Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Your Organic Reach Will Fall (and How You Can Delay It)

Tame the Organic Reach Beast!
Brands in the past two years have been locked in a fierce battle to get more fans. Those who have started late have bought, spammed their way to get more likes on their page. But as a manager, you might be thinking about what almost everyone else is thinking about right now - What Next?

So, you have invested a LOT of money on media and have gained followers on social networks, primarily Facebook, Twitter and Youtube but aren't getting a substantial increase in conversion. Then, there are some business owners who have complained about Facebook's recent policy changes that has resulted in a gradual slump in "Organic Reach". 

Bad News: There is nothing that can be done to stop it. 
Good News: It's for your brand's benefit

You see, Facebook is different than conventional media. Here, your audience is growing rapidly, with their own social networks growing rapidly. So, there are more brands competing for that elusive like and over-all reach. Hence, after a certain point of time, your brand will have to shift the strategy. A brand's focus initially is to get as many people to follow the brand and make conversions out of it. However, there is a limit to it. 

For example: At the early stages, you get a lot of exposure from your campaigns. Reach is easy and your brand has an effective reach of say 10,00,000. A couple of campaigns later, you are able to get a bulk of your TG in your brand. But then you effectively have nothing else to do except trying to get those who have consciously made a decision to stay away from your brand, hit that "Like". 

What Should You Do Instead?
Goes out without saying - stop focusing on just Likes. Your brand with a fan-base of 5m has a far better chance of getting more conversions that a competitor with 15m. How? 

Audience Metrics
Delve into the audience metrics. At the beginning of any campaign, get a clear set of goals with respect to what is the TG: The age, sex, location, interest. If your page has an audience of 15-year olds and you'd like to target some other, then do it in the beginning of the campaign than after. Saves money.

Don't Keep Social Secondary
Simply using the same creatives that you use on other media for Facebook isn't a best practice. Social strategy should be different than your media strategy. The kind of images that you use should compliment the TG that you're targeting.

Content Style
Agreed, there is no way to beat the organic slump. However, certain tweaks can help you buck the trend and land up on your audience's news feed organically. The content styling, from contests to polls will help you get more people to engage with your posts. Hence, don't let out posts that don't call your audience to action. Avoid them like plague!

The Importance of Images
The creatives that you use in your posts should be attractive, with less text and content that initiates a user to act. That help you get the early likes and consequently allow you to gain more traction organically. 

The MOBILE Game-changer
With 80% of Facebook's users accessing the website from mobile devices, there is no need to point the diminishing importance of stamp ads on the right of the desktop website. Instead, focus your money on news-feed posts. It's ONLY the news-feed promoted posts that land up on mobile devices. 

Take-Away
Organic reach is on its way out. What you can do instead is to focus your media efforts for mobile and you fan base to be of high quality and not just huge numbers.