Anyone who has been paying attention to their page analytics knows that Facebook is constantly changing the algorithms in order to control what is seen by the average Facebook user. In their quest for “high quality” content, Facebook has given page owners a choice: Pay for engagement or be ignored.
In a recent report posted by Social@Ogilvy, the organic reach of most Facebook pages is in a downward spiral that Facebook sources have hinted will reach ZERO. And the larger the page, the more significant the impact will be.
Why is Facebook making these changes? The “why” doesn’t matter. They are a business and the focus of any healthy business is to make money. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that you cannot rely on a third party platform to build your blog. If you have been focusing all of your effort on Facebook, you are now essentially stuck without a way to grow your reach and traffic. So, what should you do now?
How to use the “new” Facebook
I have already started being very selective about what I share on Facebook because I am very conscious of spending my resources (time and money) where I will see a good return on my investment, and honestly… my Facebook pages have been dry for a couple of months.
While referrals from social media account for roughly 60% of the traffic to my blog at MeetPenny.com, less than 4% is directed from Facebook despite the fact that I have been playing with the paid features.
So, I have cut my losses. I stopped paying someone to maintain my brand Facebook pages and have encouraged the ladies who volunteer on the Inspired Bloggers Network Facebook page to scale back on their efforts. There just is no need to spin our wheels where we are not getting traction.
Should you abandon Facebook all together? No. Because you never know what changes they will make. But, instead of spending the majority of your time and money on a dead end, try this strategy:
Stay active but be intentional
Keep your Facebook page active by posting at least once a day. Save the BEST of your content for posting to Facebook and change the way you present it. Consider a 7-day rotation like this:
- Ask your readers a question.
- Post a status update with a link. Disable the link preview.
- Share a photo with a question as your caption.
- Post a status update with a link. Do not disable the link preview.
- Tell a funny story from behind the scenes.
- Upload a video.
- Share a favorite post from another blogger and tag that page.
This is just an example but I think it shows you the general idea of not sharing the same type of content every day.
Also, do not schedule your Facebook page updates through a third party. Instead, schedule directly through your Facebook page. Using another scheduling application might be convenient but it will instantly kill any hopes of organic reach your post might have.
Use the Instagram connection
One exception to sharing through a third party… I am still seeing decent engagement when I share a post to my Facebook page through my Instagram account. But, of course, Facebook paid a billion dollars for Instagram. They want it to succeed.
Budget for Selective Paid Promotion
If you can profit from what you are sharing, pay for engagement on your Facebook post. And by profit, I mean: you will see an increase in sales or subscribers.
Set aside an amount dedicated to Facebook in your advertising budget and keep a close eye on how much you are spending because it can add up very quickly.
But, when paying for promotion, be very picky and very deliberate about what and how you share. There is a right way to set up a paid Facebook promotion and a way to waste your money.
Build an audience elsewhere
Focusing on any one social network is always a bad idea. Instead, I recommend that you find what it working for you and put the majority of your social media efforts there. I am willing to beat that you will find Pinterest is your leading referrer. If it is not, you are doing something wrong and need to make changes immediately to take advantage of Pinterest while it is hot.
Even so, dabble in the other social media outlets too.
Meanwhile, build your subscriber list. Your subscribers are the only numbers you can truly count on. If all social media fails, your email subscribers will still be there.
How will you approach Facebook?
As a blogger, what will your plan be for using Facebook? If you are being specific and intentional, we would love to know what you are doing and if it is working. Please share in the comments.