Since it’s inception, Facebook has increasingly become a vital source of traffic for websites. Even to the point that people began to suggest content and brands would find you rather than you finding them. While this is becoming increasingly true, Facebook recently announced that business, brand, and news outlet pages would become less prominent in the news feeds of Facebook users, something that has already happened in the past with noticeable decreases in traffic. This new change could equate to a reduction of your organic reach on Facebook, and the subsequent traffic from Facebook to your website.
So, what should you do if the traffic from your Facebook page is decreasing and how can you prepare yourself for the impact? Here are five strategies to deal with declining traffic from your Facebook page.
Why would the traffic decrease?
Facebook believes that users want to see more of what Facebook used to be about in their news feeds, the content of their friends and families in addition to groups, not news and brand content. Facebook has not publicly announced it, but I am also of the view that their ad inventory is sold out. In other words, they are selling the maximum amount of ads they can without further diluting user feeds. The only way to show more content from friends, family and groups without reducing the ad inventory is to reduce the amount of organic brand content in feeds. So, Facebook is changing the news feed. Now, the posts of friends, family and their groups are taking higher priority, and the content of businesses, brands and media will get bumped down or out altogether.
If you notice a sudden drop in reach and subsequent traffic from Facebook to your website, don’t worry. Everyone is in the same boat so it will be affecting your competitors as well. At the end of the day, if people wanted your products or services before, they will still want them now. If Facebook isn’t showing them your content, they will take to Google to search for it. So it’s vital to ensure you have a multi-pronged strategy in place. Here are some more ideas to help with your traffic plan.
Produce top-notch content
So to get back to their core function of showing users the content that matters most to them, it’s about showing them things they and their friends or family want to see. That means the algorithms are more than ever looking at what content outside the friend and the family sphere is getting user engagement. Ultimately, this comes back to you and how engaging your content is. You can’t force people to like or share it. In fact, you need to be very careful about encouraging people to do so as there are some ways of asking that are actually against the Facebook Page terms, but if you are producing top-notch content, then you are already one step ahead.
Leverage personal accounts
Remember that your brand or business page is just one avenue to engage with potential customers. You also have individual user accounts. There is no reason you, your employees, friends and family can’t spread the word about your business through your private accounts. Remember though to keep these accounts personal. They should not be all brand promotion.
Connect with influencers
Influencers have been growing in popularity over the last few years with more and more springing up across each social network. These people typically focus on specific topics and have many followers on their chosen channels. Some of them actively engage in seeking sponsorship opportunities, and others are open to it if you ask. There are also sites, such as DealSpotr, that exist to help you find suitable influencers. You can reach out to them and ask them to talk about your product or service on their blog, YouTube Channel, Instagram, Facebook page or whatever their primary network is and to of course tag you in it. It won’t be free, but depending on their size you can get decent exposure for relatively cheap. Smaller influencers might be willing to talk about your product just by providing them with a free one for themselves. More prominent influencers will require payment in cash form.
Facebook has only explicitly stated that it is the organic reach that will be affected. So, when you consider the vast amounts of revenue produced from advertising, it is unlikely that paid promotions will be affected. Paying to promote a post to a target audience on Facebook is relatively cheap and can be highly effective when done as part of your marketing funnel. Be sure to look at it holistically and work out how it can fit into your marketing. Ideally, you want something that can pull people onto your website for an impulse buy or freebie so that you can upsell them on your more expensive products. Take the time to make sure your ads are well-written and get high relevance scores.
Try other social networks and tools
Facebook is the elephant in the room. It has the biggest audience, the broadest reach, the most significant market penetration, but, some alternatives might give you better bang for your buck. If you are aiming at younger audiences, try Instagram or Snapchat. Particularly now that Instagram is rolling out in-app shopping it could become a huge game changer for business. You could also consider Pinterest, YouTube or Reddit, it all depends on your market. Alternatively, you could try some of the newer tools in Facebook that they are pushing at the moment like Facebook Live video, Facebook Groups, and Facebook Messenger marketing. These tools all enable your business to cut through other content because they are what Facebook is currently working to grow.
Facebook traffic decreasing isn’t the end
Everyone is going to be experiencing some shake-up in their traffic as a result of changes Facebook is making. Moves like this aren’t new. Facebook adjusts things all the time, as does Google and other traffic sources. They are all businesses just like yours, trying to do the best thing for their users and customers. The key is to remember to work on all aspects of your digital marketing, not just one. If your website SEO is in order, then the impact will be much lower. If you are actively running targeted ad campaigns on Facebook, the effect will also be smaller. Explore the landscape and try new things while maintaining the elements that currently work for your business and you will reduce the impact of these and future changes on your bottom line.
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