Recently, we have been hearing about the different changes Facebook is making to their news feed algorithm. The algorithm determines how many people see a given post to the news feed. Many have been frustrated recently that Facebook has been restricting its organic reach. This forces marketers to buy access to the users they previously had acquired through their Facebook brand page and “Likes.”
Marketers are angry and rightfully so. In fact, brands are starting to leave Facebook. You might have seen the humorous “Breakup Letter” by Eat24 that took the advertising world by storm. While this letter was filled with entertaining GIFs and funny images, its content was serious. Over the last year and a half, organic reach of brand or fan has dropped pages drop to 1-5%. With the future of social marketing on Facebook now in question, what is a marketer to do?
Pay for Reach
Realistically, this is the best option if you want to reach your audience on Facebook. Paying for advertising on Facebook does have some advantages. It’s also relatively inexpensive when compared to paid search on Google AdWords. Facebook CPCs are generally below a dollar, whereas Google’s pricing tends to be significantly more.
By paying for ads, you can now target new audiences, not just the people who have “Liked” your page. When paying for posts, remember that Facebook offers pricing on both a CPM and CPC basis. This is very relevant depending the content you are trying to promote. If your content appeals to a niche audience, use CPC so you only pay for the clicks you generate. If you’re promoting a national brand and your goal is to generate views, not clicks, use CPM to maximize the impressions you are getting.
Try to Optimize for Organic Reach
Organic reach optimization is not as scalable as other options but can be a very effective tactic for advertisers who have small budgets. Currently, the Facebook algorithm boosts reach for posts that include images and/or links. Including links in particular can give marketers up to a 30% increase in organic reach. This is a good way for smaller marketers to try to get the most out of their content if they do not want to pay for impressions.
Leverage other Social Media
Facebook is not the only social media platform out there. Depending on your company and content, Facebook may not even be the best option for you. With Twitter, you will get 100% organic reach with everything you post and if users “retweet” you then you have dramatically increased your reach. You can also pay to promote tweets and accounts based on keywords or hashtags. LinkedIn is another option that is especially great for B2B marketers. LinkedIn has never given brands 100% organic reach. It’s always been mostly a pay to play platform, which is why I believe they avoid backlash from marketers and users when they adjust their algorithms. Leveraging LinkedIn and their advanced targeting options for ads and promoted posts is a great way to get in front of a professional audience.
Creating great content is hard work. You and your team spend lots of time creating it, so why not get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible? Content syndication is a great and scalable option for promoting blog content. It’s also a cost effective way to get your content in front of as many readers as possible. Instead of paying $1 or more for clicks on Facebook, you pay 15¢ to 40¢ per click for content syndication. This allows you to dramatically increase your traffic. Not only are you increasing traffic, content syndication can help you increase SEO backlinks, social media followers, downloads, and even generate leads. Leveraging multiple content syndication networks to maximize reach is strongly recommended. Just like ad networks, these content syndication networks have only certain sites on their networks. Using multiple providers will ensure the greatest reach.
Use Promoted Posts on Third Party Viral Sites
Posts from sites like BuzzFeed and EliteDaily.com go viral all the time on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. You can hire them to create great content that has a much higher potential of “going viral” than what your team could create. They are teams of data driven professionals. They’re great at creating highly engaging content and have significant viral reach on Facebook. Depending on the budget and the content, you may get more engagement with a promoted post on a viral site than going through Facebook directly.
Retarget Users Through the Facebook Exchange (FBX)
With the open architecture of the Facebook Exchange (FBX), a select group of ad tech vendors can provide buying access to some of Facebook’s right side rail and news feed inventory. To take advantage of this, search for a retargeting vendor that allows you to create “segments” of users based on the pages they visit on your site. Develop ads based on the pages they visit and drive users back to your site. This option may not expand your audience, but it will help you maximize the value from the traffic you already get.