Once Facebook became a marketing channel, everyone set out to grow their fanbase. There was little talk of content, or engagement at the time. Many agencies were selling reach and follower growth. Many promised the world and few delivered. This was an era of $0.20 CPC ads and MySpace widget installs. Social media marketing has grown fast and while you can still buy Facebook fans, reach should be second to your engagement. Here are three reasons why content is more important than reach:
1) Facebook algorithm change
In December of 2013 Facebook adjusted its algorithm to value posts from contacts over brands. On one hand this helped people have an experience closer to the original Facebook. Yet brands had to pay more for exposure. There are two ways to break through this wall. You can post more often and you can post more engaging content. More content will give you owned exposure and better content will give you earned exposure. Lets take a second to review paid, owned, and earned media. Paid media is any ad or content you place for a fee. It has a high impact for as long as you pay then disappears. Owned media represents content and channels you control such as on-site SEO, and your blog or social media posts. Earned media is your content that your audience shares with their friends. They are extending the reach of your content to new eyes. Earned media provides the most impact overtime. We have clients posting as often as 3 times per hour to increase their owned exposure. Short status updates with images and tracked links are key. You want to write headlines; short bursts of eye-catching copy that will generate clicks. It may be helpful to think of each post as a mini ad. You are catching eyes and enticing clicks to the full story.
You only have one customer online: Google. You’re audience has an age, geography, psychographic profile, etc but they all converge on Google. More specifically, they they live in the first five results and certainly only on the first page. When you create content, you are writing for how your audience searches. Let’s say you sell tween clothing and your store is called Kids Closet. You have to create and share content for your audience (tweens and their moms) but you also have to create content that tells Google that you sell tween clothes. Frequent uniques posts will generate tremendous traffic that will continue to send visitors even years later. Technically, SEO is owned media but online, SEO friendly content is priceless. One key issue with SEO is that Google also changes its algorithm and can do so with little or no notice.
Social media- Socialize with media. Take your conversations and interests online. Start a dialogue, share, and like. The Facebook algorithm adjusted what fans see so we need to breakthrough. There are two ways brands are doing this. First, they are posting more often. This increases the chances your audience will see your post. Second, brands are making posts short, sweet, and personal. Essentially, they are trying to behave as friends and not companies, brands, or products. Short post titles, images, snazzy headlines and shocking content is getting shared most often.
Image courtesy of Flickr user mkhmarketing