The window of organic reach on social platforms with self-service advertising products is rapidly closing, and brands are still adjusting to the new realities of paying for their desired reach and frequency. This is especially true when it comes to content marketing. I’ve been banging the drum on this since last year, so it is truly valuable to see up-to-the-minute research on exactly this phenomenon, specific to Facebook.
Facebook is just one of the social media platforms offering advertising products. However, Facebook’s actions can be seen as representative of larger trends. According to eMarketer research presented at ad:tech San Francisco this spring, there are only nine companies sharing two-thirds of all digital ad spending. It’s no surprise that Google and Facebook are at the top of that short list sharing a rather large slice of the paid media pie. eMarketer also reported that this year, digital ad spending will top $50 billion for the first time.
So, what’s up with Facebook’s organic reach? Well, some types of posts are getting less organic reach, and others are getting more. ShopIgniter studied 2,000 brand posts in the last six months and identified some very important trends before and after Facebook’s Jan. 21 news feed update:
- The reach of status update posts is down by 65 percent.
- The reach of link posts is up by 30 percent.
What can you do about it? ShopIgniter’s VP of strategy, Justin Kistner, urges brands to optimize the social mobile experience on Facebook. There are good and bad examples to be found in Justin’s research deck presented at ad:tech. The key takeaway being that marketers should pay greater attention to the transition from clicking on a Facebook link post to interacting with content on a brand page. Keep the visuals bold and easy to find on a small screen; don’t leave your audience hunting and pecking for your content on their mobile phones or tablets. With this in mind, ShopIgniter reported a conversion rate of 4.4 percent from optimized link posts in the last six months.
OK, so what if you’re not placing expensive link posts on Facebook on a regular basis? The key takeaways here are still helpful:
- Add more link posts into your content mix no matter what. Measure the change related to your content.
- Measure link clicks, not total clicks. Facebook distinguishes between link clicks and other types of clicks, such as clicking to view a photo within Facebook. If you’re paying to merchandise content, it’s link clicks that count.
- For the sake of your conversion rate, organic or paid, ensure that the user experience on your site is mobile optimized. That’s the truly hard work part of this equation, and ShopIgniter’s research shows that it can help you squeeze those valuable extra percentage points out of your conversion rate.