Sending a message out on social media (well, any digital communication, really) is like sitting on a desert island with a message in a bottle, waiting to be rescued. Your message is very important to you, but to someone sitting on the beach at the end of the world, it is much less interesting.
And this is the dilemma that Facebook has had to deal with. The organic reach for company brand pages has dropped significantly since the “good old days” of 2013. In their official response to the drop, Facebook said that it’s not about pushing company pages toward paid promotion of posts, but about providing its users with content that best matches the reason they come to facebook.
As a company, FB is looking to put the most relevant content possible in front of its users, so they spend more time on the site, and consume more advertising. Thesse ads take up more and more of the “feed”, in both mobile and desktop versions.
For page owners, what do we then do with the audience that we’ve built up? When a given pitch can only reach a single-digit percentage of the overall audience base, is there any point in having fans anymore? Of course there is. And a well-written post can still reach a good number of people, even without promotion.
If you’re looking to improve the effectiveness of your page, you will want to have a look at the analytics that FB provide for free. But how to make sense of them? There are infographics and blog posts that can help you make sense of the terms involved. This will help you see what percentage of your fans are seeing the posts you are putting out, to the limit of accuracy of the data provided, but don’t be too distracted by these numbers.
The number of likes, comments and (most importantly for reach) shares are one factor in determining the success of your facebook page, but unless you’re looking at the facebook page as an end in itself, what you should really be tracking is how the facebook page is helping you reach your actual goal.
If your goal is to have people read an article, then track the number of clicks through from the facebook post to the article (and then look at your analytics to see how long people are spending on the article page, or if they are scrolling down to the end of the article page).
If your goal is to sell products, then you want to measure – at the very least – how much traffic you’re getting to your site. Perhaps moving straight from reading a post to making a purchase is too much of a challenge – is there some way you can measure how a call-to-action in a post can move them further into your sales funnel, so that you can make a stronger connection? Perhaps an email list would be the next logical step?