It’s no secret that Facebook business pages have seen a significant drop in reach the past few months. Many businesses feel forced to pay-to-play to stay in the game, while others are dropping out completely. In fact, I’ve read several recent posts of those who aren’t even considering Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy.
As always, it comes down to that infamous word: content. Facebook page managers are in a constant struggle to provide real value to fans. Finding what works requires keen observation, trial and error, and shifting tactics when changes occur on a given social channel.
And I’m not talking about reading Facebook analytics or paying to increase reach. While both of these tactics can be effective, we must not overlook the most important question: what do my fans really want?
What makes content ‘good’ is in the eye of your community. In other words, the more something is read, shared, liked or interacted with, that's like a 'vote' for that piece of content and a seal of approval from your audience.
I often compare these Facebook changes to Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Content that ranks high in SEO is often called authority content. Authority content comes from those with an established base (in my industry, I think Mari Smith or Chris Brogen). Those with authority are often established leaders in their field.
This may cause a small business owner to cringe. How can the little guy compete with an established leader? It’s attainable – I know because I’ve done it.
While I'm not as well-known as Mari Smith, my content has ranked high on Google for a number of reasons – primarily relevance, consistency and patience. Relevance is the golden nugget because once you establish relevance, you resonate with other people - and that helps to gain interaction and social shares, which help build authority. Relevance is the base. Consistency and patience are the legs that keep your content moving as you work to establish relevancy.
This formula can be used for Facebook, too. Start with relevancy at the core. What do people want to see? What do they consider important? If you own a wedding planning business, you’ll need content that speaks to the engaged woman. And remember, it’s only relevant if she says it is. And each fan is different. Relevance to one person could be an idea or an inspiration. Relevance to another could be solution to their challenges. And, for some, relevance can be as simple as being entertained or informed. This is the Catch-22 for the business owner – especially the business owner also wearing the hat of marketer.
There’s no distinct answer or one-size-fits-all solution. It's a matter of testing and getting into the mind of your audience. Like you do when deciding which products to sell in your store or services to offer through your company, always ask yourself “What do they want?"