Facebook Makes Marketing Engines Sputter

Flickr Photograph by Randy Barnes

Flickr Photograph by Randy Barnes

A growing number of businesses and organizations are realizing the effectiveness of Facebook is continually decreasing in their efforts to engage with various audiences. Just a few years ago, the social media channel provided power to an organization’s marketing engine. But the change isn’t due to businesses or nonprofits poorly executing any particular Facebook strategy. It’s because Facebook is changing and taking advantage of the economics of the situation.

The bottom line is businesses and other organizations will not be able to engage with their Facebook friends as often or as effectively unless they purchase advertising on the social media channel. (Read article, “Facebook Organic Reach Decline Called ‘Catastrophic’ For Nonprofits As News Feed Visibility Vanishes,” from International Business Times.

If you reduce your advertising spend or stop advertising, Facebook will penalize your organization by not feeding your updates into the news feed of people who “like” your organization.

The information in your Facebook news stream is generated by an algorithm. The formula was developed to maximize the audience available to those organizations advertising on Facebook.

Organizations shouldn’t abandon their Facebook pages. For those nonprofits and businesses with the advertising or marketing budgets, they might want to consider advertising on the channel. By purchasing Facebook ads and adding email addresses from the organization’s newsletter subscribers or other databases, Facebook will link corresponding email addresses to those in its user database and place your organization’s advertising in their news feed. It’s anecdotal, but many organizations continue to see positive results from the advertising.

Check Your Scorecard

Photograph by cambodia4kidsorg

Photograph by cambodia4kidsorg

Your organization should develop a system to review data from your digital channels. It doesn’t require a tremendous amount of time or expertise to create a simple tracking form to quickly evaluate how your organization is engaging with its audiences through various digital channels.

A careful review of Facebook’s analytics and other data on the scorecard for your digital channels should be analyzed to determine the proper amount of time devoted to each channel. If statistics show your Facebook channel engages 100 people each week and your email newsletter is opened by more than 1,000 subscribers each month, where would you allocate time and resources?

If you believe spending more time on email is the correct answer, you’re partially correct. Your email newsletter should be tightly written and visually attractive. However, your email newsletter should be filled with short and enticing paragraphs so your readers will click on links that lead to additional information on a website or to interfaces where they can make a transaction.

Close Digital Loops

Flickr Photograph by Dennis Skly

Flickr Photograph by Dennis Skly

Your organization can’t afford to abandon social media. Icons to subscribe to the various channels should be prominent on your website, printed materials, email newsletters and other collateral.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels are taking advantage of an outstanding opportunity to significantly grow revenue. If Facebook subscribers were a country, it would be the most populous in the world. Your stakeholders are continuing to use those channels, but your organization won’t have the same access to them as it once had.

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