In a recent study of 5,000 Facebook business Pages, social media analytics company LocoWise revealed that, in March 2015, the organic reach for Pages with at least 1 million likes was at 2.27 percent. Those at the opposite end of the scale (under 1,000 likes) reached almost 23 percent of their audiences.
Images and videos were the best engagement drivers for all sizes: more than 13.5 percent and at least 11.8 percent respectively.
The News Feed algorithm has been a major topic of conversations for B2B brands and marketers since 2012. Last year, Wisemetrics reported that Pages with over 1 million likes had suffered a 40-percent drop in recent months. The drop was at 20 percent for Pages under 1,000 likes. And, in early 2015, the largest brands could expect their posts to reach just about four in 100 of their followers on average.
This sobering stat has led many B2B companies to wonder if they should continue using Facebook to promote their products and services. After all, the News Feed algorithm has gone through 15 major updates in the last two years. The most recent ones have focused on delivering timely stories, limiting the reach of overly promotional content and reported hoaxes, and prioritizing friends’ posts, with the ability to see multiple posts for the same sources. The organic reach for business Pages having been affected every time, and everyone from CEOs to marketing managers are concerned by this continual drop.
The Facebook advertising model is winning
According to the latest Adobe Digital Index research, Facebook remains a major traffic referrer for a majority of companies, especially in the B2B high-tech field (52 percent).
This explains why two million brands and marketers have accepted the end of the free ride and now rely on Facebook Ads. Within the last 12 months, ad clicks have increased 70 percent; ad impressions have risen 40 percent; and click-through rates have soared 160 percent.
Facebook is trying to entice more businesses to take advantage of its paid offerings. For example, February saw the launch of Ads Manager App, which allows advertisers to monitor / create / edit ads from anywhere. There are also two new online training resources available for agencies, brands, small businesses, and marketers: Blueprint and Learn How.
Some tips to boost the organic reach of your B2B Facebook page
In a recent article, digital marketing consultant, Jon Loomer notes that the declining organic reach is not a myth. What is, though, is its proclaimed death.
His bone of contention is not with Facebook, but with marketers and companies: “Brands are always looking for a way to reach the most people. Understand that this is a source of the problem. It’s brands worrying too much about a fuzzy metric and not enough about actions.”
As a company, Facebook obviously wants to monetize its platform. But its most important goal will always be the delivery of quality content in News Feed.
The problem is the increasing amount of posts shared daily on the platform. With so much competition for eyeballs, filters are needed to ensure consistency in quality.
So what can a B2B company do to boost organic reach for its page? Here is a short list of ideas from Facebook:
- Post great content such as “content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives.”
- Don’t aim for virality
- Invest in paid media to achieve your specific business objectives
- Visit the Facebook for Business Success Stories section to see how other B2B companies have used Facebook Ads. Salesforce and Huddlebuy are two interesting case studies.
- Give videos a try. Facebook recently launched Anthology, a new programme that connects businesses with major video publishers like “Funny or Die” and “The Onion” to create customized video ads.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s free resources, including Facebook Ads Guide and Facebook for Business.
- Keep an eye on Page Insights to figure out optimal posting times (when most of your audience is on Facebook). For example, the Adobe Digital Index research states that Fridays offer the best returns in terms of engagement.
- Page Insights also allows you to surface your most successful posts
- Target your posts. Did you know you can now target your posts based on user interests?
- Boost your most important content
- Leverage unpublished posts (a.k.a. ‘dark posts’). These will appear in News Feed but not on your page. For a good tutorial, read Duct Tape Marketing’s article.
- Upload all your videos to Facebook. According to Socialbakers, the algorithm prioritizes Facebook videos to make up 30 percent of the News Feed.
- Include calls to action in your images and videos.
- Respond to comments in a timely manner.
- Invite your customers to opt in for notifications and/or add you to their Interest Lists.
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