more time watching live videos than other normal videos. This allows you to showcase the inner workings of your business which makes your brand more personal and trustworthy in the eyes of your audience.
In the age of organic reach decline, you should try different ways to make your posts resonate across your followers to make sure that your brand retains its competitive edge in the social media sphere. Consider this tips in your social media marketing efforts and you’ll sure get better organic reach today.
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