Facebook: How to Navigate the Organic Impressions Cliff Drop-Off

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If you haven’t been ‘paying’ attention the last couple of years, Facebook hates cheapskates. *pardon the pun!*. You’ve most likely noticed this yourself through the rather swift decline of organic impressions on your posts.

Facebook state the two reasons behind this are:

  •          There’s simply too much content being published on Facebook, making the News Feed very competitive to businesses.
  •          Facebook want to show its users the most relevant content.

Hmmm. Something sounds amiss. What could possibly be the missing factor in this explanation?

Ah, there we go. Say no more.

Filled with rage and mouse hovering over Facebook’s ‘Delete Business Page’ button in protest?

It’s not all doom and gloom however. The good news is that there are plenty of sneaky ways to counteract these changes and utilise them to your fullest advantage. Let’s take a deeper look at Facebook’s News Feed algorithm and explore some of the methods for making the most with the decline in organic impressions.

 

How does Facebook’s New Feed Work?

Just like Google, no one knows exactly how the news feed works or what factors Facebook takes into consideration.

According to a Facebook engineer, as many as 100,000 individual weights influence the content that appears in your newsfeed!

But a few of the major, key elements are now public knowledge, and they simplify down into 3 easy to remember pillars:

  •          Affinity
  •          Weight
  •          Decay

Affinity is the key one for us digital marketers. Affinity is basically how users tend to interact with your posts. So what user behaviours affect visibility?

Previous interactions

The more users engage with a page or post, the more likely they are to see future content from that page.

Interactions with that type of post

You get a user who loves video content? Well, if they like your page they will probably see your video posts!

Reactions from other users

Your post gaining tons of likes, comments and engagement? Facebook will be more inclined to show the post to other users on the network.

Complaints

Did you know you can hide posts on Facebook, and request to see less from certain pages? Cool feature. But if too many users do this to your posts or adverts, the less likely other users are to see that post.

 

So... What should I do about it?

We've looked at the basics of the Facebook news feed algorithm. Your posts must generate an affinity with your audience if you're to increase your impressions - but how is that done? Let's explore some tricks to beat the system and get around the organic impression drop-off.

Be more selective and specific with what you post

Unlike the good old days of social media 2006-2008, the 'shout-louder to be heard' technique of social marketing clearly no longer works. Churning out posts every hour will very quickly diminish most businesses audience affinity because you are missing one key factor: quality. The modern day technique to ramp up your affinity must be ensuring every post you make generates social interactions and engagement.

This is essential - because remember, Facebook has a memory. As discussed above, Facebook's newsfeed algorithm looks at your old posts to assess whether it should show your post or not. Therefore every post counts. In many cases it might be better to not post at all, than to post an irrelevant and uninteresting post. Keep calm, hold your horses and save hitting that post button until you have a cracking piece of content to share, that you know your audience will love.

Encourage engagement

A really straightforward way to do this is just to add a simple reminder to a post now and again: 'Please like and share'!

But if you really want to impress, think about creating content from the ground up that encourages social shares - user generated content posts work particularly well, along with competitions, shareable images, shareable stats and questions. The key is to ask yourself "will my audience connect with this post?".

Give in to Facebook

Sounds a bit defeatist! But without a doubt, Facebook paid advertising is a ridiculously powerful tool that all digital marketers should consider using.

A paid Facebook strategy isn’t simply chucking money into sponsored posts and hoping for the best. Like all paid channels, the end game (apart from generating sales, leads etc) is to use sponsored posts to move traffic off Facebook and onto your own property, like a website. This way you have much more control of the inbound marketing process.

We recommend allocating a little percentage of your marketing budget to Facebook advertising every month, to boost your top most engaging post, promotion or piece of content.

For more information check out our recent blog: Effortlessly Leverage the Power of Facebook Advertising, and our Social Media Advertising page.

 

Conclusion

Facebook's updates to the news feed changed the digital marketing landscape significantly for us marketers. But in every crisis there lies an opportunity, and if your business can stay one step ahead of the crowd, the rewards are there for the taking.

How has the Facebook organic impression drop-off affected your marketing strategy? Leave us a comment below or send a tweet to @PerceptiveFlow.

These are just a few of our many Facebook and digital marketing tips and tricks we've built up over years of experience running campaigns and constructing strategies for our clients. Want to discuss how we can drive sales or leads for your business through digital marketing? Contact us today.

 

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