The decline in organic reach for brand pages on Facebook is nothing new, but brands must be prepared for organic reach to decline further to near-zero levels. A study conducted by social@Ogilvy in February 2014 found that the organic reach of 100 brand-owned Facebook pages was about 6%, a 49% decline from October 2013.
To reach audiences, brands need to be investing in social advertising. Facebook ads in particular present a great opportunity for brands to keep their message in the news feed, deliver that message to the correct audience and in turn help control the quality of new fans it brings to the page. Specific ad formats, like claimable offers, can help drive specific consumer actions and provide a clear ROI. Most importantly though, Facebook ads allow brands to use their time more efficiently and create less content while still driving engagement.
Late last year, we worked with a car dealership in California to incorporate Facebook ads into their social strategy. As one of the highest volume dealerships in the world, their brand page had a healthy fan base sitting at just over 1,000 fans. Before we began, the dealership had been creating 100 organic posts every 60 days, reaching about 16,000 people, 94 of those current members of their fan base.
With $1,000, we implemented a paid media strategy that included two claimable offers, six promoted, unpublished (otherwise known as “dark”) posts and a “like” campaign, all targeting users within 25 miles of the dealership’s location. At the end of 60 days, the dealership saw a 286% increase in the amount of people reached and were able to increase fan reach to more than 100 per post. Additionally, the dealer saw a 47% uptick in page likes. While these results are all great, the most startling is that the dealership team spent 92% less time producing content, while still reaching more people and generating more engagement with its current fan base.
With a paid media strategy, the dealer generated more than 500 intent-to-buy actions at just more than $1 per action, while severely reducing the time spent creating content. While this example clearly demonstrates the value of Facebook ads, I’d encourage any brand page to try replicating these results.
Now is the time to start investing in paid media on Facebook, but understand that finding successful Facebook ads takes time and testing. Be patient and stay dedicated. Over time you can identify which types of ads and formats would work best with your target audience and develop your strategy accordingly.
Most importantly though, continue to engage with those users sharing and interacting on your brand page. While paid ads can be very successful, you can’t forget about organic content altogether. Daily relevant posts about your brand or community are essential to keeping fans engaged over time, long after they redeem an offer – which is the true test of a healthy Facebook brand page.
Phil Penton is president of Social Integration, the leading end-to-end reputation and social media management platform. With over 12 years of experience in marketing technology and media, Phil works with a variety of businesses, from Fortune 500 to local business owners, to provide innovative solutions for social media and reputation management. Sign up for your 30-day free trial of Social Integration today.