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January 7, 2014

There’s been a lot of chatter lately around the demise of Facebook, new product flops,privacy concerns and Mark Zuckerberg’s role in the polar vortex (though, we’re 90% sure he has nothing to do with the polar vortex).

A lot of our clients and partners are asking us why their posts on Facebook seem to be less effective lately. It appears that their daily posts are only reaching a small percentage of their fan base or “Likes.” They are right, it’s true! An audit of the accounts we manage showed an average organic reach of 7 to 15% of the fan base. Further analysis indicates that the larger the fan base, the harder it is to reach more of them and the lower the engagement rate.

Ok, so why is this happening?

Edgerank has long been the secret sauce to Facebook’s content stream. This legendary algorithm is what ensures I am seeing the most relevant content in my news stream, and not just any old stuff. Think about it: If you have 1,000 friends and “like” 100 brands/pages/organizations, your news stream would be an endless over-flowing river of information that you simply could not consume. Edgerank decides what you should see based on affinity, weight and time decay (stay tuned for a dedicated post just on Edgerank).

So is Edgerank working against you and your posts? Is there a solution?

While serving a diverse range of clients, we have watched organic engagement decline as the volume and quality of overall content has increased. Every page best online casino and person now has a LOT more competition. New Facebook features, mobile usage increases, Facebook’s need to meet investor expectations and their own statements have led us to one conclusion: You have to pay to play.

For all of our clients and partners, we strongly recommend adding a paid component to every social project or campaign. No longer can you rely on an organic community or that your message will “go viral” without a little catalyst. Facebook is now expecting you to pay to boost your content, and those who don’t will be left in the shadows.

Facebook advertising, while self-service, can be very complicated. There are a number of tools and approaches, thousands of targeting combinations and a ton of data to interpret along the way. ChatterBlast encourages newbies to explore the ad interface, but your best bet sometimes is to work with a person or firm who knows the ins-and-outs of the platform. Careful management of a campaign can net you tremendous results.

That said, here’s a three tips to help you get more reach from your posts:

  1. Budget for paid placements in all of your future marketing efforts. Since you only pay for what works, a larger budget is better than a smaller one, but anything is helpful to get more eyeballs. You don’t need to break the bank, but you do need to plan something for each component of your marketing project in Facebookland.
  2. Compelling, creative and disruptive visuals are more important than ever. Images get 120% more organic engagement on average on Facebook. But, quality images go even further. It’s critical to have a strong visual and multimedia strategy to your Facebook content (example: #PoehlerVortex).
  3. Encourage comments and discussions. Facebook’s Edgerank is based on snowballing engagement. The more people that like/comment/share the content, the more new peoplewill see it. Create unique ways to get a response. Consider being slightly controversial. Directly “ask” for feedback on ideas and content to make your posts live longer and reach more people.

The bottom line is that social media is not free promotion. It never really was. Now more than ever organizations need to budget for paid promotion to ensure social media success.

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About the Author

Evan Urbania

Evan Urbania is the CEO and Co-Founder of ChatterBlast Media. He can often be found cycling, reading obscure tech blogs, teasing the office dog or getting bored with new social media apps.

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