Facebook Organic Is Dead
With the scroll of a mouse or the swipe of a screen, mass amounts of Facebook content can be accessed and acted upon by any number of your customers. Facebook continues to be the biggest, most popular social media network; its engagement is massive and its referrals are growing. Let’s look at the numbers:
There are over 1.5 billion Facebook users worldwide.
Around 23 percent of us log in up to five times a day.
Australians spend approximately 14 minutes per hour on Facebook.
All of this offers great potential for business advertising, which is why 70 percent of marketers use Facebook as a means of gaining new customers.
Facebook has always encouraged businesses to build and connect with their audiences on their “free” platform. But is it free? Many marketers claim that organic reach is dead (or at least on life support), and that paid advertising is the only way forward. So how can you best use Facebook to promote your business?
ORGANIC VS PAID
First thing’s first: what do we mean when we say ‘organic’ and ‘paid’ reach?
Organic reach refers to people who are shown your post through unpaid distribution.
Paid reach refers to people who are shown your post as a result of advertisements.
Each has their own benefits, with organic’s main advantage being that it is free. However, digital marketing is prone to rapid change, and social media is no exception. The advertising opportunities on Facebook are evolving, and businesses must adapt their social media marketing accordingly.
The Outcome of Organic
Why is organic reach on the decline? In a sense, it comes down to growth. More users are liking more pages, and more pages are creating more content than ever before. The News Feed is bursting with competition, and it is impossible to see every piece of content within it. Instead, Facebook’s News Feed is designed to interpret and present the content most relevant to a specific user. So, instead of displaying, say, 1500 stories when you log on to Facebook, you would be shown around 300 of the most “important” posts instead.
This system aims to provide a more engaging and valuable user experience; however, it makes it more difficult for businesses to gain exposure through organic reach alone.
So what does this mean for your business’s advertising?
The Power of Paid
The torrential flood of content in people’s News Feeds means that effective organic reach is now much harder to achieve. Organic posts are only shown to your Facebook fans — and not all of them will see it.
Fans are certainly an important percentage of your customers, but they do not represent your entire customer (or potential customer) base. Paid ads can be a great way to achieve your business objectives and reach out to a broader audience.
Paid advertising allows you to target people who may not necessarily have liked your page, but have similar interests or specific demographics (such as age, gender, relationship status, career fields, education, location, and so on). Facebook’s paid ads can be a great way to promote and increase the reach of your posts, and encourages you to be more strategic and creative with your campaigns.
Some business owners continue to rely on organic reach because it is free — but it might be time to pull the plug. To put it simply, paid ads produce better results. Your paid reach is a targeted, sophisticated outcome that allows you to show products and services to the people most interested in what you have to offer.
It’s also worth noting that, when compared to other forms of online marketing, Facebook advertising is still a relatively cost-effective tool. It is flexible, you can set your budget, duration and advertising scheme, and your content will remain visible as a form of ongoing self-promotion.
HOW TO BRING ORGANIC BACK FROM THE DEAD
Organic reach is nearly dead, but it is not necessarily gone. Yes — you should focus your efforts on the more actionable opportunities of paid marketing. But your business’s Facebook page will benefit from well-rounded and engaging content, with regard to both paid and organic reach.
We have three simple tips to help you improve your posts, create better paid ads, and bring the Organic Zombie back into play.
Remember your audience:
Let your customers guide your actions. Know who they are, where they come from, and what they’re looking for. Then work to create posts that satisfy their needs.
Interacting with fans is also a vital step. Ignoring customer interactions is like saying you don’t care, which will foster negativity between your brand and your audience. Like and reply to comments, respond to queries and complaints, and encourage a two-way relationship. This is an effective and easy way to improve customer engagement.
Moreover, gaining a better understanding of your audience will allow you to better target your content to specific subsets of your customer base. Facebook Insights can be a great way to do this.
Summary: Acknowledge your audience, reward their social connectivity, and show that you are attentive to their wants, needs and ideas.
Keep it social:
The News Feed displays the 300 posts that it deems to be the “best”. Accordingly, you should be publishing only your best content — posts that are high-quality, entertaining, informative, valuable, and relevant to your audience.
Remember that Facebook is a social platform that will benefit from a human touch. Keep some variety in your content. Yes, there is benefit from sharing links to your blog articles or posting about the latest products. But go a step further: remind your audience that there are people behind the brand by sharing a staff photo; cater to your customers’ need for entertainment with humourous or motivational graphics; experiment with different content types and combinations of text, images and videos.
Summary: Work hard to create impactful, quality content that will stand out in a crowded News Feed. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Should you post multiple times a day, or just once a week? Should you share content in the morning, or at night? Do customers prefer long posts, or just a few words? Do images earn better engagement, or videos?
The only way to find the answers to these important questions is by testing different strategies, and testing them often.
Until you understand how best to share your content, or if you’re just starting out, here are some good general tips:
- Avoid posting more than two or three times per day. This can overwhelm and deter your audience. Conversely, one post a week should be the minimum.
- Provide variety by altering your posting schedule and content types.
- Studies have shown that an optimal posting time for Facebook is around noon on the weekend, and between 3pm – 4pm on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. But again, this is a general assumption that will vary depending on your region, audience, and business.
Summary: Find out what works best for your specific audience and engage with them. Remember that your audience is always changing, so test frequently and adapt your strategy.
NO TIME FOR MOURNING
Facebook Organic is dead or dying — but it really doesn’t matter. If your business can obtain organic reach, that’s great, but, it shouldn’t be your focus. Paid ads will give you greater control over your social media marketing, allowing you to create and target your content to the people most likely to take action.
Facebook is no different from televisions or radios or newspapers or any other marketing platform, in the sense that it is far more effective when business owners use paid media to reach their objectives.
Paid ads on Facebook are here to stay. nucleo’s goal is to help your business change the way it communicates online. If you want to start benefitting from the biggest social network in the world, get in touch with our team. We can help you connect with a broader audience, become more innovative, and produce greater results than organic reach can achieve.