If you're scratching your head wondering why your Facebook posts are only getting love from your grandma and your accountant, it's time to face the music: your organic reach has plummeted to zero. Instead of resorting to algorithm hacks or quick fixes, let's dive deep into understanding why your reach has tanked and explore concrete steps to bring it back to life. In this article, we'll unpack effective strategies that will guide you in solving your organic reach puzzle.
Disclaimer: BYOB – Bring Your Own Bravery
Heroik Insights are here to help you get your head on straight and steer clear of stupid, now and in the future. These articles aren’t short or for the faint of heart. We don’t get to better solutions by sugar-coating situations. It actually tends to enable and embolden more bad behavior that doesn’t work. Is your helmet on? Let’s go!
Step 1: Self-Reflection is Key & The Truth Hurts – Examine Your Content Strategy Under the Microscope
Hold up, before you point fingers and dodge responsibility like a pro, take a moment to take a hard look in the mirror.
- Have you driven or unwittingly encouraged a "cut-the fluff" approach to social media?
- Did you push for hard-hitting sales pitches instead of engaging stories?
Time to step out of Denialville – these tactics kill your organic reach dead. This path leads straight to rock-bottom organic reach, and it's an all-too-common scenario. Many businesses, in search of quick wins, end up sacrificing long-term strategy for immediate results. This approach is short-lived and unsustainable.
To truly engage your audience, remember that social media is first and foremost about being …you know…social.
Imagine a networking event where you're shoving product-talk down everyone's throats. You'd get blacklisted quicker than you can say "organic reach." Drop the "Dog 💩 Strategy" of pushing pure sales – spark conversations, share stories, add real value.
- Review your previous posts for genuine engagement cues.
- Are your previous posts “just the facts ma’am”?
- Are they hard pitches?
- Did you post questions?
- Did you start conversations?
- Evaluate if your content sparks conversations and encourages interaction.
Ensure your brand actively participates in discussions with your audience on the topics where you share interest. To do this, you’re probably going to have to change your social approach, and spend more time or more money on your team for a larger effort. There’s not really a work-around, and we’ll explain why.
Step 2: Re Orient & Refine The Plan & The Effort
If you've outsourced your social media management, it's time to elevate the game. Too many businesses settle or negotiate down to a half-assed engagement and wonder why results suck.
Don't be afraid to invest in a more robust strategy. Remember when those vendors gave you options – small, medium, large? Chances are you went "tiny" to save a buck. Well, guess what, "tiny" isn't doing jack for you.
Don't sugarcoat it – your game plan needs a major makeover. It’s critical to review the particular constraints on your social team and their efforts. If you’re only posting a few times per week, with limited to no promotional budget, and the organic reach of your page is down to zero, fixing it will require more, not less effort.
Reassess your approach to social media. Start conversations with your team, vendors, or consultants to reshape your strategy, emphasizing genuine engagement and meaningful interactions. Collaborate to define your brand's personality, voice, and core messaging and what that would mean and look like on your Facebook page in particular. This cohesive approach will ensure consistent, engaging content that resonates with your audience.
Yes – it will cost money to analyze, plan, then execute a better effort. Collaborate, brainstorm, define that brand personality and voice, and don't be stingy with the budget. Elevate, or stay irrelevant. Social media demands more, so step it up, or watch your reach fall flat on its face.
- Collaborate with your team or vendors to discuss ways to revamp your social strategy.
- Do you need to increase the number of posts and post frequency to rebuild your organic reach?
- Do you need to increase your promotional or ad budget to rebuild your organic reach?
- Define a comprehensive brand identity that connects emotionally with your audience.
- What is the brand’s sense of humor?
- What questions does your brand think about? You need to know the answers to win on social media.
- Align your social media goals with your overall commercial objectives.
- What are your goals?
- Are you looking for:
- Brand awareness?
- Generating new customers?
- Retaining existing customers?
- Upselling existing customers?
- Fake internet points, likes, hearts, and thought leadership?
Often times we see smaller clients struggling with staying clear on their goals. They ping pong back and forth between awareness, new customer generation, and go straight back to a hard pitch approach.
