They Like Me! So What?

like bandedFacebook used to be a marketer’s dream … millions upon millions of people on the platform every day, many times a day, restlessly scanning their news feeds lest they miss a video of Aunt Sally doing the Macarena at a family reunion or a cat doing anything at all. If people knew of your brand – and “liked’ your business page – chances were good that while they were scanning for Aunt Matilda they would at least see your logo. Getting that “like” was your main objective, so that with some pretty snappy content marketing you’d get an acceptable number of conversions.

But not anymore. Today, having 10,000 fans on your Facebook page doesn’t mean even 20 or 30 percent of the people who like your page will see your post like they would have in ancient times (2013 or so). Today, because of new algorithms Facebook instituted early this year, if you’re a brand with 10,000 page likes, instead of organically reaching two or three thousand people with any one post, you’ll reach a few dozen, or maybe even hundreds if it gets a few shares or likes.

Suddenly, Facebook doesn’t seem like a very friendly place for content marketers, and brands are faced with making some tough choices. Do you maintain a presence on Facebook or abandon it altogether? Do you reevaluate your marketing strategy to include paying $10 or $15 for every post you create? Or do you find new and innovative ways to use Facebook, knowing that it has evolved into something that is NOT a free advertising platform?

Sheer numbers make it hard to kiss Facebook goodbye (although some have, to varying levels of success). The social networking site has 1.49 billion active users worldwide; nobody else comes close. But these numbers must be put into perspective. What does this impressive statistic have to do with your business page? Very little, of course. So let’s get real about numbers. SocialSamosa cites that out of every 1,000 page likers, only 1% of them will visit the Facebook page at all; 990 of them do nothing after the “like,” and the other 10 people visit and click around, but that’s probably all. Likes don’t equal conversions.

So what’s a brand to do? There are some options and strategies to explore short of packing up your marketing marbles and leaving the playground.

Use Facebook as a way to get the email addresses of your targeted audience, so you can more consistently reach them through email marketing. How? Pay for Facebook ads that offer something of value to your customers – a discount coupon for a product or service, a free e-book, etc. – which they can get via their email. Boom, you’ve got a way to deepen your relationship with them.

Create high-value Facebook posts for organic reach. Pay attention to what kinds of content naturally draw engagement, in the forms of comments, likes, or shares – and then use that content on paid boosts. Figure out what your target audience wants, and give them more of that!

Use Facebook to communicate meaningfully with your fans. In order to burst through the noisy clutter of a newsfeed, content marketers must remember their primary goals – share timely, useful and engaging content, use media well (videos and compelling photography), and draw the reader into an irresistible and relatable story. Also, always respond to comments on your page to get that conversation started!

Have some fun! People naturally respond to friendly and clever content. So, relax, have fun, and go there. Engage in conversation, ask questions about your products, and make the user feel valued. Facebook’s algorithm changes have also put the kibosh on any messaging that includes pricing and anything deemed “promotional.” So, go with the new flow, and find new ways to use Facebook to take your brand to the masses.

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