Facebook We Need To Talk
Unless you've been living under a rock you've most likely heard about the epic demise of the 'Golden Era' of Facebook marketing. No longer can us poor social media folk throw content up on our business pages and expect to reach 100's of thousands of people organically around the world. To be fair this has been slowly happening for quite some time now, but recently with the much publicised algorithm updates things have taken a turn.
"Whatever will we do? Is this the end as we know it?" - Daniel Marrable UofG Social Media
It all started with this video
I'm going to rant about something that happened to me a couple weeks ago that prompted this blog (for venting purposes), but also forced me to finally try and find a couple solutions that might actually make our interactions with our community on Facebook better than before. Feel free to skip this part if you're in a hurry and go straight to the Solutions section if you want.
Our team worked tirelessly to create this video (what I believe to be content that should "encourage meaningful interactions between people" - Zuckerberg) as part of our Future World Changer's campaign. To ensure it reached an audience before we officially posted it on our page I set it up as a dark post 24 hours before it was meant to go out on our page. That way when it posted on our page we would already have a few thousand views and hopefully some interaction. Usually, whenever we put money behind posts we monitor the audience uptake and if after 6-12 hours its not performing as intended I usually jump into ad manager and tweek the audience slightly to make sure we're getting the most bang for my buck.
I'm starting to bore myself writing this, so I'll quickly outline what happened.
13:00 - Ads are set, ready, formatted, press publish... GO
14:00 - All 6 ads approved and running (YAY!)
18:00 - Make a minor change to the audience
18:30 - Everything back to pending... ok, I understand, should be back up and running soon
20:00 - Still pending
22:30 - Still pending - decide to re-create the campaign and ad set and go to bed
06:00 - Wake up... check... both campaigns are now pending
08:00 - Still pending so I message Facebook and this is what I get back (as you can see, I'm slightly frustrated)
15:55 - Video goes live with barely any promotion all campaigns are still pending
16:00 - Last ditch effort to get things rolling, I press the boost button to at least get some sort of engagement... 30 minutes later pending
16:30 - I re-create the campaign in a different ad account.
15:30 - Approved within an hour
Facebook is encouraging us to create meaningful content and spend money on targeting specific audiences who we know want to see that content. So, why can't they have a more robust and consistent system in place to approve boosted posts and ads that are correctly formatted to their specs?
There is no way we can completely cut Facebook out, so it's time to switch things up. Time for some helpful and practical solutions.
According to Facebook's Adam Mosseri (VP of product management, so he knows what he's talking about) here are the top four boxes that need to be checked before posting content on your page.
- Compelling headlines that aren't click bait and relevant to the content (which in the example above might have been my downfall)
- Avoid promotional content, just because you yell the loudest doesn't mean anyone is going to care.
- Don't be afraid to try different things and experiment with long form, short form, videos and tone of voice.
- Publisher tools - help Facebook help you, select target audiences for your organic posts (it's that little cross hair icon to left of 'tag a product'). Once you've set a preferred audience you can go into insights and see how it's performed.
When all else fails take the time to create something people will actually want to interact with (easier said than done though).
We're going old school - groups never left and now more than ever they are the way forward. Facebook groups should be included in your Social Media strategy and KPIs. Now that we have the ability to create official groups linked directly to Pages its not so scary being an admin from your personal account anymore. We just launched our group last week and the numbers have been phenomenal with lots of engagement on posts and user generated content. Going forward we will most likely be creating smaller groups for more specific demographics (admissions, current students, events, alumni etc.). Still working out the kinks and figuring out the best way to manage them all but you never know until you try.
Not a lot of people know that you can customise what you see from pages you follow. You could educate your audience and ask them to select see first... but that might seem too needy.
This is a no brainer. You HAVE to convince the people who hold the purse strings to give you a budget to boost your posts. It usually comes down to the age old 'fear of the unknown' so take it upon yourself to work towards educating the people you work with on why you need access to the corporate credit card. Let's just hope Facebook get's it's act together and approves ads and boosted posts quicker.
I definitely didn't cover everything there is to know about this topic so here are a few extras if you're the type that wants to dig a bit deeper.
What Facebook’s Newsfeed Change Means For Social Media Marketing - Matt Horne (PS. follow Matt on twitter @thematthorne he knows a lot)