These issues remind me of a classic joke: Watch or read below
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Here’s how Jane Fonda’s character tells the joke on the hit show the NewsRoom:
“Moses and Jesus are playing golf. Moses steps up to the tee and it's a beautiful shot 250 yards straight down the middle of the fairway. Jesus steps up to the tee and hooks the ball into the trees. Jesus looks up into the heavens raises his arms suddenly the sky darkens a thunderclap rings out rain pours down in the stream rises among the trees the golf ball floating on top finds its way into the mouth of a fish then a bird flies down and takes the fish in the ball out over the green drops it in the cup for a hole-in-one. Jesus turns to Moses with a satisfied grin and Moses says “Look you want to play golf or you want to f*** around?”
Is your social media effort serious or are you just screwing around? You need to declare your goals on paper and stick to them, including through failures and missteps.
Step 3: Embrace the Budget Boost
If you've been working with the same budget for years, it's time to acknowledge the challenge. The social media landscape has evolved, and the economy has changed drastically and your budget should reflect these changes. Inflation and market dynamics can affect your page's performance, and clinging to outdated budgets won't cut it.
If you're still clinging to that ancient budget from the stone ages, it's time to wake the hell up. Prices are through the roof, and your old-school budget's a joke. Sadly, your and my dollar's worth way less, my friend, and your reach's suffering for it.
Let’s review some external factors at play.
Assume you’ve had a social media effort for the past 5 years, and it’s on life support. In addition to all the internal factors that cause that effort, your results are likely made worse due to the following:
- Hi – it’s your friend rampant inflation. Despite the reports of a robust economy or inflation being “temporary” it is anything but good news. Costs are way up, which means prices are way up. This means those who control the auction for slices of user attention, also raise the prices. Even if you’re lucky enough not to see price hikes on vendor costs, I promise the social media platforms have adjusted their models to account for inflation, meaning it costs more to reach your customers, and also organic reach is pegged down, to drive ad revenues up. So if you bought the small social media plan, and have the small social media budget, you’re getting less reach for the same dollar amount.
- Vendor price increases – Courtesy of that temporary inflation and successful Bidennomics, your vendor prices are probably going up. If your vendor costs aren’t up, tell me who you’re using! And secondly, don’t expect vendors to offer more, added efforts or new services on top of that legacy pricing.
- More competition, more noise, more voices on the web This isn’t 1999 anymore. If you build it they won’t come. They probably won’t notice. The competition for the limited attention of your audience did not decrease or stay flat over the past 5 years. It increased exponentially. A crunching economy with many organizations going digital, and new endeavors popping up every day, mean more people competing for the same limited slots of attention.
- User disengagement and platform fatigue – Users are pissed off and tired of the platforms across the board. The supply of eyeballs and attention is down, thanks to the wonderful policies from social media platforms (censorship, shadow-banning, speech not reach policies, and communist, I mean “community” guideline policies), the increased awareness of those policies (from The Twitter Files to Congressional Hearings), and just plain old fatigue from drowning in social media and culture wars. The platforms did not play neutral, they offered full-throated support of one side vs. the other, with some really shady tactics. Users have watched it unfold as if seeing police join an Antifa riot and burn the place down. That’s not a good look for the supposed neutral platform providers.
- Policy Uncertainty – From ministry of truth to potential revocation of section 230 immunity, there’s a lot of uncertainty with the platforms.
- New platform players gobbling up market share Yes, I’m talking about TIkTok. But I’m also talking about a growing trend of platform diversity. People are getting off the Meta stack and trying things old and new. This matters, because the availability of social media attention is fixed. And as it fragments all over, it leaves even more limited supply to compete over
- New technologies flooding platforms with content and competition – Generative AI is a huge disruption to social. It just became 100x easier to create content, copy, visuals, and videos. This means exponentially more content competing for limited supply of attention – driving prices higher. If you think people ignored content before, just wait. This will change everything.
In summation, you have more people competing for the attention of your audience, and fewer opportunities. The supply along with all the costs of inflation and the current economy. You may not notice it, but I promise you your marketers and vendors do.
The bottom line – Costs ain't what they used to be, and competition's hotter than a habanero. Get real about your budget. Don't be cheap, don't be nostalgic. If you want results, you better put your money where your mouth is. you’re reaching fewer people for a lot more money. That’s even true on PAID advertising and promoted / boosted posts.
I offer all this reasoning to inform your budget discussions. All too often, I see clients try to handwave these external market conditions. If you’re not seeing the results that you want, and you haven’t looked at the pricing out there in a while, expect sticker shock. A hamburger isn’t $.99 anymore – it’s $4.19. If your budgetary reference point is from 5 years ago, that’s how wildly off it is. You need to budget based on real world conditions, not the unspoken/unconscious price points of yester-year.
