Facebook isn’t what it used to be

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Facebook isn’t what it used to be

Data doesn’t lie. Facebook isn’t delivering the engagement it once did for brands and publishers who spend time and money maintaining a Facebook presence, according to content marketing tool Buzzsumo.

“The average number of engagements with Facebook posts created by brands and publishers has fallen by over 20% since January 2017,” Steve Rayson wrote.

This echoes the findings of a 2016 Socialflow study which found a 52% decline in publishers’ organic reach on the world’s most successful social platform.  

The reason for this is fairly obvious – as more people use Facebook and more content is created on the platform, Facebook’s algorithm works harder to weed out what’s boring and reveal what’s relevant to each user.

So unless a business or publisher has more than just a fleeting connection to a user, those botty spidery crawler algorithm thingies that Facebook relies on to show a user what they will find most engaging will start to weed business and publisher posts out of your connected users’ feeds.

Bummer, hey?

Fact: it’s bloody hard to rely on powerful networks which have their own profit motive to promote your own business.

Brutal fact: Can you afford NOT to have a presence on Facebook? After all, Facebook had 2 billion monthly active users in June 2017 – a 17% increase year on year.

Businesses and publishers need to carefully consider what, why and how they publish on Facebook to make sure they get maximum bang for their time and effort.

My meagre little suggestions to make it worthwhile publishing on other businesses powerful platforms are:

  1. Focus on video for Facebook: video is hard and expensive and takes more thought than a simple graphic or link post. But this format currently cuts through. Especially with the all-important captions which will autoplay in users’ feeds.

Video always takes more thought than other posts, but it’s probably worth cutting back on the posts that go nowhere to focus on one great video per week than drown yourselves out of users’ feeds with 10 unengaging posts.

If you find captioning just too hard. Head to Fiverr and find someone to do it for you.

I also really liked the look of this easy-to-use new tool called Promo which took me just 15-minutes to create a simple (if boring) video .

2. Try using Facebook Live to mix things up: it’s no secret that right now, Facebook boosts Facebook Live posts. Take advantage of it while the going is good.

It’s important to master pre-recorded video before you go off-piste and try something truly terrible on Facebook Live (live can also mean terrible) but it’s worth trying a Facebook Live post for immediacy and genuine connection with an audience for the right reasons, such as:

  • A real-time announcement
  • A unique guest opportunity crops up that you want to align to
  • A customer testimonial of note

3. Stay remarkable. Shake things up. Don’t get in too much of a rhythm without pushing the envelope occasionally.

You need to dance that fine line between originality and staying ‘on message’ for your brand, business or publisher.

A dash of unpredictability makes you more memorable than someone who trots out the same old posts month after month.

After all, this stuff is supposed to be fun. If posting on the big platforms like Facebook isn’t thrilling you as you create a new post, it’s pretty likely your audience will be bored too. And every post they fail to click or interact with is one more nail in the coffin of that bloody Facebook algorithm …