As I sit in front of my various social news feeds, one thing is very apparent. Everyone is mad that the organic reach of Facebook posts has dropped off in recent months. Everyone is exclaiming; "I can't reach anyone without paying for Facebook ads!" I am here to tell you that you are wrong. Not only are you wrong, the position you now find yourself in is your own damn fault.
Several of the pages our company manages have seen consistent growth in their organic reach over the past weeks and months. "What?" "That's impossible!" "How could that be?" "What's your secret?" Those are all questions I have been answering on a daily basis. The answer is simple: we play by the rules, the way the game was intended to be played.
It is my observation that most marketers and business owners tend to think that "social" and "media" are just a couple words slapped together to make a trendy title. I sit back and laugh as they market on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc. the same way they use banner ads, highway billboards, TV commercials, and ads in the Sunday paper. I roll my eyes while they complain about their interruption marketing tactics being devalued by algorithms. "Social" and "media" aren't just arbitrary words, they describe the platform you are using. Take the hint!
Does it surprise you that an algorithm on a social media platform devalues content that provides no perceived social value? In order to prove to Facebook that you deserve to be seen, you need to conform to the ideals that the platform was built on. If people want to see it, it will be seen. How does Facebook decide what people want to see? They give value to comments, shares, likes, and clicks. Those actions signify that people are paying attention, they create "social value." The more social value you create with your posts and interaction, the more Facebook thinks you deserve to be seen. Your emphasis as a marketer or business owner needs to be on creating interaction, not selling product. True content marketing.
I will let you in on a secret search giant Google learned from Facebook; social media has changed the game of relevancy. No matter how good you are at ranking websites with math equations, the most powerful part of any algorithm is now you...that means PEOPLE. Call them shares, repins, comments, likes, tweets, hashtags, pins, social signals...call them whatever you like. They now control what people see, by indicating to search engines and news feeds what people WANT to see.
The burden has now fallen squarely on our shoulders as marketers. In the digital space, we not only have to create value for our product with an ad, in order for that ad to even be seen we need to create value in ourselves as a source. We have to build rapport. We have to engage. We have to...wait for it...be social!
Why is the organic reach of my 1,000 fan page triple that of your 10,000 fan page? You went for the quick buck. You played hedge fund manager while I played Warren Buffett. While you were spending hours, days, weeks, months, years showing people what you wanted them to see, I was busy showing customers what THEY wanted to see, because of that they will now listen to what I say. They value what I post. And because they value my content, so does Facebook.