"The sky is falling, the sky is falling..." So said Chicken Little!!!
Which sounds like a lot of marketing experts, as it relates to Facebook as of last week!
You may have heard by now that Facebook is going to limit the amount of engagement, if any at all, of what is published on your Facebook Newsfeed, from Facebook Pages.
While it should be a big surprise, this breaking news has many small business owners scrambling, publishers are panicking and social media experts reeling for answers.
Everyone take a step back from the ledge for just one moment!
First up realize there are over 65-million business pages on Facebook on the planet Earth today.
The last time I checked, like you, my Facebook account is completely FREE, how about yours?
Which has enabled, for better or worse, enabled everyone to have a voice.
This has also limited the barrier to entry of becoming a so-called social media marketing expert to a username (email) and password, I digress...
Over the past decade, Facebook's provided many small-to-midsized businesses, including this one, an opportunity to create brand awareness that we exist and furthermore engage with our followers in a way that never previously existed at scale and of ease.
Facebook gave many, that really cannot afford to spend money on traditional mediums of advertising to grow their business.
Think back to Before Facebook, B.F. 2006.
What were your options to create advertising opportunities for your business?
The reality is that for a decade we've been able to use some creative thought process, add in a little chutzpah, and there you have it, you are now marketing your business on Facebook.
The smart kids wearing $100 hoodies in Silicon Valley realized that Facebook is FREE, it needs to make money, it's a public traded company. That was going to come in the form of the iTunes model of the website.
iTunes started with you buying a song for $1.99, which led to you having outfitted your entire house in the Apple ecosystem...Genius!!!
Facebook's got a similar approached, for as inexpensive as $10 you can boost a post on your page and reach 1,000 people.
That's a pretty sweet deal, and then you look down at your Facebook Ads Manager at the end of the month and realize you dropped $500 on advertising on Facebook.
Did you know there's there's a direct correlation between the stock price increasing and organic reach decreasing?
If you've been marketing on social media, more specifically on Facebook for longer than 5-years, you know first up that organic reach has significantly declined in comparison to the previous 5-years and almost dead for the past two years.
Unless of course, you were will to get very creative and really manage your strategy.
First, you needed a post with a link, then a high-quality picture and then a video.
However in the wake of the hangover of the recent election, the upward trend in "fake news" and the overall amount of information pouring into your Facebook newsfeed daily.
Facebook developed a way to show you updates based on what you like, your friend network, websites you visit, your search behaviors, how you interact with posts, also known as the Facebook Algorithm.
If Facebook showed you all of the things you've interacted with both pages and friends, you'd get over 1,500 updates per day. Making for a really bad experience.
So Facebook decided to show you things based on your internet behavior and interactions.
So they say, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but the reality is since we all have a FREE Facebook account, they (Facebook) needs to drive revenue with advertising.
Since they are not going to charge me or you a $1 per month, which by the way, with 2-billion Facebook accounts around the world, you do the math, isn't going to happen anytime soon.
Facebook is going to make the businesses of the world pay to play.
This has been the ongoing scenario for quite some time. The joke in the digital marketing community is that if you want to hide information make it show up on the 2nd page of Google Search, the same can be said about a Facebook Page.
If you manage a Facebook Page, whether you are a publisher, business of any size or again, you have a Facebook Page, here are some things you can do.
Get Creative with Your Content
Barstool Pizza Review - 372K Video Views
The reality is that this is going to challenge all of us in social media marketing to get creative with our content. We've moved beyond scheduling tools that allow you to set it and forget it. It's really time to sit down and think creatively about ways to educate, entertain, inform and promote compelling information to your audience.
Ask questions, run polls, be thought-provoking, go live with video, planned video, etc.
The bottom line here is that you cannot just get by with a promo for your business or a high-quality picture with a catchy headline and a link.
Less will be more...
I took the liberty of researching sites like Barstool Sports, with 1.7-million followers. While the video above was published prior to the recent breaking news on Thursday. They typically will get 100K - 500K video views.
It's not always about the Bills Mafia breaking tables and taking names. It's about mixing up the content, entertaining and discussing sports.
They are unapologetic about it...Because they've got a following with their audience. They are real, authentic and not afraid to show the unpolished side of who they are...
And if you are Belleria Pizza, being that you got 372,000 video views, which equates to reaching far more people and delivering many more impressions, that' a good day.
There are 2-sides of this equation as the traditional ad buyers out there will say there's no algorithm for billboard, TV, radio, print, and newspaper.
In all reality there is...
The algorithm for these traditional forms of advertising is that we are all fighting for time.
Statistics show and even without statistics just go take a walk around your local coffee shop, restaurant, bar or even your house today the when family is visiting of how many people are staring at their phones all day along.
- 90% of all buying decisions start with online search.
- 1 and 5 views of the internet go through Facebook
- There are more smartphones on Earth than toothbrushes
- Social networking sites like LinkedIn have 500-million profiles
- Whether you are a Millenial, Gen X or Baby Boomer statistics show that you spend upwards of 27 - 32 hours per week digesting media content.
