Facebook recently announced that the platform now has two billion monthly users. Almost a third of the planet is on Facebook! It took Facebook less than five years to jump from 1 billion to 2 billion global users. Mark Zuckerberg’s recently also announced a change in the platforms’ mission to, “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” While the platform hasn’t really announced how this will be done, Facebook has already taken steps to limit the reach of fake news and spammers with new tools and features.
Two billion global users (and 214 million US users) means an incredible audience potential and points to why your organization still needs a strong Facebook strategy. Yet, for all these changes and the huge audience potential, publishers are still fighting for traffic and engagement. If anything, the new announcements can help you reinforce your strategy. How do you reach your audiences? How do you provide content and messaging that will reach those audiences? And what does it mean for mobile users, where many Facebook users access the platform.
- Compelling content: It’s still all about content. Facebook algorithm favors people, not companies. Facebook users are more likely to see posts from friends than your organization or business. In fact, your organic reach has dropped more than 40% in the past two years.For publishers to break in between friends’ posts, they need strong, visual content. Share graphics, strong photography, and especially video are essential for a good Facebook post. Your message should be brief, strong, and have a good call to action, whether you’re asking for a share or a visit to your website. Don’t worry about posting several times a day, instead focus on quality content will pique the interest of your followers.
- Keep tabs on engagement: You’ve probably noticed that your Facebook comments have decreased and you’ve probably had fewer Facebook shares from content on your website. Engagement is crucial for your content to succeed. Once you post, watch your comments and shares, either by checking posts or by checking your Facebook Insights data (or third-party software). Posts that get comments and shares have potential for broader reach and can be part of your paid ad strategy (see below).And if you have share buttons on your website, keep this content in mind. Your website Content that has more than a few shares also has the potential for a strong ad response.
- Yes, it’s pay to play: Your company needs an ad strategy built on several aspects: increase engagement (brand awareness), clicks (website traffic), and getting audiences to sign up or purchase products (conversions). Facebook’s audience targeting continues to improve, thanks to the amount of data it gathers on its users. All this data means publishers can get their messages in front of the narrowest right audiences. Whether your business spends a few dollars each day on promoting content or thousands each month, a paid strategy will elevate your content into your followers’ streams and reach new audiences.
- Keep trying new things: Despite the decrease in organic reach, Facebook still has the potential (with two billion people, it’s a lot of potential!) to reach audiences. But don’t just blindly post a few times a week, mix up your content and messages. Try Facebook Live, try polls or surveys, mix up your posts types from site to videos, to share graphics, to even just simple text posts or questions for your audience. Keep your ideas fresh and mix up content to beat the algorithm and provide good content for your paid efforts.
Facebook remains the strongest social and digital marketing platform for almost everyone. Check your website analytics, it is most likely the top social referrer for your website traffic. As Facebook continues their pursuit to wire the planet and grow their audience, they will continue to be dogged by fake news allegation and battling the divide between good stewardship and a platform for all publishers. But, Facebook should remain part of every publisher’s digital strategy… there are two billion good reasons why you likely find an audience for your message.