Organic reach is going to hit ZERO percent at the end of 2014 for Facebook Page post. In June this year, Brian Boland of Facebook hinted in a Forbes article that the drop in organic reach from 12 percent in 2012 to 6 percent in Feb 2014 is a reflection on where FB is headed with its content algorithm.
Organic reach is basically determined by unpaid views. This means you can post to your Page timeline and get a totally free view from an audience (totally unpaid) courtesy of the Facebook Content algorithm that matches the interest of the person to your post (who in this case can be a follower or a person who likes a post which was shared to him/her from a third source) The organic reach stats is going to get a helluva different come year end when that reach is further tuned to zero. This means you won’t be able to see a single newsfeed posted and shared without you paying for it? Well, it’s not entirely true.
Shifty Shades of Grey on Facebook
Facebook post has gotten more expensive over the years. Boosting and gaining followers three years ago is more easier than it is now. A new post these days is determine by a content algorithm, and what you need to do is optimize that posted content to meet the criteria of that post. Each post you make have to meet a few basic criteria and if it goes viral, Facebook won’t charge a cent for it.
Content Optimization Post
I call it COP (content optimization post) for Facebook as it exist only in the FB environment, and there are three basic rules to this. The chief one is to get a proper CMS to show the blog content in the right light and this cost you money upfront. Relying on the boring FB layout is going to doom you eventually as people need to be convince you have something to offer. WordPress for example can help you track and verify your views without relying on Facebook Page management tools. You can also track where that view is coming from and even find out if there are fake followers created to follow you. This is not a widespread problem as yet but many who have advertised for followers on FB have found ‘grey’ followers. These people apparently have no info or background profile and have little or no post at all on their timeline.
Once you have optimized the CMS to track this, you can find out if Facebook post promotion is really for you. Always do a due diligence analysis to find out what you spend is worth the eyeballs you are getting and for that, how much does that translate onto ROI. Never trust Facebook to deliver the results of a promoted post. You need to know where that eyeball is coming from and how relevant is that for your business. Local businesses will only concentrate on a very smaller target
Return on Investment is a term used in advertising to find out the cost versus benefit of a campaign. In the advertising world, the cost must return at least 3 times the cost you spent on a particular campagin. For example, if you spent US$100 on a Facebook campaign and got US$300 in ROI, then it would be worthwhile exercise. If your campaign is only returning US$50 on ROI after spending US$100 on it, then you have to quantify that loss into some sort of goodwill benefit to your page or business or else it is a lost cause.
For COP to work, you should adhere to the following:-
1. Get Followers to Switch on ALL POST Notification
This is entirely up to you. Even if you have a post, your followers will not see them on their timeline. To avoid this, Facebook tweaked the features earlier this year to allow for this to happen. So you can get a post on everyone’s timeline if you know how to get them to switch it on.
How you do this is entirely up to you but a trick is to offer freebies periodically and asking people to “get notifications” to have the best chance of winning them. This can be time related offers or food porn that come with vouchers. The concept here is to meta-link your rewards to a worthwhile experience. For example, you can give away coffee vouchers for Starbucks even while you business page deals exclusively on services like fashion and tailoring. You can’t possibly be giving away clothes related vouchers alone to boost your business. That’s too self vested and it shows.
The first hurdle is still to get followers. And for this you have to spend money on it. You can get friends of friends to like your page but they do not necessarily get all your notifications.
2. Create a WordPress site as a Facebook Page
Your Facebook Page has one or more Facebook accounts with varied roles similar to WordPress pre-defined roles. A Facebook account with content creation capabilities for a Facebook Page can grant permission to your WordPress site (a Facebook application) to post updates to the Facebook Page on his or her behalf.
You can then edit the connected Facebook Page for your WordPress site on the Facebook Social Publisher settings page in your WordPress administrative interface.
Select “Allow new posts to a Facebook Page” to grant your WordPress site additional permissions for your Facebook account.
Your WordPress interface should present of list of Facebook Pages your associated Facebook account has permission to create new content. Select a Facebook Page name from the list and save your changes to associate Facebook Page publishing credentials with your WordPress site.
A Facebook page can be totally replaced by a third party CMS like in the case of WordPress. Why? Coz your WordPress site can communicate through a Facebook Page via a “https” enabled site. This is the SSL credentials you need to activate this or else it won’t work. There are themes which you can use to make a great landing page for fans. There is nothing to stop you from customizing responsive WordPress themes that come with a blog. These blogs will be your content. There are also HTML 5 templates that do the same thing so if you don’t know how, please engage someone who knows how to do it.
3. Make Great Content to Engage Followers
There is a very fine line between “like baiting” and engagement. However bear in mind that your post should not have people just liking them only but to engage with them. This can be done via comments, by asking your readers for feedback. It is this feedback that gets people talking, and this will lead to organic sharing. People who like your post or find it useful will share them on their timeline and this is the organic reach that is still possible.
If you have no idea on what makes an engaging post for sharing then refer to the “reasons to share on FB” graphic to get a better idea.
Moving Forward with a Content Strategy
This is the difficult part and not everyone will understand the underlying reason for a content strategy. The concept is simple. Post and Engage. But how you do that depends on your content strategy.
Facebook is not a cheap place to promote your business. You need to spend an average of US$200 just to get enough people to like you and that is very costly to a small business outside of the US. In America, spending US$200 is peanuts in advertising dollars. But that amount does not in any way guarantee you any form of engagement. For that you need to toss in even more money to promote your post to followers.
Having a custom Facebook Page is a leap of faith and is NOT free. You need to spend money on the CMS, get the damn thing working right and have someone create the content that suits your needs. Facebook content hosted within a CMS makes much more sense as the content is there for all to see.
Facebook is Incestuous
With ZERO organic reach coming like a ton of bricks at the end of the year, your post to Facebook will practically reach only people who like or follow you. Repeated attempts to harvest some form of return in investment will be futile if no new blood is infused into your following line. That might sound find for some but tapping repeat customers isn’t going to grow your reach.
This is why Facebook insist you PAY to gain followers and PAY again to reach out to them. It’s a business principle which is what a Jewish banker would want you to sell your soul into. Sounds like a plan doesn’t it?