An Open Letter to Community Managers Working on Facebook Pages for Brands

Dear Community Managers,

It’s a rough time to be working in the trenches of Facebook. We’ve seen major changes unleashed on organic reach. Fans of your Page that love the product and/or service aren’t seeing organic content….unless your brands cough up some dough, of course.

At its core, Community Management is communication; encouraging conversation, talking to fans and users of your brand, and creating meaningful connections. If only 2% of fans are able to see posts, how are you going to talk to them?

It is not your fault.

krista1

Remember, it is not your fault that Facebook is sucking the life out of organic posts. Community Managers toil away on Facebook to cultivate and nurture our communities. We become close to our super fans and brand advocates, because they are the ones that show us amazing amounts of love. It’s easy to feel defeated when your existing fans don’t even see your posts in their newsfeeds. What’s a Community Manager to do?

Personally, I prefer Twitter over Facebook when it comes to following brands. Twitter’s search functionality is simple and sweet (hear that, Graph Search? SIMPLE). Twitter is elegantly modest.

I’m not alone. The food delivery service Eat24 announced that they are leaving Facebook, through a ‘break-up’ letter shared to their social channels. Yes, it was posted to the Facebook Page. And it got a massive amount of engagement. Oh the irony.

Facebook wants pay for play.

krista2

Since October 2013, many brands are reporting significant reductions in organic reach numbers. Two years ago, Facebook estimated that 16% of your fans would see your post without any paid promotion. Today, that number can sit as low as 1%.

Bryan Maleszyk offers up a solid point in Digiday in favor of paying Facebook: “Brands have focused on producing high volumes of content rather than considering the quality and value of that content to their target audience. As a result, ‘fan’ engagement with brand content hovers around 1 percent or less.”

Basically, it is the brand’s responsibility to acquire fans and provide socially relevant ads on the platform. Many brands have a graveyard of fans that liked the Page a long time ago, but haven’t interacted in a long time, if at all.

In order to reach targeted fans within the 1.2 billion strong, brands should pay to reach the most relevant people. For Community Managers, this scenario could be ideal for finding the best advocates and fans.

There may be a day when organic reach is zero.

krista3

What would a social strategy look like if there was no organic reach? Brands who can’t (or don’t want to) spend the cash on promoted posts will have to set their sights on other viable options, like Instagram and Twitter. By spreading an online presence around to other social media platforms, efforts (and money) won’t be all of the eggs in the Facebook basket.

Brands aren’t leaving Facebook in droves, but if organic reach hits zero across the board, we need to be ready to push forward with a cross-platform strategy for our brands. Other social media platforms are often pushed aside because Facebook is the heavy-weight champion, the VIP, the Grand Poobah…If Facebook is no longer a viable outlet for brands, Community Managers will need to consider a cross-platform social strategy.

Hang on, little tomato.

Xoxo

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