Is Facebook Reach In Decline

Do you want the simple answer?

It ain’t going to get any better!

It’s my experience that organic reach on Facebook is far from dead but many are reporting a steep decline in their organic reach.

The thing is…..Facebook are not just awarding any old content with space in people’s timelines.  Timeline space is precious.  Facebook are committed to ensuring the user experience is always their main and only concern. They ain’t going to bombard newsfeeds with marketing, you aren’t going to get into the position where the posts from your family & friends are lost in a sea of marketing messages.  Your newsfeed isn’t and never will be an rolling ad stripe.

Yes, you are going to need to pay for advertising with Facebook to get the very best exposure and returns.

Yes, I always have ads running.

BUT, I also have good organic reach too.

HOW COME?

Because I am committed to using my Social Media channels to get the right message out to my crowd.  I know what they want, I know what they are struggling with and I know how I can help.

I know the type of posts that get engagement.

I know the types of photos and images which catch the attention of my crowd.

How do I know?

Because I have tried, reviewed, tweaked and tried again.

So What Are My Top Facebook Tips?

  • Write absolutely everything that you do on your Social Media directly to your crowd.
  • Think about how you can serve your crowd and how you can help them to overcome their problems, where can you add value and reach out to them.
  • Keep your eye on what is going on.  My Facebook strategy is constantly under review.  I keep a very close eye on my stats and tweak accordingly.
  • I always have Facebook ads running. Make sure you are using the right type of ad and that you are targeting that ad to the right people so that you are not wasting your ad spend.
  • I never run ads for more than 10 days without tweaking them as I have find that this is the optimum timescale before the engagement and traction of the ads starts to reduce.

Above everything think YOUR CROWD, USER EXPERIENCE, INTERACTION, BEING OF VALUE TO THOSE YOU SERVE.

Let’s dive in a little deeper.  Ultimately, Facebook work out which content is going to hit people’s newsfeed with their algorithms.  

The Facebook algorithms can cause headaches – FACT!

I know, I know – just like a magic spell from Hogwarts there seems to be no way that us Muggles can work them out, let alone pull off a step through the forcefield to get the results that we want.

Facebook’s organic reach, as a general rule, has been on the decline now for a number of years.  Facebook is committed to getting newsfeeds right for everyone and when you are trying to balance the consumers wants with the needs of business this is never an easy conundrum to be faced with.  PLUS Facebook is a business and they NEED to make money – (I don’t want to sound harsh but..) get over it!

If you use Facebook wisely then it’s still a massive platform from which you can get really good results.

Here’s a bit of a low down..

User Experience
User experience remains to be the primary focus of Facebook.  If you are sharing good quality content that your crowd want to see and want to get involved with then organic reach will always be yours.

There Is A Place For Marketing Spend Too
Facebook should be used both as a means of being social (it is social media after all), nourishing your audience with really good help and advice and also as a platform for spending some of your marketing budget.  I ALWAYS have Facebook Ads running.  Why?  Because Facebook allows me to advertise in a super cost effective way and target (very specifically) the people I want to see my ad and where I want to use my budget.

Interact
Facebook isn’t a platform for shouting into a deep dark hole – you need to interact with your audience.  Don’t make the mistake of leaving comments unanswered and your crowd neglected.  You can’t just pop your posts out there and hope for the best.

Post Types
Make sure you are bringing together a good mix of posts including videos, images, text posts, posts linked to your free resources, advice, questions and social elements.

Video
Video continues to be KING insofar as Facebook reach is concerned currently.

Is There Some Magic Rules I Don’t Know About?
There is a not a one size fits all solution to Facebook, certainly no magic recipe can be found that will work regardless of your business, I can’t give you a perfect number of posts per day – it will all depend on your crowd and what works for them.

The advice?

Test, tweak, observe, test again (and keep testing)

Can you get round the Facebook algorithms by just being sneaky? Can you run your business through your personal profile, stacks more people see your personal profile updates!  My answer is NO.  The response I sometimes get is “but loads of other people are doing it.” As my dear Mum would say ~ “well, if everyone else stuck their head in the oven would you?”

It might not be quite that drastic a decision to make BUT it’s one that comes on my radar an awful lot.  It’s the whole issue of people using their personal profiles in order to promote their business.   It’s against Facebook rules to use your personal profile for commercial purposes and you can end up with Facebook taking action and turning your personal profile into a Facebook page.

So, why do people continue to do it?

Because they by-pass Facebook’s algorithms which are in place to decide how many people are delivered a post from a Facebook Business Page and thay are courting potential clients, taking friends requests from anyone who is interested and working on the basis that they are much more likely to fall into people’s newsfeeds that way.

Should you be doing it?

