There is a common misconception about Facebook among people I talk to in golf clubs. Many think when they publish a post on their business Facebook page that everyone who has liked their page will see it. This is, in fact, far from the truth!
A few years ago the percentage of your Facebook fans that actually saw your posts was, on average, 27 percent. In 2012 this number dropped to around 16 percent, according to Facebook. Now it has dropped to about 6.5 percent. So if 1,500 people like your page, you can expect an average of about 100 people to be shown each post you publish.
The bad news is Facebook is also saying we ‘should assume a day will come when the organic reach is zero’!
Pay to play Facebook
Last year, the total number of pages ‘liked’ by Facebook users grew by more than 50 percent on average. However, the same users aren’t spending more time reading their Facebook News Feeds. To accommodate this, Facebook has changed its EdgeRank algorithm that determines which posts their users see and which ones they don’t. That’s why your organic reach is declining. Consequently, brands need to ‘pay to play’ if they want to stay relevant on the platform.
Golf clubs and golf-related businesses already optimising their Facebook post reach with paid promotions are ahead of the game. If you have not set a Facebook advertising budget or your business cannot afford a regular spend on Facebook then it will be tougher to get noticed on this important social media network. However, there are some low-cost and no-cost opportunities you can still consider.
Top 5 low-cost Facebook marketing strategies
- Improve your content – use remarkable photos and eye-catching images in your posts.
- Aim to engage – ask questions to encourage more comments and create posts your fans will want to share.
- Run competitions – recently Facebook relaxed its rules about how you can run contests on your page but it’s still important to adhere to their promotional guidelines.
- Ask your database of customers, friends and employees to like your page and your posts to continue seeing you in their News Feeds.
- Make sure your website is social media friendly and visitors to your website can share or like the content on Facebook directly from your website.
Measuring your success
You can monitor how well you are engaging your audience on Facebook by calculating your page’s engagement rate. First, find the number of people ‘talking about this’ which is located next to your number of page ‘likes’ under your cover photo, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.
Checking your engagement rate is a good way to gauge and review the level of activity on your page because it summarises the past 7 day count of your total likes, posts, comments, tags and shares. If you’re looking for an industry benchmark, an engagement rate of around 1 percent is about average.
Other online marketing tools
To get the best coverage and results, (And without having to pay – yet!) spread your social media marketing across a few platforms. Other popular social networks to consider include LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Pinterest and Google+. Find out which ones are popular among your target market.
Don’t overlook the value of the old-fashioned e-newsletter as a core part of your marketing strategies. You can add an email optin on your Facebook page tabs and use a Facebook app like ShortStack to ask for people to join your email list on Facebook. You could also build your email list on Facebook by running a competition, offering a free coupon or a giveaway as an incentive.
Sending a regular newsletter to your email list is one of the simplest, low-cost forms of marketing available to every business, regardless of budget. And it’s also the easiest to control!