Lots of marketers want to believe Facebook marketing is dead. With new networks popping up constantly, email marketing being more effective than ever, and organic Facebook reach getting smaller and smaller, what's the point?
Do you even need a Facebook content strategy anymore?
Of course you do!
Like it or not, your audience is there. Pretty much everyone and their mother (literally) has an account. While it’s no longer the only social network, and it often makes us angry or annoyed, we keep logging in, so it remains a great way to reach people.
Your tactics will just look a little different than they did three years ago. Here’s what a 2016 Facebook content strategy should look like:
1. Join groups to perform market research
With organic reach for pages on a long downward trend, dipping as low as 2% by some reports, a lot of brands have started turning to Facebook groups as a more direct way to reach their customers and prospects on Facebook. That can either be creating a group for your audience, or joining groups for your industry or niche.
There are groups about any topic imaginable, and they give you a direct line to your audience in a closed/more private space. Because of the conversational nature of a group, they’re really helpful for market research - before you even start producing content.
Look at what people are talking about: what they’re interested in, what bothers or annoys them, and what they ask questions about. Start your own conversations and create polls to ask them what they want.
Knowing what they need help with tells you what content to create and share on Facebook.
Additionally, if you’re managing your own group or a member of one that allows it, you can occasionally promote content in groups as well.
2. Curate shareable content
While your brand will likely post on Facebook less frequently than other social networks, you still don’t want to rely on just your own content. This is both more efficient and makes it easier to increase your post reach.
By curating content that’s highly shareable and from popular sources, you can piggyback off of their reach in the news feed.
Take a look at how WeWork shared an article from Fast Company:
By tagging Fast Company, this post will be more likely to show up in the news feeds of people who like both pages, taking advantage of the publication’s large audience.
In addition to curating content and tagging other pages, you can share their popular content for a boost in reach. When a certain piece of content is trending, users will see it in their news feed, along with all the pages they’ve liked that have shared it.
That’s your chance to reach people who’ve liked your page but may not interact with it much. Just make sure that you’re adding original insight and not straying too far off topic for the sake of trendiness or virality.
3. Share video
Videos are by far the best and easiest way to reach and engage people on Facebook. Facebook loves video: overall users interact with it more than any other content type, and as such Facebook has adjusted their news feed algorithm to prioritize them.
And investing in video will prepare you for Facebook’s future. As noted by BuzzSumo, Facebook is doing a lot to ensure their high performance: prioritizing them in the feed, making them autoplay, introducing Facebook Live, etc. As such, shares of videos have almost doubled in the past year:
While video may take more effort to create, the return for your content strategy will be worth it. Take Facebook Live, for example. While you’re streaming, Facebook sends notifications, pushes you to the top of the news feed, and more to help your brand get seen. Jump on Live to answer questions, show behind the scenes, and other simple video ideas.
4. Promote your best content
One of the reasons marketers dislike Facebook now is because they feel like they’re forced to “pay to play.” What they don’t take into account is how effective Facebook advertising can be.
Maybe it’s worth that push to give it a try.
For example, sponsoring and boosting Facebook posts that are already performing well expands the reach of that one specific message, and the boost in engagement can also have residual impact on your reach, giving you a louder megaphone for a few weeks after the campaign.
You can also create ad campaigns for high performing content on your blog or website to drive traffic and conversions. Buffer has a great guide to Facebook ads that you can consult.
5. Write strong copy
Lastly, don’t forget one of the most important basics of marketing: great copy.
You can be sharing all the right formats, optimizing your page, posting at the right time, and still see no results if the content’s just not good.
Put effort into the posts you write and the captions you write for your photo, video, and link shares. Test different copywriting methods and experiment with different content approaches - share some funny jokes balanced with informative posts and see what your audience seems to prefer.
As for best practices, you’ll want to include a call-to-action in your post to let readers know what to do after looking at it. Watch the video, subscribe to your email list, read your blog post, etc.
Also, TrackMaven has found that longer posts tend to perform better. A lot of successful brands treat their Facebook posts almost as a microblogging platform, writing mini-info posts instead of just an introduction to the main content.
For example, look at how SumoMe writes a longer intro that summarizes the article the post is linking to:
Try different tactics, like pulling a quote from an article you’re sharing, asking the audience a question about the content, or summarizing either the information, or as SumoMe does above, the results.
Reach anyone and engage
Facebook’s impact on our culture means members of your audience definitely hang out there. Almost everyone does. Sure, the platform might be competitive as you fight for a slot at the top of the news feed, but its total pervasiveness in our everyday lives makes it worth it.
What’s your Facebook content strategy look like, and what goals is it helping you achieve?