Hack Facebook’s reach – and conquer the Reachpocalypse…

Or – how almost all my colleagues in social media have the Facebook reach challenge completely wrong
 
No disrespect to all the folks I know who have been working in social for decades.
Even with all that experience, they are missing the impact and opportunity with the Facebook algorithms change.
 
I take a scrappy and contrarian perspective.
When Jae Baer, Chris Penn, and others write about the rising cost for businesses to get their word out on Facebook, I immediately wonder about brands who aren’t spending and are getting their word out.
Where are companies that I’ve never seen a boosted post for and whose content I see regularly in my newsfeed.
 
I went looking for examples and found a few.
 
O’Neill – maker of wetsuits, winter gear, and clothing.
I had the opportunity to interview one of their social media managers and to learn about their strategy.
From day one, they’ve focused on posting entertaining content.
Entertaining content which is not an ad.
This strategy organically earned them over a million global followers on Facebook, with every post receiving comments, shares, and brand engagement.
It also put all their content – lots of fun and the occasional ad – organically in my feed.
 
Simon Sinek – the ubiquitous king of “why”.
Like O’Neill, Simon posts photos and videos which I’ve liked, commented on, and shared.
His recent post on working with Millennials has raised a lot of commentary and a follow-on video.
And his posts keep showing up in my newsfeed without boosting.
 
I also see Gary VaynerchukMt Rose Ski Resort, Tyrese Gibson, TechCrunch, Jamie Foxx, and the Inertia’s posts – none of which are boosted.
 
The common strategy for this diverse bunch – entertaining or educational content.
That’s it – they aren’t trying to sell me anything.
The brand name – that is still front, center, unmistakable, unforgettable.
 
3 core ideas
  • slash your posts that are ads. Your customers will (are) tired of seeing daily ads – they know who you are and don’t need a reminder that you want their business.
  • provide entertaining or educational content. Your brand name on content is as much as anyone needs to remember it. Have you noticed all the brands on NASCAR racers?
  • we like to share content. We want to learn and laugh. We want to impress our friends with new finds. Your audience gets kudos and ultimately you get more visibility.
  • bonus points – engaging with your audience is genius. This helps in multiple ways – first, people know you care; second, it drives more visibility in fans news feeds; third, fans friends see it and now you are building brand credibility and perception; fourth, fans come back for more.
 
Your content has much more power when your audience shares it (word of mouth still rules).
This is an organic boost in validation – which you can’t purchase.
It’s only earned for you by your audience.
 
I’m 99% convinced that Facebook hasn’t changed their algorithm but that brands poor content and lack of response is what has driven their crash in organic reach.
 
People I’ve friended drop off my feed for the exact same reason – they don’t respond, Facebook downgrades their relationship to me.
 
All my examples respond. It’s part of why they do so well with organic reach.
 
If you want to be unforgettable, audience promoted, and saving on advertising – you need to entertain and respond.

Are you wasting your advertising budget?

How big is your advertising budget?
How ineffective is it?

Advertising is just a conversation starter and your ad is just one voice in a cacophony.

The 85 year old patriarch of my family understands this.
He knows that businesses thrive on conversation and word of mouth.
He wants ( and gets ) relationships with businesses – to their lasting benefit.

Advertising or posting on social media without responding is completely missing the point.

Social media is a new game.
It’s not a magazine or a television show.
Response is what’s wanted, conversation is the value.
Advertising and posting on social media without responding is the same as having a phone but never answering it ( which a surprisingly large number of companies do… ).

In our always-on, always connected culture the way to stand out is to respond.
You’ll be a standout amongst your competition ( SouthWest Airlines is a great example ).

Data backs this up with higher revenue and lower complaints.

What have you got to loose?