For many professional associations and trade publishers, a significant amount of time and money was spent cultivating an active Facebook audience. Facebook business pages have historically been an effective way to reach your readers and members. Last year, the social media giant announced that it was greatly restricting the organic reach of business pages. Over the preceding months, experts have seen the percentage of Facebook posts appearing in followers feeds dwindle to effectively zero. If you've come to rely on Facebook to connect with your audience and you're being impacted by recent changes, here's a look at some strategies that can help you regain traction with your social media followers.
Reallocate Your Advertising Budget
The drive by Facebook to minimize organic reach is designed with one goal in mind: to capture your advertising dollars. If Facebook is a major channel for you in terms of sales and conversions, it may be time to reallocate some of your PPC budget or other advertising funds to focus on keeping in touch with your Facebook audience. Think carefully about how you structure your ads: funneling your Facebook followers toward off-social properties such as your website can help ensure you're getting the most valuable conversions possible. Making the shift from free to paid social media reach can be a major adjustment, but one that's well worth making in the current context.
Experiment with Facebook Offers
Another way to raise your visibility on Facebook is by experimenting with program such as Facebook Offers. Not unlike a Groupon or a Yelp discount, Facebook offers allow businesses to share discounts with their audience. Discounts can be one of the most effective ways to get mobile and online audiences to take action. Consider investing some of your advertising dollars into this potentially valuable avenue to capture Facebook users' attention and get customers to convert.
Diversify Your Social Presence
It's easy to get caught up in the idea that you need to develop a new strategy to reconnect with your Facebook audience. But if your budget is limited or you don't plan to spend a lot on advertising over time, now's a great time to look at diversifying your social presence. Invest in properties that you control, including your website, email list, and branded micro networks. If you're remaining active on different external social networks, focus on building a presence on multiple platforms so that one social network's strategic decisions don't tank your whole social strategy.
Don't Give Up Entirely
In a recent announcement, a Facebook executive gave some insights into what content they'll be letting through to reach consumers. The focus is overly promotional posts. If Facebook deems your posts to be useful or helpful to members, they'll potentially be shown to some of your followers. This underscores the importance of creating value in your interactions on Facebook, and saving sales pitches for other environments.
Recent Facebook changes can be disheartening if you've spent a significant amount of time building connections there for your trade publication or association. What's important to remember is that with the right strategy - focusing on your content, experimenting with advertising and Offers, and diversifying your presence - it's possible to get back on track to an effective social media presence.