Have you heard the news? Facebook has decreased the organic reach of your business posts, again, reducing their visibility from 16 percent to a mere one to two percent. According to a study by Ogilvy & Mather that reach is going to hit zero in the near future. Facebook says that the reason for this change is that Facebook users don’t want to see posts from businesses over keeping up with their friends.

Facebook Decreases Organic Reach

A study by Ogilvy and Mather shows that Facebook organic reach has decreased significantly.

The continual spurning of businesses by Facebook has prompted some to break up with them, deleting their profiles all together.  Here’s an excerpt of a recent break up letter from Eat 24.

 “Dear Facebook,

Hey. It’s Eat24. Look, we need to talk. This isn’t easy to say since we’ve been together so long, but we need to break up.  We’d love to say “It’s not you, it’s us” but it’s totally you. Not to be rude, but you aren’t the smart, funny social network we fell in love with several years back. You’ve changed. A lot.”

It’s frustrating because business owners have invested so much time and energy into Facebook, learning how to make posts that engage fans and increase reach such as funny images (also known as memes). Now Facebook is telling us that they are cracking down on “like-bait;” memes and posts that specifically encourage readers to “like” or “share” because they decrease the quality of the newsfeed for the average Facebook user.

Like-Bait

Images like this are considered spam or “like-bait” and are being penalized by Facebook.

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg is quoted as saying, “Before we get started, let’s just remember one thing: Facebook was created for people — not businesses.”

So, is it time to quit Facebook or are you going to take a “go with the flow approach?” If the latter, here are some ways that you can adjust to these latest changes.

  1. Advertise: Facebook says that businesses who want to increase their reach will need to invest in Facebook advertising, by paying to “boost” their posts so that more people will see it. In fact, Facebook just released new call to action buttons that you can use on your Facebook posts to encourage users to take action on your ad. The call to action buttons include: Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now or Download.

    Facebook has introduced new "Call to Action" buttons for Facebook ads.

    Facebook has introduced new “Call to Action” buttons for Facebook ads.

  2. Post content that is newsy, current, and personal.   In our experience managing social media content for our clients, we’ve found that timely posts that show pictures of what’s going on in the business right now get more visibility than advertising-type posts such as “Don’t forget, you can schedule an appointment online.”  Post pictures about what’s going on right now. Post photos of your staff as they go about their day, or of your customers, sharing a little personal tidbit such as “This is Mary, she’s been coming to our store since we opened 10 years ago. Every Easter she brings us homemade cookies!”

    Images of real people get more engagement than stock photos

    Images of real people get more engagement than stock photos

  3. Encourage fan generated content.  Ask fans to share their photos, testimonials, and experiences with your company. Have a “caption this” contest with a photo from your business and then pick the caption with the most likes and make a meme or image of it, making sure you give credit to the customer who thought of the winning caption. You can easily make shareable images on picmonkey.com.  Some of our most popular posts are just photos sent in by our customers. 
    User generated content increases likes and shares naturally.

    User generated content increases likes and shares naturally. Img credit, Calypso Farms, Alaska.

     

  4. Mention fans by name.  Welcome new fans to your page, or highlight a fan or customer of the week. The following is one of our most popular posts on Facebook.Barbara Predmore 3.13.14
  5. Tap into popular hashtags.  Don’t forget to take advantage of popular hashtags on Facebook such as #ThrowbackThursday. Invite fans to share throwback photos of themselves on your wall or share photos of your own.

Lastly, the changes in the Facebook newsfeed reminds me that it’s never a good idea to rely on only one or two marketing tactics to bring in new customers because what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Make sure that you are using as many marketing tools as possible to get the word out about your business and when changes occur you’ll see less impact.