There’s a strategic way small businesses can increase organic reach on Facebook with minimum costs despite its push for paid posts and other issues cited in “The problem with Facebook” video.
“The Problem with Facebook” is an insightful video that raises the right kind of questions. I agree that the filtering / surfacing of feeds of friends should be better, more relevant, and ultimately decided by us, the users. Regarding the business side, now that Facebook is saying it’s time to pay rent, I think businesses should not just focus on the question of ‘Should I stay on Facebook or should I go?”
As a consumer, I like that businesses have to work harder to serve me (hopefully higher quality and more relevant) content on Facebook. As a small business owner, I am rethinking how to best use my Facebook presence given that the organic views have dropped enormously and I now have to pay to for my posts to reach my followers and their friends.
The issues raised in this video underscores, more than ever, the need for a solid social and content strategy. In my opinion, an essential part of this social strategy, especially for small business owners like me, would be to participate even more actively in interest groups on Facebook. If small business owners must now pay to boost their posts, targeted posts (and creating targeted content) must now take a central role in social strategy. Actively engaging in my interest groups (i.e. posting relevant content, providing thoughtful questions and comments, small provocations and conversations) provides me a way to directly reach the right type of audience without having to pay for it. Will my strategy still include paying for my posts to get boosted? Well, yes. It’s still a cheaper way to promote to the audience I want to reach on Facebook. Paid posts plus organic posts via higher engagement in interest groups will be my approach to reaching and building my audience on Facebook.
Some more takeaways:
- Understand how Facebook wants to make money and what that means for your Facebook presence. Make strategy decisions with that in mind. For example, now that you have to pay to boost your posts, how does this impact your content strategy, i.e. is the kind of content you produce targeted / persona-driven? Does it address specific needs of specific users? If you will have to pay to promote it, then you better be confident of its quality, relevance, and added value to your target audiences for them to interact with it, and thus bring value to your spending
- Re-examine how you define success on Facebook, and what is its value in your overall marketing strategy. Engaging on Facebook (or on any social channel for that matter) does not begin and end with a Like. Page likes were never a measure of success. You have to go down to the post level and determine which ones create meaningful activity for your business. Do not think in terms of episodic content, rather analyse total customer experiences and strive for business outcomes. You are building an audience on Facebook (think of it as a watering hole) in the hope of sparking connections and creating relationships that will result in better business transactions (like driving people to your site where you can focus more on conversion, or being recommended by your fans to their friends.)
“When we post on Facebook does anyone actually engage with us via typing on their keyboards and adding to the discussion? When we post on Facebook does anyone amplify our contribution so that it is seen by people who don’t know about us? When we post on Facebook, which content is loved by our followers/fans/friends (so that we can kill the loser stuff)?” – Avinash Kaushik, Facebook Advertisng / Marketing
- Do not rely so heavily on just one social platform. It’s crucial to have a good cross-platform strategy — that’s not just about having multiple relevant social channels, but also continuously improving your own website for audience engagement and content branding.
I don’t think charging businesses for money (like boosting posts) will now kill Facebook. Personal use is still free and as long as your target groups are actively on Facebook, you must find a way to be an organic part of their environment and stay within their sight.
Header image attribution: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5036/7164120540_e261e69596_b_d.jpg, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudolfgetel/7164120540/sizes/l/
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