Hello, heroes! Here’s a question for anyone who has a large social media following:
Did you know that if you send out a post on most major social media networks, it may not even reach half of your audience?
This wasn’t always the case.
For example, it used to be that you could organically reach the majority of your fan base on Facebook through your “fan pages.” Basically, you’d create a page for your company, organization, fan club, etc. and be able to post unlimited messages to it and be sure that it would reach most of your fans.
But, everything changed in 2012. As noted by online marketing organizations such as HubSpot, “Page managers learned that only a fraction of their Facebook fans – 16% on average – were seeing their Page posts in their News Feeds. And that fraction has only gotten smaller and smaller since… For Pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach could be as low as 2%.”
So, if your Facebook page has 1,000,000 fans, then only 20,000 might be expected to see your content and posts. Additionally, “in 2016, Facebook adjusted its News Feed algorithm again – to further prioritize content from friends and family over Pages.” This would further reduce your reach with your free social media account on Facebook.
Other social media networks have followed suit, which means less engagement with your fans on your social accounts. But, why don’t social media channels want you to reach all of your fans?
The official response
In the HubSpot article cited earlier, the author cited a response by Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland, to questions about the move to limit the reach of organic (i.e. unpaid) posts.
The response was paraphrased into two main points: “First, there’s simply too much content being published on Facebook, making visibility in the News Feed increasingly competitive. Second, Facebook is deliberately trying to show people the content that is most relevant to them.”
In other words, there are a lot of people and organizations competing for your fans’ attention, so it’s only natural that your own content might not always get seen before it’s buried in a news feed. On top of that, Facebook is prioritizing the content they think will be most valuable to your fans—which might not include your content.
While this is Facebook’s official position on the reason for the changes in organic reach on their platform, there may be an ulterior motive to the move: making money.
Encouraging more AD spend on Social Media
If you cannot reach your fans organically on a social media platform, then you may end up having to purchase ads on the platform or paying to “boost” your posts so people actually see them.
This creates new sources of revenue for social media platforms, allowing them to pay for their expenses and keep their platform running. Larger platforms such as Facebook or Twitter tend to have more of your fans on the network, making paying for ads worthwhile in a lot of cases.
Getting around Facebook’s algorithm
There are a few ways to get around the Facebook algorithm, such as being careful about what you publish and when. However, to truly optimize your content to get around the News Feed algorithm and get it in the feed when the majority of your fans are going to be looking at it, you need to have specific data about when your fans are on Facebook and what they’re most interested in (other than you, of course)—info that Facebook strictly controls.
Alternatively, you could remind fans that they can always use their “Pages” tab on Facebook to go straight to your page to see your latest content. This allows your fans to engage with your page content at their leisure and reduces your reliance on ads to communicate with your fans.
You could also let your super fans know that they can update their notification settings so they’ll always get an alert when you post something on Facebook or other social media platforms that have such settings.
Keeping up with Twitter’s lightning speed
While much of this post has been about Facebook, it isn’t the only social media network you have to worry about. Many other social media networks may look to ape Facebook’s approach, but there are some networks that have a completely different style and focus, like Twitter.
The major challenge with growing your reach on Twitter and driving engagement is that news feeds on the app can move incredibly fast. If a Twitter subscriber has enough active subscriptions, then your newest post to the news feed can be buried under new notifications in mere minutes. This means you almost have to catch a Twitter follower right as they’re checking their feed to make sure they see your post.
One solution to this issue is to schedule out multiple posts per day to Twitter ahead of time, increasing your chances of getting noticed when a fan checks their feed.
Get around Social Media limitations by making your own app!
One of HubSpot’s recommended solutions to the issue of limited reach with your fans on social media is to “focus on the digital channels you entirely own and control.” This could include your personal/company website, blog, or even a personal mobile app. The best part of getting your fans to engage with you on your own website or mobile app is that you own all of the data collected by that website or app—you don’t have to be at the mercy of the social network.
By guiding your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. fans towards your mobile app, you can make sure that all of your fans are engaged with every piece of content you put out on said app.
Be the hero to your fans and take control of your relationship with them by creating your own custom mobile app today!