There is a great deal of talk amongst page managers that facebook is forcing everyone to “pay to play” in order to get the page content in front of their fans. The media is having a ball publishing posts like this one from ValleyWag called “Facebook is ending the free ride”.
I say. Good. No, Great.
Why? Because what facebook is really doing is making sure that only the best content gets into YOUR newsfeed. And YOU should care about that, a lot.
Why? Because YOU (facebook’s customer) don’t want to see spam all day long in your newsfeed. Why doesn’t facebook want you to see spam all day long in your newsfeed? Because you won’t come back, that is why.
Facebook knows that they only are successful if YOU see what you want to see, not what companies, organizations and brands want YOU to see.
So, unless you are Disney, stop doing these things on your facebook page.
1) Stop Posting All Your Own Content, All The Time
Unless you are Disney, few people care about your content ALL the time.
Ask yourself, what do my fans want? What do they like? Who are they? And then give them what they want.
Content is King or Queen. The Oatmeal says it perfectly here.
Start doing ACTION: Find other successful facebook pages and see what is working for them. Start re-posting and sharing their content (give them credit) and see what the reaction is by your fans.
Bonus resource: CrowdTangle. If you can get an invite. CrowdTangle monitors any / all facebook pages and shows you which posts are “going viral” right now.
2) Stop Posting Once A Day
A few years ago someone (some social media guru) said that you should only post once a day on facebook or you will piss off your fans.
The reality is that you need to know when your fans are online. For most pages with a national reach you can figure that out by looking at the facebook insights section of your page. I’d guess that you’ll see your fans online all day long with the majority of them online at 9 PM ET.
This means that while you may have, for example, 100,000 fans for your page only a percentage, perhaps 10%, are actually online.
So, post several times a day. See what works. Experiment. See what works.
Start doing ACTION: Look at facebook insights to determine when your fans are online and then schedule posts for several times a day. See what reaction you get. Monitor and test.
3) Stop Ignoring facebook Insights
Facebook insights (analytics) used to be pretty crappy. This forced many of us to use third party analytics tools to get data that could be useful. No longer. Facebook has stepped up and if you are not using the insights you are missing out, big time.
For example, do you know who your fans are? The percent women vs. men? How about age ranges? How engaged each group is? What time your fans are online the most? Which posts are performing the best?
If you are not looking at that data at least once a day you need to be doing it.
Start doing ACTION: Start using facebook insights. Start with understanding when your audience is online. Here is an example from a page that I manage. You can see that people are online all day long, mostly, with a peak time at 9 PM ET.
4) Stop Posting Only One Type Of Content
It should be pretty clear that we all (consumers of content) need a variety of content to be happy.
On facebook that means:
- Photo images
- Text status updates
- Videos from off facebook (YouTube)
- Videos uploaded to facebook directly
- Audio files
- Link files (cut and paste a blog post for example)
Know, however, that facebook’s new newsfeed (as of March, 2014) really really likes photos and links to articles with big photos.
Start doing ACTION: Start posting different types of content and measuring what works with your audience.
5) Stop Expecting A Free Ride
There is no free lunch. Stop thinking that there is one.
Paying for likes is part of the game. Paying to sponsor your content is part of the game. You don’t need to spend a lot, but you need to understand facebook ads, how they work, and dive into the facebook power editor.
One good resource is Jon Loomer and his blog.
Start doing ACTION: Create one ad. Pay for it. See what happens and what you learn.
I hope this was helpful. Let me know what you think.