Organic reach is dead. Long live paid engagement (aka: Facebook ads).
That's right Facebook marketers, the good days of reaching your audience through growth hacks and high-quality content are over.
Sure, these tactics still help you marginally, but you'll never be able to drive mass amounts of sales or significantly grow traffic with them.
So what do we do now? Simple: we need to move to paid ads.
Paid advertising is a new reality on Facebook, and you need it to grow your audience. In this article, we'll discuss why that is and how your brand can embrace our new, paid advertising-centric reality on Facebook.
But why is organic reach dead?
Well, let's look at the news.
Facebook announced huge changes to its Newsfeed algorithm earlier this year, wherein content from publishers was going to be given lesser priority than content from groups and friends. Facebook branded this as a change that makes Facebook content more "meaningful" than before.
And this is an understandable change. For years, Facebook Newsfeeds were flooded with memes, news stories, and content from pages. Rarely did you ever see content from your friends or family members, and even less did you see content from local news sources.
Facebook also announced a statement that discusses how they're reducing engagement bait. In short, engagement bait is when Facebook pages encourage you to react to, comment on, or share a post. For example, posts that encourage reactions as "votes".
In reality, these changes have really hurt brands and publishers on Facebook.
In fact, some publishers have been forced to shutter after the recent changes. Other pages have seen a 20%+ drop in engagement since the new algorithm went into effect.
But not all pages are hurting.
Months after the algorithm went into effect, Facebook announced that local news pages would actually be given an upside in the new change.
Additionally, Facebook groups have been pushed to the top of the Newsfeed, giving brands some sort of relief when it comes to Facebook organic reach.
But even with that in mind, the vast majority of Facebook pages are still hurting after the algorithm change. And that's where paid ads come into play.
Enter Facebook ads
Some believe that there's an ulterior motive behind Facebook's algorithm change: to push Facebooks ads. After all Facebook needs your money, and paid ads are a definite way for brands to get their engagement numbers back.
In short, you pay Facebook a certain amount of money to promote your page or its content to a targeted group of users without the need for organic reach tactics.
This gives you more freedom to customize your content, and gives you peace of mind that your posts are in front of the eyes of potential new fans.
Luckily, Facebook ads aren't expensive.
You can specifically target ads to a specific group of people based on demographic and profile information, so you're not wasting money putting your ads in front of the wrong eyes.
Further, you can run a Facebook ads with just $1 and scale up. Start low, and slowly ramp up your advertisements as you find what works for your brand.
Facebook has been slowly adding new features (like Transparency Tools) to its ads platform too, further incentivizing brands to get on the paid engagement bandwagon.
Tips for making great Facebook ads
Ready to start using Facebook ads to promote your brand? Here's a few tips for producing content that performs well and drives sales to you or your clients.
Narrow your target audience. When targeting your Facebook ads, make sure to spend proper time setting your target audience. You can narrow your ads by interests, past behaviors, connections to your brand, location, gender, and more, so narrow these down properly to avoid wasting your ad dollars.
Video is key. Video is huge on social media. Not only is is proven to be more engaging than text and images, you can fit more meaning into a 15 second video than three lines of text. Consider making a short commercial, product demo, or vlog-style video for your next Facebook ad.
Use call to action buttons. Facebook lets you add call to action buttons to your Facebook ads. For example, you can add "buy now" or "start trial" buttons to pictures of your products. Use these buttons to make purchasing your product easier.
Use simple language. Don't over-complicate your copy text. Make your ads short and sweet so it catches the eye of Facebook readers as they're browsing through their feed.
Test multiple ads. Don't run one ad at a time. Rather, run multiple ads and see which performs best over the course of a few days. Then, use whichever performs best in the long-term.
On a similar note, run different ads for different people. If you're a clothing retailer, make sure you're advertising men's clothing to men, and women's clothing to women. This saves your ad dollar by keeping your content relevant to the reader.
Link to valuable content. Instead of linking directly to your content, advertise a blog post. It's a lot easier to get people to click on an article titled "Six Awesome iPhone Cases That'll Save Your Phone" than a direct link to your iPhone case store.
Track your ads with Social Report
Once your brand is using Facebook ads, you'll need a place to track engagement and spending.
And luckily, you can do all of that in Social Report.
Just follow our guide on linking your Facebook ad campaigns to Social Report, and you'll get immediate access to demographic, spending, and impression analytics from your Facebook ads.
We also offer a Paid vs Organic Reach feature that lets you compare the performance of your paid and organic content.
Your brand must be using paid ads in 2018. Organic reach is dying, and if your brand wants to grow on social, you need to adapt with the times. And if your brand properly targets its ads, chances are you'll recoup your ad spending in no time.
Want to manage your Facebook ads and social accounts in one place? Try Social Report free for 30 days.