With all the controversy around declining reach, many brands have given up on page likes and any sort of organic publishing strategy on Facebook. At SocialFlow, we believe there must be a synergy between paid and owned publishing. Organic publishing to fans along with leveraging fans for targeted paid publishing are integral to this synergistic strategy. In other words, fans still matter.
Overall Reach Isn’t Necessarily Declining
While studies have arisen showing organic reach has gone down for some brands on Facebook, other studies have shown this is simply a consequence of more content being available for consumption along with increased average “page likes” per monthly active user . Even further studies, which our own data supports, show that overall reach isn’t necessarily plummeting. This is because while Facebook organic reach declines, Facebook viral reach appears to be going up . Viral reach occurs when page fans like, share, or comment on posts. These interactions show up in the newsfeed of the page fan’s Facebook connections. This means brands and publishers do need to focus on the quality of their content, but when done correctly, we’ve seen overall reach go numerically as high as 40% of a brand or publication’s total audience for a consistent and consecutive number of posts. High quality content is good for everyone and there is the reason Facebook would increase viral reach. Good content contributes to great conversation which in turn increases the value of Facebook to it’s users.
Fans Are More Likely To Convert
Simply put, a person who likes a brand’s page has already opted into their messaging. People who have opted in are giving a clear signal that they are, in many cases, more likely to buy . These fans are going to be more receptive to your messaging and direct marketing efforts whether messages are organic or promoted. In other words, your audience can be leveraged as a great sales funnel. This is why it makes sense to continue to acquire audience members when it makes sense. Hint: Don’t send photos of cats and ask people to like your page. This would be a waste of time as you are building up audience who probably liked your page for the wrong reasons and doesn’t care about your product. Do continue to put out engaging content which will spread beyond your audience and target segments that look like your current audience with smart relevant promoted material.
The easiest way to leverage fans as a sales funnel is to continue to publish engaging content relevant to your user base. Organic targeting can be used when specific offerings are geared towards specific demographics like men or women. Pay attention to which messages perform the best within your audience or the segments within your audience the messages have been targeted against. These are the messages likely to resonate with more of your audience or more of the targeted segment within your audience. These are the messages to double down on with some media spend. Promote those messages to more of your audience or more of targeted audience segments. You should see higher CTRs from these promotions than from the ones you usually target across Facebook. Higher CTRs from an already opted-in audience will result in higher conversions and sales. At the end of the day, ROI on your total social media spend is ultimately why Fans still matter.