In the past few months, I have seen and been involved in numerous debates about the dramatic decline in organic reach for brands on Facebook. Research shows that most brand pages are receiving anywhere from 2% – 6% organic reach, and it’s probably only a matter of time before that number hits zero.
Back in the olden days of Facebook, destination brands were able to post their content, and paid reach wasn’t even part of the equation. Then the algorithms changed, and in order to increase page engagements, links needed to be added to each post. After that was solved, the algorithms changed again, and each post now needed a photo attached to it. Simultaneously, while these algorithms kept changing, the organic reach of a Facebook post was steadily declining.
“Nothing in this world is free…everything comes with a price.”
Facebook, and every other media platform, has a bottom line and that is to make money to please shareholders.
Facebook is operating no differently than any other form of media. When someone starts a new magazine, radio or television program (which are the more traditional forms of advertising), the rates are always lower, and even sometimes free, to get buy-in and participation to fulfill the proof of concept. If they can get enough people on board as advertisers and supporters of the program, and the actual magazine, radio or television program sees success, then the initial investment you paid as an early-supporter will increase as long as the actual magazine, radio or television program is successful.
Our initial investment as destination marketers with Facebook was $0.
While it is frustrating to see the decline of organic reach, we as destination marketers don’t use organic reach as benchmarks for any other form of media – we pay for it. We don’t get to post our content for free with any other form of media – we pay for it. We don’t get to run our ads when we feel like it, because our ad schedules are determined by the publishers and editorial calendars, and guess what? We pay for it.
Personally, I like the challenge – it keeps me on my toes. But in order for us to be better destination marketers on Facebook, we’ve got to stop whining, put on our big boy or big girl drawers (pronounced “drawls”) and get to work. Here are four tips that I believe will help:
- Get over it. Yes we know Facebook used to be free, but nothing in this world that is worth having is free. So if Facebook is part of your media strategy, which I cannot see why it wouldn’t be, then add some dollars to your budget to cover it and plan accordingly.
- Get integrated. You can’t operate in a media silo where your traditional and digital advertising plans are not aligned with your sales, services and public relations strategies. Nor can you solely rely on one social media platform, you’ve got to expand. Get everyone on the same page, and start singing from the same hymnal.
- Get creative. Start A/B testing with your content on Facebook. Post with or without links, with or without photos, with or without videos, and even post the same type of content with re-worded language in the post. Use your social analytics tool to see what people are responding to and stick with it.
- Get better. Stop being a lazy marketer, thinking that something will perform well just because you post it. Make your content personal and relevant. Know your social media audience and cater to them. Just because something works better for one destination, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.
There’s no crying in social media.
Photo courtesy: https://emojiisland.com.