A place at the table – how to make the most of Facebook
Since the introduction of Facebook Pages in 2007, the food and drink industry has utilised Facebook to strengthen relationships with customers. Over the years businesses have invested a lot of time and energy into building a presence on Facebook but it’s getting harder and harder to reach audiences.
Facebook wasn’t always as busy as it is now. There was a time when organic posts reached 100% of their audience. Yes, that’s right 100%. This meant every user saw every post of every friend and every page they liked. But with the growing popularity of Facebook, the News Feed has become too crowded so it’s now impossible to see every post.
For businesses, there’s so much noise to compete with in the News Feed and the biggest obstacle getting in the way is changes to the algorithm.
Last year, our hearts sunk when Facebook announced that they were going to prioritise posts shared by friends and family over those from brands and other pages. We thought we were all doomed. Thankfully, it didn’t turn out as badly as we thought. We just had to work a little harder to get seen.
If you’ve noticed a drop in organic reach, don’t panic. You just need to tweak your social media strategy. Here are some of our best tips to help your posts battle their way back into the News Feed:
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is key to social media success. If you want to get them to engage with your brand you need to give them the content that they crave. This means you need to know who they are and what motivates them. So, don’t jump right in at the deep end because you won’t get the results you want. Take the time to get to know your audience first and make this the foundation of your social media strategy.
You might be lucky enough to have some market research data to hand but don’t worry if you don’t because there are lots of other ways you can find out about your audience.
Facebook’s free analytics tool, Insights, is a great starting point. Here you can find answers to questions such as where do they live and how old are they among others. However, this only scratches the surface, so don’t stop there. There are lots of other free tools that you can use. For example, you can use Klout to identify the key influencers or survey your fans using the likes of Survey Monkey.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Once you know your audience inside out take a step back and put yourself in their shoes then ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the content something that they are interested in?
- Are the posts funny or entertaining?
- Are they inspiring or build trust?
- Do they provide value so the customer can enjoy your product more?
Don’t be afraid to test out different posts and compare them to find out what works best. Use Facebook’s Insights to track the performance of each post using metrics such as reach and engagement. When you hit upon something that performs well make sure you take a note of the subject, tone, length and imagery then try and mimic this in future posts.
Apply The 20/80 Rule
Whatever you decide to post make sure you stick to the 20/80 rule. The days of the hard sell are gone. People use social media to be ‘social’ they don’t want to be bombarded with your sales pitch. Instead of making it all about you, focus on building relationships. Only 20% of your content should be used to promote your brand and 80% should be dedicated to engaging content that interests your audience.
If you really want to engage your audience you need to get creative and do something different. For example, if you’re a chocolate brand you could give people an inside peak of your factory, share recipe videos or you could get off the topic of chocolate completely and tell them what’s on at cinema – you could even get them to vote for their favourite movie.
Draw Attention With Images
To get attention in the overcrowded News Feed you need to create a strong visual brand. It’s no secret that images generate the greatest amount of organic reach. You don’t need to use a professional photographer. Most mobile phones have great quality cameras these days and there are plenty of cool apps out there so you can add some finishing touches. Once you have your shot complement it with a short but sweet caption that doesn’t take attention away from the photo.
Take Advantage of Facebook Video
Have you noticed more videos in your Facebook news feed? That’s because Facebook is moving towards a video-first approach. So, make sure you include video in your social media strategy as it means more reach and ultimately more engagement.
There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Facebook is no longer considered a ‘free’ platform. Over the last few years, organic reach has been steadily declining so businesses have been pushed towards paid ads. This isn’t all bad. Facebook is an incredible advertising platform and if it’s done correctly it’s worth every penny. It’s entirely up to you how much you want to spend even a budget of three figures will generate a measurable response.
With organic reach threatened, businesses need to make much more of an effort to stand out from the crowd. The key to online success is engaging content that targets specific audiences so don’t post on Facebook just for the sake of it. Take your time to get to know your audience and find effective ways to engage in conversations with them. Building relationships take time. There’s no quick fix. But, the benefits, in the long run make it a well worthwhile investment.