You’ve heard time and time again about how important social media is for your marketing plan. You’re already on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You’ve allocated money in your budget to support social media marketing.
Do you have ad money in your social media marketing budget? If not, you need to seriously consider it. If you do nothing else at all, you should be advertising on Facebook this year.
If you’re on one social media network and one alone, it needs to be Facebook. Why? Quite simply, Facebook is the largest platform. The social media giant has put forth numerous efforts to gain more and more market share. In some countries, it even made a bid to become the default homepage for people opening up their browsers.
Facebook’s user base also covers many demographics. Although use is declining for people under age 25, Facebook is the best way to reach anyone over this age. This demographic still includes a number of key age groups. Facebook usage is also growing among older segments of the population. If you have a product older people, parents, or young professionals use, Facebook is where you’ll reach them.
Facebook’s New Algorithm
So what? Your audience is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend your ad dollars there. Posting to Facebook is free, so you can just push your product that way, right?
Not so fast. In January, Facebook announced revisions to its algorithms, which will affect what content shows up in people’s news feeds. Essentially, Facebook is pushing to put the “social” back in social media by prioritizing content from users’ own connections. This means personal posts from their friends and family will be more visible. Publisher content, aka your content, will be given less priority.
While there are a few free ways to combat this, in the end, upping your advertising on Facebook will be the most sure-fire way to get your content in front of more people.
The Engagement Problem
Many small publishers are hoping to find a way around Facebook’s new algorithm by prioritizing engagement. Facebook’s algorithm ranks posts by the amount of engagement they garner to determine popularity. It then uses the ranking to push content into users’ feeds. The more engagement your post gets, the more visible it becomes.
Facebook has realized publishers are abusing this function as well. Publishers have been encouraging “shallow” engagement. The best example is the so-called engagement-bait voting posts, which ask users to react in order to cast a “vote” in a poll. The number of engagements climbs, and Facebook’s algorithm pushes the post as popular.
Facebook is rewriting the algorithm to deprioritize this kind of shallow engagement and encourage deep engagement instead. The algorithm wants to see posts with many thoughtful comments fostering dialogue between individuals and publishers.
How Do You Get Engagement?
The big problem with relying solely on engagement to push your content is visibility. Your content will be less visible, which means fewer people will be looking at it. Since only a small percentage of people engage with content anyway, you’re not going to be able to get more eyes on the content.
Some publishers have already noticed declines in their visibility. One Brazilian newspaper decided to stop publishing to Facebook altogether.
The other option is to boost your visibility. Advertising on Facebook is the most sure-fire way to increase your visibility. The Brazilian newspaper is hoping to start a revolution, but it’s more than likely only hurting itself. Facebook is a huge platform, and it’s where your customers are. You need to play the game to reach them.
Advertising on Facebook is a no-brainer with these algorithm changes. If you want to use Facebook to its maximum potential, be sure to include some advertising spending in your social media budget.