Imagine, that as a social media marketer, you have poured hours of time and resources over the past several years into building your brand on Facebook. Your brand page has thousands of followers and likes, and consistently updated content. You have been using Facebook as a valuable tool to spread your brand and drive traffic.
Then, one morning, as you routinely check your traffic analytics, you notice that your organic traffic has dropped over 50%. “This must be a mistake!”, you think to yourself. But it is not mistake, and social media marketers around the world do not need to imagine this scenario, because as of early December, it has become a reality.
At the end of 2013, social media giant, Facebook, implemented some serious changes to the algorithm which determines which posts and “stories” show up on users’ News Feeds.
The reason for the Facebook algorithm change is to increase the exposure of “high quality” content, while phasing out lower quality content, such as “viral media” and “the latest meme”.
However, an unfortunate consequence of this change is that social media marketers across the board are experiencing drastic declines in their organic traffic, and are up-in-arms over the issue.
Despite their complaints, the fact of the matter is that advertisers using platforms such as Facebook to reach a wider audience are at the mercy of these third parties. No amount of frustrated complaining is going to improve the situation, so social media marketers need to
If you plan on playing the game and continuing to use Facebook as an advertising platform, then there are several things that you should keep in mind to stay on top and weather such changes in the future.
Diversify Your Social Media Portfolio
Facebook should not be your sole or even primary social media platform–expand your horizons! Social media platforms are constantly changing their algorithms (Google does this hundreds of times a year!), so don’t leave all your eggs in one basket. Spread your content out across various and diverse platforms; Twitter, Delicious, Pinterest, Blogger.
Assess Your Marketing Budget
Generally, Facebook is considered a free way for brands to communicate with their fans…to an extent. If you want high exposure and high traffic, your going to have to pay for it, and it can be expensive, especially when competing with large publishers. Assess your budget and calculate ROI to determine if spending money in the Facebook department is something you can afford.
Review Your Analytics, and Adapt
One of the best tools in playing the social media marketing game is information. Constantly check your analytics for your content on all of your social media platforms. Analyze what is working, and what isn’t. Use this information to constantly improve your reach–if you notice a problem area where reach is low, decide whether you will find a way to improve or if you will cut your losses and allocate resources to areas which are performing better.
Content is King
The most important thing you should be doing is to remember that content is king. Quality content is the base of what will drive organic traffic to your brand. Facebook specifically stated that the new algorithm will focus on promoting “high quality’ content, and avoiding viral content, so adapt! Play Facebook’s game to spin it in your favor.Make sure that you are turning out high quality “stories”, and veer away from the viral type content which will be pushed to the side.