In January 2018 Facebook announced that they would be making changes to News Feed, decreasing the Reach of posts by Pages. According to Zuck, they did this to realign their platform to “put friends and family at the core of the experience.” Eight months later, BuzzSumo and Buffer has published a report from their research covering 43 million Facebook Page posts from the top 20,000 brands.
What did they find out about your Facebook Page Engagement?
Check the video and read on to learn the key findings (full report here).
Page Engagement has dropped by more than 50%
Facebook’s certainly sticking to their word. This means that if you do just what you’ve been doing for the past year you’re going to be, at best, HALF as effective.
Images, not video, are getting the highest engagement
This was a surprising find, but not all that unexpected as Facebook recently experienced a lift from user and ad growth on Instagram.
So it makes sense that if Facebook is seeing a surge in Instagram usage and ad spend, that they put more priority behind photos so that they can try to take advantage of content sharing across platforms.
Pages are posting a lot more
So how are these 20,000 Top Pages responding? By posting more. It’s probably not the intended result but it can’t be surprising – these are companies with the resources to post more content. They are also the companies that are likely to be reviewing their social media analytics and if they’ve been seeing this decline, then the simplest (and most common solution) is to just do more.
But, if you’re a small business don’t fall into this trap. There are other things you can do (keep reading).
The magic number is five
The data showed that Pages that posted less than once a day had the highest engagement per post. Meanwhile, posting five times per day is the sweet spot when it comes to overall engagement. After five posts, the engagement per post begins to drop significantly.
What Does This Mean For Small Business Page Owners?
The reality is, if you’re on Facebook, your marketing efforts on the platform are going to be impacted by decisions they make. BUT, all hope is not lost. There are things you can do to with Facebook throttling Page Engagement and Reach.
1. Smarter Content Creation
Take some time each week from your social media efforts and apply it elsewhere. Write a blog post, create a email newsletter, come up with a in-store promotion, make a video. The options are endless and may actually excite your customers whether they are following you on social media or not.
Plus, whatever you create, try sharing it on a different platform. I hesitate to tell you to start a new profile on another platform if you don’t have one but if you already have a Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter account maybe try showing it a bit more love and attention.
2. Re-evaluate Post Frequency
You don’t need to post more. And you may find that posting less actually works better for your Facebook page. Kick the tires – try posting more frequently for two weeks and then shift to posting less for two weeks. Pull the analytics and compare the data. You’ll want to compare average engagement per post AND overall engagement to get the full picture.
3. Pay To Play
Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business and marketing platform. To expect great returns with only organic (non-paid) strategies can be challenging. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars. A little post boost or strategic ad can help to move the needle for your business.
4. Don't Stop
Facebook is a fickle beast. They make News Feed and product changes all the time. They boosted video content when they wanted to take on YouTube, boosted photo content when they wanted to take on Instagram (before acquiring Instagram), and now they are throttling Page content in an effort to win back users. However, if businesses and Brands go away from Facebook in response to this recent move, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they started to give Page content a little love.
Tweak your strategy – don’t abandon it. Being a small business is about utilizing your resources as efficiently as possible.