Facebook has recently announced that it is approaching a major new milestone and reaching close to achieving 3 billion users worldwide across all of it's apps - Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
It is thought that 67% of these users log in every day!
Now, more than ever, during the coronavirus lockdown, social media usage has had another big boost. With 35% of people saying that they turn to Facebook for news, relating to Covid-19.
Facebook themselves have recorded a 50% increase in usage on their messaging platforms and this goes as high as a 70% increase in the worst effected countries like Italy during the pandemic.
Although Facebook sounds like an untouchable business, it has seen huge increases in usage of it's platform for messaging and video calling during lockdown but huge decreases in advertising spends as many brick and mortar businesses have closed their doors.
Before coronavirus became a buzzword for 2020, Facebook was investing heavily in keeping their platform looking fresh. You may have noticed already that the homepage on desktop is already looking very different.
This is the old desktop version of the home page
With the new version looking much less cluttered.
It's not just the look of the front end that's changed. There's changes rolling out to the algorithms that work behind the scenes and many of these changes affect organic reach of your posts.
What is Organic Facebook reach?
When you create a post on Facebook and share it to your followers, you rely on organic, free traffic, with Facebook showing this post to the people that follow you.
However, you might be shocked to learn that even though people follow your brand or business, not all of them will see your post when you share it?
How many people see your posts?
Facebook Organic reach is reported to be anywhere between 2% and 6% of your audience, therefore, getting your posts seen is getting harder and harder.
How does Facebook decide who sees your posts?
On average, there are potentially 1,500 posts that Facebook could show you on a daily basis and filters these down to around 300 that it actually prioritises to show you. Rather than Facebook showing you all of that content, which would take hours and hours to scroll through, Facebook has designed it's algorithms and newsfeed to show you the posts that it deems are the most relevant to you.
How does Facebook show posts Organically?
Facebooks Organic reach depends on several things. The relevancy, quality and engagement, all determine who else see's your post.
When you post something new, Facebook shows this post to a small group of people within your following and waits for feedback on the post.
The more engagement, likes, comments and shares there are on a post the more chances there are that Facebook will deem the post to be highly relevant, high quality and clearly engaging, and therefore opens the post up to a wider audience and shows the post to more of your followers.
You might find yourself stuck in a catch 22 situation, if no one likes, shares or comments on your post, no one else will get the opportunity to see the post. Whereas, the more comments, likes and shares your post receives, the more popular Facebook deems your post and therefore shows it to even more of your fans and the snowball effect continues.
It is therefore, more important than ever to make sure you are sharing high quality, engaging social media posts if you want to continue to get your message across organically.
It sounds like an impossible task, how can you get your post in front of your own Facebook fans when so many posts don't get seen?
Facebook has it's own internal ranking signals that qualifies every page.
It looks at how long a page has been active on Facebook.
The percentage of followers that are engaging with your posts and your page in general, this includes messaging your business page.
The consistency of when and how often you post.
How actively the page engages with its followers, whether that's replying to comments or messages on your page in a timely fashion. It all goes into Facebooks algorithms.
It sounds simple, but how do you encourage engagement without sounding desperate?
Avoid click bait! No one wants to read your story of how it 'might' snow during winter!
Create real, interesting, inspiring and even funny posts that people want to read and share.
Create posts that users WANT to share, not posts that they HAVE to share, to enter a competition etc.
Quality content comes first. Use Videos and images to create eye catching content.
When's the best time to post?
If you use Facebook business manager, you can use the page insights tool to learn which of your posts have been the most popular and what time your users are online and the best time to share your posts for maximum engagement.
Your new post will only show to a small selection of your overall following and it's how these followers react to your post that determines who else sees your post and its success. So make sure you post when your users are actually online.
But remember, Facebook shows 'When your fans are online' in the Pacific time zone, so don't forget to calculate the correct timezone for your pages region.
Facebook tips to encourage your Organic reach
Make sure you encourage your followers to make your business page a 'see first' page. It's not enough that someone follows your brand, it still doesn't mean they will see your posts! But if they change their notifications and agree to see your posts first, and then interact with your posts, this will help your overall organic reach.
Build Interaction. Ask your employees, friends and family to like, share and comment on your page posts.
When you get any interaction, respond in a timely manner by replying to comments and messages within 24 hours.
Organic reach is harder and harder to achieve and it is thought that we are each scrolling or thumbing our way through 300 feet of content on a social media feed every single day!
As digital marketers and small business owners, we have an ever shrinking, tiny window of opportunity to tell a story and grab our users attention. Facebook users are thought, on average, to spend just 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on mobile and just 2.5 seconds with a piece of content on desktop.
We only need to see an image for 13 milliseconds to identify it. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words alone.
When creating a post for Facebook that you want to be successful in front of a limited audience, utilise the power of images and video to grab attention.
What about Facebook Advertising?
Social media advertising is extremely cost effective and offers huge ROI. (Return on Investment)
Don't be tempted to hit that quick fix 'BOOST' button you see under your posts quoting you can reach many more users if you simply boost your post.
Although boosting a post is a quick and easy option, it doesn't give you any of the targeting options that are available to you. This results in a much lower ROI and no one wants to waste money on advertising when you don't have to!
Why is Facebook advertising so beneficial?
Using Facebook advertising means you can target people with the motivation to actually interact with your unique business.
For example, If you are a babies clothing company, you might want to target those with new born babies and avoid spending any money on people with older children. It's a really targeted platform meaning you only spend money targeting leads that have a chance of converting.
You can use micro targeting to pinpoint a users
With Organic reach harder and harder to tap into, don't leave it to chance to get your message in front of your audience. Although there are lots of ways to improve your organic reach, it might just be the time to utilise some paid traffic to your website.
It can often cost thousands of pounds to use a traditional marketing method like a billboard poster, that your target demographic may or may not see. Whereas you can specifically target the right people, whilst in the comfort of their homes, on their devices for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Whilst people are spending more time at home and on their screens than ever before , there has never been a better time to start utilising advertising on social media. With the world in such an uncertain place and no knowing if we will ever return to what we once called 'normal' now might just be the best time to start thinking about using the powers of Facebook advertising.
If you would like help setting up social media advertising, through to full paid social media management, please feel free to get in touch - Amanda White.