No!

Why?  Because, firstly (and most importantly), it’s against Facebook Rules & secondly because business pages are available for a reason.  The information that you can gleen from your Facebook Business Page is SUPER valuable in your business and the tools that are in place to help you to build your business are A-MAZING.

Facebook business pages are also optimised in order to show up in Google Searches meaning that your business is more likely to be seen by your crowd with the Search Engine advantages of a page.

You are only allowed a maximum of 5,000 friends on your personal profile so you will run out of space to add additional people.

So instead of running off and running your business via your profile rather than a Business Page you are much better off in getting savvy at running a Facebook Business Page and improving your own organic reach with content that your crowd want to see, paid advertising that will help to promote your brand and build your list and bring together a bespoke Facebook Marketing strategy that works for you.

If you have accidentally set up your business in the profile settings in Facebook rather than in the Pages provision then you can migrate your profile here click here to find out more. 

So Should I Set Up A FREE Facebook Group?

Free Groups On Facebook have been around for a while now.  I’m sure you’ll have been added to them in the past or requested to join them BUT can they work in your online business?

Lots of businesses jump into creating a free group without much thought.  They see it as a way of more people being able to see them and to be more visible to their audience.  They see their engagement drop on their Facebook Page and the knee jerk reaction can be to create a group.

The majority of free groups don’t work out the way that the creator had hoped unfortunately.

I am part of some free groups that are providing massive value and they are assisting with nurturing their crowd and ultimately getting more work BUT I have seen groups that have become spam-fests of icky-ness that no-one values, the creator is almost anonymous in there and it’s not hitting any business objectives whatsoever.

So, what do you need to think about before you create a free group?

Business Objective

What do you hope to achieve by setting up a group?  Some people think that it’s based on getting their crowd to interact with them and find out more about them – Why not try a survey first?  Why not let people message your Facebook Page if they don’t feel confident in speaking in a public arena.

Boundaries

Both for yourself and your audience.  If you set up a free group then you must make sure that you know what the group is going to involve and the structure of what you’ll share there.  It needs to not devalue your products and programmes and needs to NOT be a TIME DRAIN!

Have rules in the group too.  I have seen SO often people end up with dilemmas to deal with within groups because people are doing stuff that they shouldn’t do – be clear on the group rules.

Why Will People Buy From You If You’re On Tap

Think this one through!  If you are looking to have the group put together to ultimately help you sell a product or programme then make sure you are clear on the difference between the group and the programme or product you want to sell.  If people feel that they can already access you whenever they want then why would they buy from you?

What You Can Do In Order To Make It Develop That Relationship With Your Crowd

An interesting one I have seen implemented recently has been that the free group access is available by a list building sign up.  This allows you to essentially take cold traffic or those who have been observing from the sidelines, capture their email address and enhance your relationship with them – but make sure you consider the other points too, just because you have used it build your list isn’t enough.

Can You Manage It Yourself?

No is the honest answer! You can’t be around all of the time, checking what people are saying, deleting inappropriate stuff, banning members and enforcing the rules of the group.   You’re probably going to need help on this one.

The Pros Of An Online Group

More people will see your posts as you aren’t at the mercy of the Facebook Algorithm

You can nurture relationships with your crowd

The Cons Of An Online Group

They take work to maintain

They can become time drains

They can impact on your paid offering

Are the big players doing Free Groups?  Not Many!

In Summary

Facebook is a business.  Facebook make money through advertising.  Facebook aren’t be snarky by not giving your posts maximum reach, Facebook just got REALLY noisy over the years and the level of reach that was experienced in the past will never be around again.  Facebook for Coaches is still important.  It’s a very social network and if your crowd hangout on Facebook then it’s likely to be a good approach to your marketing (but mustn’t be your only approach).

You need to make sure that you play by Facebook’s rules and you aren’t doing the stuff that Facebook don’t want you doing (i.e. running a business from your personal profile).

Make sure that you are prioritising your audience at all times and that you aren’t just throwing content out there – think it through.

It’s important that you don’t let Facebook be a massive time drain.  It’s so easily done.

Use Facebook Ads on content that you want more people to see. Click Here To Read More About Facebook Ads.

Facebook is an every changing beast and it’s something that you will never truly conquer because it seems that as soon as you have a formula which works everything changes again.

Keep testing, keep tweaking.

Make sure that everything that you do is directed towards your fans and that they are the ones at the forefront of your mind – ALWAYS!

Happy Facebooking ~

Fearless Facebook is a mini programme that's going to help you to get a hold on your Facebook marketing.  Let's get together and go through some Facebook basics, some little hints and tips to get you going and a planner to get you organised.

Facebook need NOT be a drain on your time or energy...

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