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The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Organic Reach

As Facebook continues to tinker with its algorithm, B2B marketers face the challenge of maintaining organic reach. Learn how top brands drive engagement without relying on paid advertising.

Facebook recently announced the latest change to its algorithm: reducing the amount of click-bait in your news feed. According to Facebook, click-baiting happens when “a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.”

This is one of many algorithm changes that Facebook has implemented in the past months. The algorithm is known as EdgeRank. It governs which content Facebook displays and how high on the News Feed it appears.

When someone visits News Feed, there are an average of 1,500 possible stories that Facebook can show. However, when a single person logs into Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To determine which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story based on thousands of factors relative to each person. As a result, the competition to reach the top of your news feed is increasing. With added competition comes a decline in organic reach. Organic reach refers to how many people you can reach for free by posting on your page.

A new report from Simply Measured shows that the total engagement for the 10 most-followed brands on Facebook has declined by 40%–even though brands have increased the amount of content they are posting by 20.1%. Engagement per-post has also decreased by an astounding 50.4%.

Facebook reach has been on the decline for everyone. A study by social@Ogilvy argues that organic reach of content brands is destined to hit zero. Organic reach has declined by 6%, a drop from 49% in October.

“Engagement isn’t just a function of reach, but without reach, engagement can’t happen.” – Christopher Penn, VP Marketing Technology at Shift Communications

Shift Communications analyzed the Facebook pages of 313 Fortune 500 companies to estimate the 7-day engagement rate of each page. Here’s what their rates look like:

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With these dismal numbers, more and more marketers are turning towards paid Facebook advertising.

How much do you have to pay Facebook to get the reach you want? Shift Communications has put together a useful calculator that calculates the cost of your Facebook page’s promoted posts.

B2B advertising is a great resource for many companies. However, if you are Salesforce: your Facebook budget to have 1 post seen by 100% of your current likes is $1805.89 per day. That’s $229,348.03 for the remainder of 2014.

Can B2B marketers increase reach on Facebook without spending a fraction of their marketing budgets?

Here are some B2B companies who are doing just that:

Moz

Moz engages their audience by pushing out visual content, asking questions, and featuring their employees. They have recurring segments such as Whiteboard Friday and Mozzer’s monthly adventures. They also use Facebook as tool to generate ideas for their blog. Each post gets several shares and an average of 30 to 40 likes.

HubSpot

HubSpot excels in promoting interactive content that gets their audience’s attention. They include infographics and images in every post. Each post gets 1 to 2 shares and an average of 20 likes.

Cisco

Cisco uses current events to engage their audience. They ask interesting questions and promote unique images. Each post gets an average of 50 to 60 likes and 5 shares.

Salesforce

Salesforce relies on interactive videos and images to gauge engagement. They take advantage of topical events and use quotes to encourage likes and shares. Each post gets an average of 50 likes and 5 shares.

GE

GE tells relevant stories and builds relationships through their Facebook page. They mix images, questions, videos, and links to generate conversation. Each post gets around 400 likes and a multitude of shares.
Here are some suggestions on how you can improve your own Facebook page:

Use images: According to KissMetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-through’s on Facebook.

Post at different times of the day: According to Constant Contact, the best times to post on Facebook are in the early mornings, lunchtime, and at night.

Tag your employees: Tagging is one of the most underused features of Facebook. Tagging your employees not only increases reach, but also gives you a chance to showcase your team.

Humanize your company: Have your employees share photos of them at or outside of work. Taking pictures of happy hours, events, and company milestones will encourage friends and family to interact with your brand.

Get creative: Unique marketing campaigns will generate conversation and increase employee brand engagement.

Here is a checklist of strategies you can use to maximize your reach on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 1.11.37 PM

How are you increasing your Facebook organic reach? Share your thoughts below.

We have a lot more to say about how to best optimize your social media. To learn more about this topic, check out our cheat sheet on Growing a Social Media Following.

 

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