Why Facebook Is NOT The Enemy

By Rachel Hadley It’s time for marketers to face a somewhat harsh reality: Social media is not free.

Facebook is not the enemy. It is a business and a very successful one at that. Last week, Facebook admitted organic reach has slowly been declining for brands. Gone are the days when brands (and even individuals) can post something and all fans (friends) would see the update.

Years ago, all you had to do was attract followers and you could practically spam them with ads (until they would eventually unfollow your brand). Now, Facebook is more like a puzzle. There are more than 15 million pages competing for the attention of your fans. And with its new algorithm, it’s become almost impossible to “game” the system. So why not focus on the things you can control? Here’s what I recommend:

  • Provide timely, engaging content: Don’t blast your fans with boring, self-serving content. Be original, creative and (dare I suggest) funny! When planning content, ask yourself if you would share the post with your friends and family. If not, figure out what you can do to make it more engaging.
  • Respond quickly: Responding to your fans with thoughtful answers, comments, and questions can keep them engaged and coming back for more. It also shows other fans that you care. Brands with active community management are more successful according to the Likeability Report.
  • Plan promoted posts: You’ve likely already built a pretty solid following. Though growth might still be one of your goals for 2014, make sure that you reach as many of the fans you already have. Be sure to implement the 20 percent rule on content that you think will have high engagement so you can promote those posts shortly after posting to boost the overall reach.

And when it comes to measurement, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. While reach is an important metric, and you’ll want to make sure you are employing a solid strategy to reach as many fans as possible, be sure to gauge the success of your content by looking at engagement rate (which can be calculated by total engaged users of a post divided by total post reach).

What are some of the brands you like to follow on Facebook? And how can they make the content more valuable to you?