- Gen X'ers actually spend more time than Millenials each week on social media, this according to Fortune.
So guess what, when you are going fishing where are you going to go?
Remind Your Best Followers to Set Their Preferences to See Content They've Liked!
So you've taken the time to build a following.
This tactic will likely only work with your best followers, but it's a way of truly managing towards engagement.
Remind them, that on your page they can simply set their preferences to see your content first in their news feed not to mention get notifications of when there are events, all live videos, etc.
The other way this can be accomplished is to on the right-hand side of everyone's toolbar there's a drop down. Below I highlighted where you can set your preferences for your news feed. Once you've selected...
Facebook will now give you, the user, without going to a page the opportunity to set your preferences of what and who you see first.
Also if you notice on the WFMJ post, to the top right there's a blue star.
This blue star indicates that I've decided to see their information first in my news feed. Letting me control what I see and what I don't.
Furthermore, if you look to the right, there's 3-dots there and just below.
This will give you options to save the link to view later, unfollow, quiet for 30-days. Facebook changed this recently to make it easier to stop getting information, but the reality is that it helps to tailor the experience.
Once you open your preferences you can see posts from friends and decide how you want to see that information.
This is helpful for your pro-whatever political, cause, etc. friend that's always up on the soapbox taking up your feed with rants and raves.
As for businesses, publishers like The Vindicator, you can prioritize on who you will see first. There's no indication that this is going to go away completely. The See First option is still an option.
Again this is another attempt for Facebook to improve your experience and drive ad revenue.
This would fall into the former, meaning that if you want to get marketing updates from DOYO Live, you can still do so.
The cynic in me wants to say question that the common user will likely not understand or want to take the time.
However, I always refer back to the Ice Bucket Challenge in these scenarios.
By no stretch of the imagination, besides raising a ton of money for a great reason, it showed that we have a deeper competency for using Facebook.
Remember you had to record a video, upload it, tag two friends, there was some complexity behind the use that drove that who challenge. So, my friends, your best users should be able to figure out how to see your content first.
Facebook Advertising - Pay to Play
Just come to the grips with the fact that this hasn't been and no longer will be a FREE platform to promote your business.
Conversely, how FREE is your time. That's one area that most businesses never put into the equation. Social media marketing is NEVER FREE if you are committing time to a strategy.
That said, the tangible exchange of the Benjamins, the dead presi's as they (the kids said a decade ago). Also known as ad spend, money...
Budgeting a monthly spend on Facebook is still going to put content in front of your audience, whether you target this at your followers and their friends or you point this at specific audiences.
There's still really no better value in advertising today, when it comes to reach, impressions and engagement.
Facebook Groups seem to be a viable option because of the nature of how these groups are built, normally by invitation.
There are many experts out there in digital marketing, multi-level or affiliate marketing businesses, etc. that are charging for people to get access to groups.
Therefore you will likely see this as an on purpose by design strategy to grow the audience, provide value and engagement.
Build your groups, but still keep in mind that this is not a bulletproof strategy, which leads up to the next point. Never build a house on rented space.
Never Build a House On Rented Space - Own Your Content
While DOYO Live's been a big fan of marketing on Facebook, heck we went all in on Facebook Live a year ago.
We've managed to grow our following significantly and in the process see a good return on the time and money investment.
That said we've never ever been about growing our following on Facebook and stopping there...
You should look at social media as a medium to educate, entertain, promote offers and engage with your audience. It's a medium just like a blog, website, TV, radio, newspaper, etc.
The one thing you can control is the ability to grow an audience through content marketing on assets you own like your website.
Furthermore growing your email list...As you grow your email list you can do the same with your content...Educate, entertain, promote offers and engage with your audience.
And guess what, if people unsubscribe from your email, which happens they go away.
But the other side of that is that you are not going to wake up tomorrow knowing that the platform changed its algorithm on how people see content.
Look, it's a vitally important part of the mix, to have a website that ranks very high in Google Search. 75% of all people searching the web never go beyond the first 3-choices on 1st page and the 1st three placements.
So forget about 2nd page Google results.
Google rolled out 600 changes over the past year on how you get found in a Google Search. Some have that the sky is falling and some don't feel to them.
The bottom line and it always has been, use these channels as a way to not build up the following on their platform, but as a way for you to build them up on yours.
That remains true for social media, digital platforms, and traditional news outlets as well, don't rely on them to help you grow your business.
We are here for you!!! DOYO Live has a platform that provides education to our followers with a number of expert contributors to our content strategy. We will tap into a handful of these resources to provide you with exceptional value. Here are a few things you can do that will help you put your hands around the current state-of-affairs in digital marketing and more specifically with your Facebook strategy:
- DOYO Live - Subscribe to our email list today!
- How to Overcome the Death of Facebook Pages - FREE Webinar + Live Q&A - Register Today!
- DOYO Live - Digital Marketing + Interactive Design Conference - August 2, 2018 - Sign Up Today!
Struggling with your Facebook marketing strategy. Be sure to reach out today to me at Dennis@DOYOLive.com, I work with brands and publishers to help provide consultation on Facebook marketing!!!
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