Only 16% of brand posts are seen by its fans….Facebook has altered its algorithm a few months back, so your wall isn’t spammed with free “posts” – or free ads – from brands (or companies). Your wall-update only shows your interests/friends and post related to this. For an average person this sounds ok, but for brands this “s*cks” big time…Especialy those who thought Facebook was a free ride for distributing its (advertising/brand) messages. Off course Facebook doesn’t want to be an “earned” channel only, the want to be “paid” as well, so by adapting the algorithm for wall posts, brands aren’t shown that often on personal walls, except when a brand/company is sponsoring (paying Facebook to push) its post, to show on people’s walls…So is the free ride really over?
Off course not! This only shows that Facebook wasn’t a free ride at all….and just doesn’t work as any ordinary marketing channel from the past. Facebook is a social network which connects people with similar ideas, interests, hobby’s, …. It’s a community builder. Most communities are built around like-minded people who share a common connection. So building a community as a brand or a company is quite difficult, since these are not ‘real-life’ persons. Brands or companies can be the common connection between people, thus the connection being the beginning of a community. Brands and companies can drive this community but not only by sharing brand messages (or even worse brand advertising or promotion). Brands got to share their community with their “fans” who participate in the discussion, share pictures, share thoughts, …. Get a true brand engagement going, instead of focusing on the number of fans and likes. When your fans are engaging with your brand or company they will start sharing and participating in your messages, which will show automatically on their wall, while “likes” just don’t show on a wall at all (and thus can’t drive attention or traffic to your page).
So is the only way out, buying sponsorships for your post to show up on your fans walls? Off course not, you have got to rethink your own messages (as you should have from the beginning). Facebook (and other social media for that matter) aren’t your average advertising media as you know from the past. With social media content and context are very important. So only building a (social) advertising campaign on Facebook won’t do the trick, you need to share relevant content which can be of interest for your community (besides brands/companies messages). This way you can drive traffic to your page for content, and if you do a better job, you have them participating in your content though sharing, reacting, … Instead of pushing your message to your audience, you pull your audience into your message (=community), and if you can engage your audience they will become part of that community and share your content with their community (instead of you pushing your content into their community).
As a brand you really need to rethink the way you communicate on social media, away from the traditional push marketing and into building a content strategy. It’s better to build a community of a couple of hundred who is active, sharing and a true brand ambassador, then having a community of many who are just sleeping and don’t show any brand engagement at all.
How to do this? Build a (content) strategy for your Facebook channel, with some simple rules:
- post regularly (more than once a week….you need people to come to your page on a regular basis)
- use images (are ranked higher and easy sharable)
- be direct in connecting with your audience (ask them to participate in your discussions, posts, …)
- avoid continual self-promotion
- …don’t use Facebook as your only channel!
Facebook & the 16% solution – http://hightalk.net/2012/10/29/facebook-the-16-solution/?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=hootsuite_tweets
Facebook Brand Posts Only Reach 16% Of Your Fans – http://www.simplyzesty.com/facebook/facebook-brand-posts-only-reach-16-of-your-fans-infographic/
Facebook Tells Brands the Percentage of Fans Who See Their Posts – http://mashable.com/2012/05/24/facebook-post-reach/