By: Karina Munoz
As Facebook’s organic reach continues to decline and new social media platforms emerge every day capturing the attention of millennials, brands are diversifying their investment in social media marketing. It is no surprise Instagram and Snapchat are attracting an increasing number of marketing dollars with features like Carousel Ads and Discovery.
So, why continue to invest in Facebook?
Facebook is still King.
Why Facebook Still Matters
Facebook is a powerful social media marketing platform with a coveted user base. According to the Pew Research Center’s Teens, Social Media & Technology Survey: “Facebook remains the most used social media site among American teens ages 13 to 17 with 71% of all teens using the site, even as half of teens use Instagram and four-in-ten use Snapchat.” Instagram and Snapchat are growing fast, there’s no doubt about that, but Facebook continues to grow, reporting “ 936 million Daily Active Users for March 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year.” The idea that teens have moved on is a myth.
Clearly, Facebook’s users are still there and the user base is growing.
Yet, organic reach is down for businesses and brands. This leaves many businesses and brands wondering, what use is Facebook’s user base if I don’t have access to it?
Here’s the good news: The purpose of Facebook is not to work against you. Your relationship with Facebook is simply going through a change. With a little understanding, you can continue to benefit from using Facebook’s products.
The “People First” Approach
Understand that Facebook’s mission is to deliver the best user experience, keep users on Facebook, and drive everyone to use its many products. Facebook loves businesses too, but in order to connect businesses with people it needs to keep user’s attention. Facebook’s “People First” approach is a big step toward reaffirming a long lasting relationship with users, strengthening Facebook’s position as the leading social media platform.
For some time now, Facebook has been implementing its “People First” approach and, yes, it’s been affecting businesses, brands, apps, and publishers.
- The News Feed algorithm update improved users experience by providing a balance of content between Friends and Pages. News Feed is now set up to show content from friends first, decreasing Pages’ organic reach.
- The Graph API Version 2.0 update showed a commitment to user’s privacy by denying friends’ information to apps. Unfortunately, many apps relied on data from friends and now cease to exist.
- Most recently, Facebook unveiled Instant Articles – “a tool that enables publishers to provide How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Algorithma better experience for their readers on Facebook.” Even through Facebook is working with publishers by letting them keep the ad revenue, what Instant Articles essentially does is maximize the amount of time users spend on Facebook.
Facebook is setting itself up as a powerful marketing platform, one that can be of great use to businesses, brands, and social media marketers, but nothing this good ever comes for free or without work.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Algorithm
Approach Facebook with love. Remember what Facebook wants: to deliver a great user experience, to maximize the amount of time spent on Facebook, and people’s use of its products. Now, ask yourself: How can my business or brand work with Facebook to increase reach and ROI?
#1 Post content Facebook likes:
Remember, Facebook wants to keep users on Facebook. This means, Facebook prefers native content that looks good on Pages and News feed. Post video directly to Facebook, instead of posting Youtube links. Make sure content looks good on Facebook’s mobile apps.
#2 Use Facebook products:
You might think News Feed is just a Facebook feature, but it’s not. Facebook considers News Feed a product, along with Pages, Groups, Graph Search, and Messenger. Don’t limit yourself to News Feed. For instance, You can find an engaged audience in Facebook Groups.
At May’s Townhall Q&A at Facebook in Menlo Park, Mark Zuckerberg addressed the decline of organic reach for Pages and how businesses should be thinking about their pages, “A lot of businesses, I think, focus on the distribution of News Feed and how much of their posts are being seen in News Feed. That doesn’t take into account a second really important thing which is that a lot of people actually go visit pages.” In other words, don’t let a decline in organic reach discourage you.
Featured Image: Denys Prykhodov via Bigstock
In-Post Photo: Antonio Guillem via Bigstock