Recent changes to Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm has got a lot of people up in arms. Yet again, the social sky is falling. And yet again, I’m here to be the voice of reason.
What Facebook have done is nothing new. Take search as an example. You can put a lot of resource into SEO and use organic search to reach a small group of people who are likely to engage with your brand and not spend a cent on media. Or you can extend your search strategy using media budget to by paid search placements which extend your reach to a much broader – but arguably less interested – audience knowing that at least some of them will engage.
Facebook is no different. Focus on your conversation strategy and you’ll engage with a small group of brand loyalists. Invest in paid media and you’ll extend your reach to a broader, but less engaged, audience.
There are plenty of articles out there on how brands should respond to these changes. Here’s what I think:
1. Differentiate between reach and engagement. Your conversation calendar drives engagement, your paid media drives reach and growth. If you aren’t supporting your page with paid media, you shouldn’t have reach or growth KPIs.
2. Engagement is now critical. If you can't support your page with paid media, then you will need to build interactivity (like, comment, share, vote) into your status updates. This will ensure those you are reaching remain engaged, and when you hit that sweet spot with a post that gets great interaction rates your reach will extend to your wider fanbase.
3. Treat your Facebook page like paid search. Have an always on media budget and upweight when you are in campaign. Buy reach through promoted posts and sponsored stories - but stick to targeting fans only and don't promote every single status update. Just pick the ones that are most important, engaging and on-brand - and make sure they encourage interaction.