The first image that comes to mind at the mere mention of the words “social media” is that of a Facebook page. It’s not just me. With nearly a billion regular users and over 1.4 billion registered subscribers, Facebook is bigger than LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr combined. With that kind of clout, it’s no surprise that Facebook marketing is the first social media platform of choice for every new business hoping to make a mark across social networks.

Just because you probably have your own personal Facebook account, it does not automatically make you an expert on marketing a business on Facebook. Even the biggest brands in the world are faced with some very fundamental dilemmas when it comes to Facebook marketing.

Let’s find out what these are and how they can be tackled.

In-house or Outsource Facebook Marketing?

An existential question that demands answering before you can do anything else on social media – DIY or outsource? Both approaches have their benefits.

If you choose to roll up your sleeves and jump into the big bad world of social media yourself, you end up

Saving the money you would have paid a social media specialist

Having greater control over your social media strategies

Getting direct feedback from users and fans about your products which can be plugged into action instantly

On the other hand, getting an outside specialist to manage social media

Helps free up your time to focus on building your core business

Gets you a round-the-clock expert representing your brand on social media, putting out fires, offering customer care, having conversations and building relationships with users and fans

Make informed decisions regarding your business’ social media strategy based on past experience and current trends

The decision on which path to take depends on what you can afford. If you can afford it, your best choice would be a middle of the road solution. An in-house social media expert supported by a full-fledged social media agency make the best power packed combination to do justice to your brand on social media!

Should You Bother with Organic Reach?

Followers of social media news would have noticed that over the last two years, talk of dropping organic reach – especially on Facebook – has become a rising bone of contention for most social media professionals. Rest assured, this is not idle conjecture.

Facebook-Marketing-Reach-Statistics

Source

Beginning 2012, organic reach of Facebook brand pages started a steady decline with the average organic reach standing at 2.6% in March 2015. This means, no matter how large your fan base, only 2.6% of the ones active on Facebook when you publish a post will have a chance to see it. The transient nature of the Facebook News Feed ensures that unless your post gets a bunch of likes as soon as it is published, it will likely never be seen again. So what do you do? Stop publishing original, organic content on Facebook altogether? Put your money only in advertising on Facebook?

The answer lies in the size of your Facebook fan base and the objectives of your Facebook campaigns. Small businesses with under a 1000 likes don’t have much cause to worry. Organic reach still hovers at 22% and doesn’t seem like it’s dropping anytime soon. However, as the size of your fan base grows, organic visibility starts plummeting pretty rapidly. If you’re a growing business and you rely on Facebook to propel you ahead quicker, it would help to invest in Facebook’s paid ads.

You can pick from

boosting an organic post to increase its reach

creating a promoted post based on your organic post in Ads Manager or Power Editor

creating a pure-play ad in Power Editor

Marie Page from The Digiterati carried out an interesting experiment to check which of these paid formats worked best. This is what she found:

Best-Facebook-Marketing-Paid-advertising

Source

From the data above, we can conclude that campaigns with the objective of building brand awareness and visibility should opt for boosting posts, as boosted posts have the highest reach.

If clickthroughs to your website are more important to you, then opt for Power Editor ads. Not only do they give the highest CTRs, they’re also the cheapest of the three.

Create or Curate Content For Facebook Marketing?

As we just discussed, Facebook’s organic reach is on a race down to zero. This means that your organic content gets barely any visibility in the flood of posts that litter the average Facebook user’s News Feed. Most experts opine that one surefire way of growing organic reach is by posting more often.

However, increasing the frequency of posts means increasing the volume of content you create to post on social media. For the average small business, creating multiple pieces of original content every single day can be financially disastrous.

The answer lies in a judicious mix of content creation and curation.

Feel free to repost original content shared by other brands with your fans on your Facebook page, once you give the original creators the requisite attribution. With curated content, not only do you instantly multiply your content trove, you also take the financial burden of creating large volumes of quality content off of your shoulders.

You don’t even need specialist curation tools to pull this off well. A social media management suite like Oktopost goes beyond managing multiple social networks to also curating content for you. Oktopost’s social media monitoring feature helps you listen in on what your audience is talking about and discover content from across the web that suits their interests perfectly; it then presents this information to you in an easily readable format.

Facebook-Marketing-curated-posts

To pick the right types of content, the tool factors in your audience’s interests as well as past content that you posted that worked well with your audience.

According to Tristan Handy, the sweet spot for content creation vs. curation ratio stands at 40-60.

Your Turn

Why is Facebook marketing a specialist field? Because social media is extremely fluid and Facebook is even more so. Decisions made today become irrelevant tomorrow or worse, can even backfire.

The solution? Keep your ears to the ground and your fingers at the ready on your keyboard. Track new movements that come about on Facebook and social media at large before you make marketing decisions that cost you hundreds of dollars.

Let us know what you have found with Facebook organic and paid reach, does it work for you?


Tracy Vides
Tracy Vides

Tracy Vides is a writer, researcher and content strategist, who firmly believes in the power of communication, collaboration and social media to leverage small business! She is an avid blogger with posts featured on Steamfeed, Sprout Content, She Owns It and elsewhere. Catch her on Twitter @TracyVides.