Want to Win? Prepare to Pay-to-Play

facebook-pay-to-playYou may be wondering why your recent Facebook posts are not earning as much engagement as they had in the past. Well, we have the answer for you. In 2014, Facebook has made it clear that in order to reach your consumers, fans and/or anyone else who has “liked” your page, you’ll have to pay some money to the mothership.

“Organic reach” of content from brands and small businesses has fallen to less than 2% of all fans. There has been a steady drop in how far posts from brand pages circulate without a paid strategy for months now, but for some it went sort of under the radar and unnoticed. Brands have seen their posts reach less and less fans each month and in some cases they are approaching a staggering 0%. Facebook says the diminished exposure is simply a reality of ever increasing content competition.

“In December, when Facebook acknowledged that brands would connect with less of an audience on unpaid posts, many reconsidered their strategies on the platform”, analyst Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said.

So, what are brands to do?

1. Create new and intriguing content and then “push”: Ask insightful questions, share authentic pictures and videos, provide valuable insights and educations, and tell compelling stories. Then use Facebook’s Page Post Engagement to accelerate your reach. Not a lot of $ needed here, just a push in the right direction.

2. Experiment with Facebook ads: You can still generate better results with Facebook ads than with most other advertising and marketing platforms. Facebook has data on 1.2 billion people, and you can target them by interest, job title, age, Zip code, and marital status, to name just a few criteria. You know what’s cooler than reaching a billion people on Facebook? Reaching the right 1,000–or 100 or 10–to best expand your business.

3. Create and use custom audiences: Target specific audiences and message and advertise accordingly.  Like to post/talk about music? Message and advertise towards music enthusiasts who are in your target demographic. Upload your email list into Facebook and then target users or even look-a like audiences who are similar to your email list. You can also re-market to people via Facebook based on their visits and behavior on your website. Strong stuff!

Some people are angry at Facebook for taking this position, but we applaud them.  They need to monetize their data and if you approach it the right way it can be a great thing for your clients or your own brand.  So we say (pay and) play ball!