Way back on April 10, 2017, Facebook announced that they'd be cleaning up the News Feed to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
Their goal was to cut back on the amount of spammy content that is published by Pages that deliberately try to game the Facebook algorithm. Their algorithm measures the popularity of a post by the number of likes, comments, and shares it gets and it surfaces that post to more people as it gains popularity over a few days.
Don't Remind Customers to Engage
Each one of us has a close group of friends we interact with on Facebook. There are friends whose posts we always like and other friends we always comment on. Sometimes we might read a post, enjoy it, ad simply overlook pressing the like button or making a comment.
Marketers are aware of this human behavior and will often post something with the directions "like if you agree" or "share with your friends" to remind you to engage with them. Facebook calls this marketing tactic "like-baiting" and they are against it. The changes in their algorithm are learning to recognize and prevent like-baiting posts from appearing in the News Feed.
Instead of posting mediocre content and asking for engagement you should post fantastic content that will be interesting to your audience and create discussion without asking for it. Usually this means you need to improve your social media photography process.
Avoid Being Spammy
Everyone hates spam, but some local businesses are paying marketing agencies to spam for them without even realizing it.
Facebook now recognizes when people post and reshare content, but they also recognize when the same content is being shared over and over again, which makes it boring to read and less relevant.
Small business owners often feel that they don't have time to post to social media and would rather hire a marketing agency to post to their social accounts on their behalf. Some marketing agencies charge a premium price to compose unique posts for their clients; Facebook doesn't consider these posts to be spammy.
On the other hand, there are marketing agencies that specialize in certain industries that will sell the same marketing service to different businesses within that industry. These agencies usually charge a lot less money every month because they are able to constantly repurpose their content and use it for hundreds of clients to keep costs down.
Usually these marketing agencies don't overlap the geographic areas of their clients so it's unlikely that store owners will ever realize how often the same social media content is used on other Pages in the same industry. I've met several business owners who are not very active on Facebook and believe that their business needs some type of presence, even if it's just to pay a nominal monthly fee to post content like this.
Here's an example of four jewelry stores that have hired the same marketing agency to post content on their behalf. I randomly found this example while writing this Golden Nugget, and it turned out to be a good example. The dates of the posts span from January 2017 to August 2017. These are just the top results Facebook showed me:
Although the photo for each post was different, the wording of the post was the same. I assume I would find more post just like this if I keep digging.
What these stores don't realize is that Facebook considers this content to be spammy and is penalizing stores who continue the practice. In my own measurements, I see that the organic reach of stores using spammy content has dropped 24.7% from April 2017 to August 2017.
In an effort to combat the decline in reach, some stores are paying to boost their posts on Facebook. Paying as little as $1 or $2 per day doesn't seem like a lot, but that does add up over time. When you consider the impact of the loss of organic reach and the extra cost of the boosted posts, suddenly you realize that the nominal monthly fee for these types of marketing agencies is wasted money.
We could even say that paying for those marketing services is the beginning of the death of your social media marketing efforts.
There are no shortcuts with online marketing. Every penny you think you're saving with online marketing is probably the next penny helping to pave the way to your business failure.
When you compare different marketing companies to work with you should ask them if they create unique content for you or if they reuse and repurpose content from other sources. You should hire a marketing agency that creates unique content for your business; otherwise, you should assign the task to an employee.
Your customers crave something new, unique, and unexpected on a regular basis. You need to develop a content publishing strategy that uses original photography and written descriptions that are not copied from other sources and that have not been shared to other Facebook Pages.
By the way, I own a marketing company that creates unique content for our clients. We've never taken the shortcut approach of offering the same content to all of our clients because we felt it was the wrong strategy. We do charge a premium for our marketing service, but our premiums are a little more reasonable than others. Give me a call if you want to stop that organic reach loss you're feeling right now.