If you recently checked the analytics for your Facebook business page, you probably noticed a dramatic drop in engagement numbers. Don’t get discouraged. There’s a reason for the decline.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this year that Facebook’s algorithms would shift throughout 2018 so users see more posts from friends and family, and less content from media, brands and businesses. That might be why organic posts on your business page haven’t performed to your hopes.
Don’t worry! We spoke to Scott Einsmann, ATA’s digital manager, to learn how ATA members can adapt their social-media strategies to increase engagements and recruit more customers. Let’s review four of those strategies to maximize your time and effort.
Posting content to Facebook at the right time can turn a few clicks into a dozen or more. So what’s the right time? According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on Facebook are Wednesdays at noon and 2 p.m., and Thursdays at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., and Thursdays overall. Saturday posts usually generate the least engagement.
However, ATA’s analytics for its Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360 Facebook pages show the best time to post is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the best days to post are Monday through Thursday. Einsmann suggests companies experiment with post times and dates, and check the analytics to learn what works best for their audience.
Your business page only has so many followers. Amplify your reach by asking followers, employees and valued customers to share your content. Further, a report by Bambu found people are 16 times more likely to read social-media posts from friends than from a brand. Friends and family trust each other’s opinions. That’s not surprising. If a friend and a business recommend the same product online, who would you trust more? Friends usually have fewer ulterior motives than businesses.
Boosting posts might be easier, but it’s not a cost-effective way to increase reach. Ads let you customize your target audience. Boosting a post does not. Photo Credit: placester.com.
Get more for your money and invest in Facebook ads, not boosted posts. What’s the difference? A boosted Facebook post simply ensures a larger audience sees your content. Facebook ads offer more advanced advertising because they target users based on demographics, device-use information, and off-Facebook activity. In other words, ads put your content in front of people who are more likely to click. In contrast, boosted posts are distributed randomly.
“The algorithm change made it necessary for businesses to put money behind posts, but the best way to do that is through a Facebook ad,” Einsmann said. “Boosting posts might be easier, but it’s not a cost-effective way to increase reach. Ads let you customize your target audience. Boosting a post does not.”
Einsmann advises posting a few things routinely, and then creating an ad for the post that generates the most engagement. This strategy lets you test the market and confidently put your money behind your best posts to further their reach.
Facebook isn’t a one-stop shop for folks using social media. It’s likely just one app among many they’re using. Give people options. Help them connect with your business and see your posts in more places with Instagram.
Einsmann encourages all ATA members to create an Instagram account.
“Instagram’s algorithm is favorable to small businesses,” Einsmann said. “If someone follows you, they’ll see your posts. Instagram’s story function is also great because you can be more personable. And you can set up Instagram so everything from your Facebook account transfers over. It’s a simple way to gain followers.”
If you’re still worried your followers won’t see your posts, encourage them to update their “following” status by clicking “See first” in the drop-down menu on your business page. That simple switch tells Facebook your followers consider your business’s posts important, so the platform ensures they see your content. Responding to customers and customer reviews on your posts helps, too.
Einsmann also cautions that Facebook can change its rules or algorithms at any point, so keep your social-media plan flexible.
For more tips and information, read “9 Effective Ways to Outsmart the Facebook Algorithm in 2018” by Brent Barnhart, or “Facebook’s Newsfeed Changes Will Hit Small Businesses Hard. These 7 Tips Will Help You Survive,” by John Swanciger.
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