We’ve all seen the headlines. Facebook spent its first half of 2018 on the hot seat and it changed peoples’ perception of the social network giant. From the decline in organic reach for brands to the negative press that deterred investors; many are conflicted on their future with Facebook marketing.
There are new challenges for Facebook marketers that never existed 5-10 years ago, so is it still worth it? The answer is yes, but only if you are adapting to the new rules. Take a look at the best methods for surviving Facebook marketing in 2018 below.
Stop Relying on Newsfeeds
Organic reach has continued to decline for company pages, bringing us to one conclusion – organic rankings should not be a priority for any brand.
This is especially true following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. As a result, Facebook is repositioning itself as the “friend-first” platform, like it was during the height of its popularity.
Without networks of influencers or regular press mentions, your company page won’t receive sufficient traffic. This has been the case for a couple of years now and it is more important than ever to start advertising.
Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is placing more emphasis on privacy and use of personal data. Because of this, Facebook has removed access to data from third-party companies which provided advanced targeting options, including Demographics and Behaviors.
Ads Manager’s targeting functions have become the newest obstacle for Facebook Marketers. Less data makes targeting a more difficult task, which hurts conversion rates and increases CPC (Cost-Per-Click).
Here’s a great hack that involves getting a little more creative with your targeting.
One of the Demographics Facebook removed was “Stay-At-Home-Moms”. So instead of relying on Facebook’s data, it’s up to the marketer to think about how they can target this demographic.
So ask yourself, what is this person interested in?
Put more emphasis on interest-based targeting. This can include brands, activities and publications surrounding cooking, housekeeping, decorating, accessorizing, etc. This method will take more time, but it can actually lead to better results because you can specify the traits you’d like to target. You can test and optimize audiences to determine which lead to the best results, rather than relying on generalized data from Facebook.
Know How to Boost Posts
Boosted Posts get a lot of flak and are assumed to be a waste of money. Here’s the truth: people who spend all of their advertising budgets on boosted posts are likely wasting their money. But that doesn’t mean boosted posts are inherently ineffective!
While Facebook’s algorithm does limit organic reach for company pages, there are ways to increase organic exposure. Organic reach is based on what Facebook’s algorithm deems “relevant” to users. But how do they dictate relevance? In short, Facebook’s algorithm determines “relevance” by predicting engagement likeliness, based on users’ past behaviors.
This is where boosted posts come in. With a small budget, you can promote your organic posts to more of your page followers (or other audiences). These boosted posts serve to remind followers of your brand, while presenting the opportunity for current or potential followers to engage with your posts. Followers engaging with your content will be much more likely to see future posts.
Avoid Paid Likes Campaigns
Back in the day when brands received more organic reach, paid likes campaigns were popular due to the low CPRs (Cost-Per-Results) and higher value of page followers. Here’s the issue with paid likes campaigns, people who like your page because of an ad are:
- Not likely to see you organic content.
- Even if they do see your organic content, they’re not likely to pay much attention because they won’t be very familiar with your brand, often because paid likes campaigns are designed to get as many “likes” as possible. This is often attained with catchy taglines meant to encourage impulsive clicks, rather than forming a brand connection.
You’re much better off promoting valuable content to potential followers. This will introduce them to your brand for a memorable experience. While engagement campaigns result in far less page followers than paid likes campaigns, the quality of the followers will be much higher, helping your bottom line.
To be clear, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on boosted posts for large portions of sales, or even traffic, but they can keep your audience engaged and organic traffic healthy.
Integrate Instagram with Facebook
For most demographics, Instagram is growing in popularity. Since it’s owned by Facebook, it shares the same advertising platform (Ads Manager) allowing marketers to reach the same audience on both platforms.
Instagram in itself is an excellent marketing outlet. We can’t think of any social platform that offers more free exposure. Combining Instagram results with Facebook best practices is a sure way to succeed with your social media campaigns.
Engage in Facebook Groups
Facebook is still a community and should be treated as such, both as users and marketers. Having a representative engage with key groups is an excellent way to break through the noise and reach your ideal customers. This can help any marketing initiative for two main reasons:
- You are communicating directly with prospects, forming personal relationships.
- You are getting direct feedback, which can be used for improving future marketing initiatives.
This is an excellent method for bypassing the organic algorithm blockade!
People like to talk about Facebook like its ancient history, but marketing experts know that’s far from the truth. Remember that Facebook isn’t the same as it was when it ruled the world. That doesn’t mean it’s sinking, just adapting to modern culture. You can’t rely on newsfeeds the way you used to, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t major opportunities. Targeting parameters aren’t as giving, but they still have plenty of potential for skilled marketers to profit from.
Be smart about your advertising, embrace Instagram, and follow quality blogs such as ours to keep up with best practices. You do this, and you won’t just survive Facebook in 2018, you’ll dominate it!