It has been several days since you hit the “publish” button on a piece that included a lot of thought and effort. After opening up your blog or company’s Facebook page, you anxiously scroll through only to find that apparently it has only been seen by twenty people. Perplexed, you scroll through other posts to see that the numbers continually fluctuate, but never seem to go above what you hope they would. For most content writers (especially involved with social media), the primary proof of success lies within numbers, and single or perhaps low double digits have left company gurus scratching their heads.
As 2014 came to a close, Facebook made some subtle, yet not-so-subtle changes to their newsfeed algorithms so that certain kinds of posts (i.e. ones that might be considered spam from the social network’s point of view) would be filtered out and excluded from people’s newsfeeds. This has made reaching audiences en masse quite difficult, though companies and page managers can now pay various amounts of money to do so, just as they would to create an ad. For established businesses, this might not be that big of a deal because they can afford to spend an extra ten to twenty dollars every so often. Yet for start-up’s and smaller places of employment, this is not always the case. And with Facebook being one of the primary feeds for internet marketing, these changes have left marketing teams wondering what to do next.
But not all hope is lost. Organic reach is not only useful, but necessary if any company wants to both survive and thrive in their industry.
Utilize Additional Platforms
It’s not a question of what social network reaches more people, but how you use that particular social network to do it
While it’s true that Facebook is a giant when it comes to online outreach, some marketers do tend to forget that there are other social networks available in terms of promoting a business. Additionally, because Facebook is so popular (and somewhat crowded), not everyone necessarily uses it to keep up with their industry or other interests. Pinterest is an excellent avenue to display photos of products that they’re selling, along with giving customers more insight into who they are based on board categories and pins in themselves. Instagram now allows clickable advertising and blog links rather than just including a general link to the website in a main profile. With Twitter, users can curate lists to keep up with their favorite accounts so that there’s no having to weed through a thousand tweets at a time.
It’s not a question of what social network reaches more people, but how you use that particular social network to do it. Even if it’s not overly popular (such as Google+, for example), it doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful. If it exists, then therefore it has a purpose. You never know what a platform can do unless it’s included in your strategy. Numbers are numbers, and the broader your social networking, the more likely that your numbers will increase (from a general standpoint).
Engage and Encourage
There’s a saying that what you put out into the world comes back to you. The same is incredibly true in the marketing industry; it’s not enough just to create and post content with a blind hope that it will somehow lead to an increase in traffic or business. It’s important to take the time to create well-thought out content, but it’s just as important to be engaging and having conversations in terms of follower content as well. In other words, content coordinators should be making time to comment on blog posts, statuses, tweets, and the like. By doing that, it’s likely that the person behind that account will be inclined to comment back and perhaps even start a dialogue. When people have that kind of exchange, they partake in both word of mouth and online marketing without even knowing it.
It’s important to take the time to create well-thought out content, but it’s just as important to be engaging and having conversations in terms of follower content as well
To add to that, don’t be afraid to use Facebook to let people know that you use other platforms, and that your audience can connect to you or your business through those as well. Be sure to explain why people haven’t been seeing your posts and why you’ll be utilizing your additional networks more often. If they want to follow you through there, most likely they will. It also doesn’t hurt to throw out the occasional reminder every once in a while in terms of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
With that being said, Facebook isn’t worth abandoning in its entirety. There are a ton of small tips and tricks that can still be applied through organic reach, and it’s unfortunate that the company isn’t exactly forthcoming about it. After pasting your link or putting your status/photo into the post box, you’ll see a target button furthest to the right (next to the location button). After clicking on that, you’ll be able to choose your target audience based on age, interests, location, and so on. The key with this function is to do so before you actually click the “post” button, as it won’t give you the target option if you want to go back and edit the post. There’s no shame in sharing your blog posts and company updates to your personal page either, but make sure the page name is included so that it appears more professional, and therefore people will be more inclined to visit the business page as well.
There’s no denying that organic reach can be difficult, and the process of applying it can be exhausting. Nevertheless is possible with the right avenues and application, as long as companies are willing to be patient and put in the effort. It’s true that paying for outreach gives a business more access to different types of data and reaches a bigger audience, but until that can become part of the budget, people have to work with what they have. Always strive to become bigger and better, but be aware of what’s available and use it to your advantage.