Web site traffic is key to online conversions. Without traffic an organization’s web site cannot sustain commerce or put valued content in front of a desired audience. Content can be well written and educating but without traffic it is ineffective. SEO traffic and Google AdWords is more and more competitive even in the most well managed efforts. Social media in most cases has surpassed most tactics as a traffic generating marketing tactic.
However, your Facebook engagement rates are down. Facebook engagement rates for brands and publishers is down over 22% since the beginning of 2017. Buzzsumo analyzed over 880 million Facebook posts and found the average engagement dropped from 340 to 264 over 2016.
In a previous article on the continued decline among Facebook engagement rates, we discussed the data behind this finding as well as the proof that this is not an isolated incident, the decline appears systemic.
If your business is reliant upon Facebook for customer service, site traffic and communication with your perspective clients then this decline is very concerning.
In this series we are going to point out what you can do about declining engagement rates on your Facebook business page.
A history lesson: Marketers versus the consumer’s attention.
For decades, marketers have flocked to the latest advertising vehicle, chasing the public to gain attention. In the 1950’s that was the daily local newspaper, in the 1960’s billboards on the new highway system, in the 1970’s Time/Life magazines and the like, in the 1980’s cable television and yellow pages, in the 1990’s the beginning of the web site that leveled the playing field for small business. In 2000 it was search engine optimization. In 2010 is was email marketing and social media. The consumer has continually fought back by ignoring excessive promotions. Therefore, this continuing decline in Facebook post engagement rates is not surprising.
What has not changed throughout the decades is the reason the consumer fights back by vacating where they educate and entertain themselves. They leave when the self promotion is greater than the desire to solve a problem or respect the needs of the public’s desire for information that aids the derision making process.
Talk Less and Listen More on your Facebook Business Page.
Posting fewer times per day not only concentrates your message but it also forces the company to deliver higher quality. Parse.ly found that 86% of web site traffic comes from a combination of social media and search engines. Think about that. 86%! Does that not mean the public is looking for solutions for problems? Yes, we know the answer is obvious.
However, most marketers are under pressure to deliver traffic that converts to sales. That pressure tends to lend to being overly self-promotional and less focused on being informative, educational or most importantly less conversational.
By posting only one to three times per day an organization will find it is easier to post quality and attend to the true conversation that social media users want. They want to be SOCIAL and they want answers to questions from a real human being without a hidden agenda. Say goodbye to posting five to six times per day! Now, that does not mean to stop posting every few hours if it works for you and your engagement rate has held at a rate you enjoy. Finding great content takes time, and you don’t always have the time to do that. Just remember that great content is your audiences perspective, not yours.
Ask Questions and Add Staff
Over the past few years our marketing agency has introduced and we have seen the addition of automatic Facebook postings tools and robotic answering services. Those marketing tactics still have a place.
People love to talk about themselves and have never enjoyed being talked down to like many marketers do when they are too self-serving. Questions are a great way to spark dialogue with fans. It is probably the easiest way and one of the best methods to get people to respond to your posts.
Get involved in the conversation with a real person!
However, in order to keep your audience from bailing on your Facebook page Viral Solutions highly recommends hiring people who know your brand to actually staff your Facebook page hourly, and to have that staff answer questions and participate in the conversation. That’s right, human interaction in social media, not just hit and run posting helps keep your engagement and conversion rates high! Go figure.
Combating the Decline of Organic Facebook Reach.
Social media is the perfect vehicle to gain synergy from organic reach through referrals. When people enjoy engaging with your brand they tend to tell their friends more so on Facebook that via any other tactic. This has a snowball effect on your lead generation funnel and lowers your cost of doing business. This means that when more people engage with your content, it adds context to your campaigns. The more organic reach that you have, the better your lead generation and conversion funnels will work.
Post less, listen more and get personally involved in the conversation on your Facebook business page. The phone is ringing! Answer it.
The alternative to all of this is to outspend your competition with boosting your Facebook posts and through Facebook advertising.
Very few of us have an endless pile of money and even if we do there are many other places that money can be of service to benefit your company.
If your marketing team is struggling to maintain a respectable rate of engagement on your Facebook business page, you do have choices, increase your advertising spend in proportion to the increase in click rates or attack the problem by doing what has always worked by getting personal. Your audience, through every generation, has always one-on-one personal attention. Something many business owners think is too expensive. Is it?
Copyright 2017 Viral Solutions
Queen of the Machine for Viral Solutions LLC
“If a brand genuinely wants to make a social contribution, it should start with who they are, not what they do. For only when a brand has defined itself and its core values can it identify causes or social responsibility initiatives that are in alignment with its authentic brand story.” ~ Simon Mainwaring