Scroll down your personal Facebook page and consider what you see.
If your News Feed reads anything like mine, presented is the BuzzFeed post shared by your best friend, today's promotional offer from your favorite retailer, and Halloween pictures posted by that college acquaintance that you, admittedly, spend a little too much of your time stalking online.
But on a social networking platform that allows you to connect virtually anywhere in the world, isn't it oddly suspicious that the only content displayed is generated from your most immediate interactions?
Why yes, yes it is.
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So what happened?
In exchange for access to the content hosted, Facebook reserves the right to monitor individual usage patterns.
Each "Like", comment, and page view is tracked and then fed into a fancy algorithm that continues to personalize a user's feed in order to optimize their experience. So that band you streamed yesterday? Hello! And that company page liked three months ago? Goodbye.
As a marketer, we scratch our heads while considering our original inquiry - Is anyone seeing my Facebook posts?
Perhaps, but not nearly as many as you think.
For a content writer, this is frustrating. We spend a considerable amount of time working towards the creation of remarkable content to educate and entice our audience. But if that information isn't getting to our reader, what's the point?
To be perfectly frank, there may not be one.
This was the realization of CopyBlogger and Groove, both of which made the bold decision to suspend their Facebook presence despite the platform's major popularity.
After spending time considering both the metrics as well as the nature of their content, it was decided that their time and efforts could be better spent on Google+ and LinkedIn where ROI was considerably higher.
The fact of the matter was even though Facebook has the greatest overall following, it simply wasn't resonating with their following.
Reconsidering your social strategy?
Ponder the following food for thought before "Logging Out" of Facebook for good.
Consider your buyer personas
This may seem fundamental but review what you already know.
How old is your consumer? Where are they spending most of their time online? How much time do they have to spend with your content?
Continually revisiting this bank of knowledge will help you to make informed decisions about where to invest your resources and uncover the greatest reach potential.
Is your Facebook page contributing to your brand's value?
Groove CEO, Alex Trumbull, attributes the decision to delete their Facebook page to acknowledging it could actually be depreciating brand value.
Boasting over 2,000 customers and over 20,000 blog subscribers, the mere 197 Facebook fans only served to undermine their successes. Take an extremely critical eye when evaluating your own Facebook page.
If you were unfamiliar with your company, what would you think based upon first impressions?
Quality over quantity
Compare your social media interactions across the "big four" networks (and anywhere else you might be featured, too!)
What platform gets the most engagement?
Where do you have the most followers and page visits?
If one ranks significantly higher than the others, it may be worth your time to continue investing in that channel at the expense of another.
"It's not you, it's me."
Regardless of how remarkable your content might be, if it's not tailored to the platform it simply won't translate.
Headlines that don't encourage sharing and discourse won’t translate on a social network. Remember to consider the channel you are using to disperse your content to decide on a technique for doing so.If your content is awesome, we want to make sure everyone can see it!
"It's not me, it's you."
However, sometimes your content isn't as awesome as you think it is and no amount of dispersion adjustments can help.
When content is bad, it's simply bad. If you suspect this to be the case, the only modification you can make is to the content itself.
Revisit your work and see what you do to make it more captivating. Play with the language, add a fun graphic, and be sure to make sure your content is up-to-date and relevant to the questions your reader is dying to know.
Is Facebook still for you?
We "Like" that too! Try some of these tips to maximize your reach:
Filter your following
The most effective way to connect with your fans is to remove those who aren't.
While it may seem as though having a high number of "Likes" is beneficial to your company, the opposite is true.
In an effort to keep Facebook personalized to the user, only 16% of followers were reported as organically reached in 2012 with this statistic only declining (Source: Social@Ogilvy).
If you find this to be confusing, consider your own FaceBook. If each time you logged in you were bombarded with updates from all the pages you "Like", not only would you be discouraged from following pages in the future but you'd also never know that your third cousin just got engaged!
The simplest way to filter your following is to set geographical limits on those who can follow your page.
Countries such as Bangladesh and Egypt employ people to "Click Farms", agencies that pay large amounts of people in tiny increments (as low as $1.00/1,000 likes), to generate fraudulent returns on paid advertising. (Source: Veritasium’s “Facebook Fraud”) While we are always looking to globalize our companies, consider your product/service.
If you're a pizza restaurant in New Jersey, what is the benefit of 3,000 fans from India?
While this option will depend on your advertising budget, it is one to consider.
With over one billion users world wide, advertising with Facebook can be advantageous. However, the potential to communicate with one billion consumers comes at a price point many smaller businesses simply can't afford.
Once you pay FaceBook to advertise your page, higher engagement rates seldom occur without continued payment to list this content in user's News Feed. While this may become pricey (Facebook is a business too!) companies such advertiser, Nanigans, reported a 35X return on investment. (Source: Jon Loomer).
Promote free features
With all the intricacies of social media, it's easy to overlook the abilities we already have to promote our content.
Write posts that remind your pre-existing followers of the "Pages Feed" located under "Pages" in the left sidebar to easily access the brands they want to see.
Additionally, encourage followers to select the option to "Get Notifications" from the page. Electing to do this will alert the user of updates from your page upon logging into their account.
Ask questions, stimulate conversation and be gracious to those who interact. Without the social aspect, it's only media.