Unless you’ve got a Delorean with a flux capacitor, the budgets of yester-year will not get you very far in today’s market. So evaluate your budget to determine if it's in line with current market realities. Allocating more resources to your social media efforts will empower you to reach a wider audience and create content that truly resonates.
- Review your current budget and assess its adequacy in today's market.
- Increase your promotional budget to accommodate modern demands and competition.
Step 4: Invest in Re-Engagement
To reclaim your place in your audience's feed, you'll need to make an investment. You will have to change what you’re doing, and then yes- no bones about it, buy your way out of the hole you dug.
Instead of boosting only your commercial content, focus on promoting engaging, valuable posts that remind your audience why they loved your brand in the first place. Engage their emotions, spark their interest, and don't be a lazy marketer.
By allocating funds to re-engage your audience with enjoyable and relevant content, you'll not only increase visibility but also reignite interest and loyalty.
- Increase your promotional budget to spotlight engaging content.
- Avoid pushing solely sales-focused content; focus on creating value for your audience.
Remember, revitalizing your organic reach isn't an overnight fix. By applying these strategic changes and investing in genuine engagement, you'll be on the path to reclaiming your place in your audience's social media journey. Stay committed, adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape, and watch your organic reach reignite like never before.
STEP 5: Step Into a Broader, Platform Independent Strategy
Don't be a one-trick pony relying solely on Facebook. The game's bigger than that. If you're hitched to a single platform, you're easy prey for price hikes and limitations. Diversify, my friend! Explore beyond Meta's walls and venture into the wild. If Facebook and Instagram are but one of many channels to choose from, you can continue to analyze performance and determine the most effective
- Don't put all your eggs in the Facebook basket. Make sure the hub of your attention is NOT on any particular channel. This tends to make you blind to other opportunities, and biased against other platforms that could give you better reach and results at a lower cost. We’ve noticed that between X (formerly Twitter), and Meta’s Facebook and Instagram.
- Organize and assemble post content and digital assets OUTSIDE of the platforms. Use tools like Notion, Coda, AirTable, Google Drive, HubSpot, or what have you – ANYWHERE BUT the platforms themselves.
STEP 6 : Specific Tactical Recommendations
Here’s a list of the tactical tips for those who patiently endured. Remember – these are band-aids on bigger issues if you don’t address the other steps.
1. Go back to SOCIAL content.
Ain't nobody got time for mediocre content, so level u. Start creating valuable, relatable, and share-worthy content that resonates with your tribe. Videos, stories, behind-the-scenes – the works! Consistency is the name of the game, but value is the ultimate MVP.
2. Engagement Blitz: Be the Conversation Starter
Post questions as posts. Get in the comments section and engage your audience – don’t just leave a few emoji’s. These actions train the algorithm about what your audience finds valuable.
Spark real conversations – reply to comments, ask questions, and make your page an interactive party people just can't resist joining.
3. Hashtag Power: Make 'Em Work for You
Hashtags help discoverability. Research relevant, trending hashtags in your niche and pepper your content with them. Don't overdo it, though – a couple of well-placed hashtags can do wonders 2-3 max.
4. Facebook Groups: Join, Participate, Dominate
Groups are the new goldmines. Join active groups related to your industry, offer valuable insights, and casually drop your content when relevant. But remember, no spammy vibes allowed. Be genuine, build relationships, and let your expertise shine.
5. Go Live and Unfiltered
Live videos are your secret weapon for authentic engagement. Host Q&A sessions, live tutorials, or just share your thoughts in real-time. Live videos get more visibility and higher engagement rates – it's the closest you'll get to a face-to-face chat with your tribe.
6. Embrace the Algorithms: Learn, Adapt, Conquer
Facebook's algorithms might be tricky, but they're not unbeatable. Stay updated on algorithm changes, experiment with new formats, and adapt your strategy accordingly. Keep testing, learning, and evolving – that's how you stay ahead in the game.
There you go. Now you know the score. Prices are up. Costs are up. Competition is higher than ever. The “just the facts” hard pitch social posting strategy Does Not Work. You need to dig deep, invest in posting more actual social content, you know: all that fluff you cut. Post more often, more captivating and social content, and boost all of it to retrain your audience and the algorithm to increase your organic reach. It won't happen overnight, but with these moves, you're on the path to good vibes and solid reach.