Facebook is all about those videos—and promotional posts.
A recent study conducted by Socialbakers examined more than 670,000 Facebook posts from 4,445 brand pages. (The study didn’t look at celebrity, media or entertainment pages.) The study found video posts now reach the most viewers, whereas photo posts—once the darling of the social media network—are the worst-performing posts on brand pages.
Video posts had an organic reach of 8.71 percent, which means nearly nine out of 100 fans saw the posts. By comparison, posts with links had an organic reach of 5.29 percent, text posts had 5.77 percent reach, and photos brought up the rear with only 3.73 percent organic reach.
The study also reported that by the end of 2014, nearly 17 percent of page posts were promoted—that is, brands pay to get them in front of more people. In 2013, only 9 percent of page posts were promoted. Even more brand managers pay for video posts; about 27 percent are promoted.
The increase of promotional posts highlights the focus on Facebook advertising as the social media platform heads deeper into pay-to-play territory for brand presences. In November, Facebook announced it would cut reach even further for “overly promotional” brand posts. Many brand and community managers have seen engagement numbers go down as a result.
Does this mean brands should switch to a strategy of paid video posts? Not exactly.
Though these data should help guide you in your Facebook strategy, it’s still important to know the people in your audience and post content that resonates with them. Videos are a great way to tell stories and touch your consumers, but well-performing Facebook posts will ultimately reflect what your fans like to see.
Brand managers can also take steps to help increase their pages’ reach without being “overly promotional” or annoying their audiences.
One way brand managers can increase organic Facebook reach is to get fans interacting with the content they post. Every time someone “likes,” shares or comments on a Facebook page post, it is more likely to be seen by that person’s network. It is also more likely the person will see more of your page’s post in his or her feed, because interacting tells Facebook what you like to see.
How can you get people to interact with your content? You can ask them, of course, but brand managers should be careful. Even adding a “share this” or “like this” can make Facebook crack down on your post for being too spammy.
Instead, focusing on creating content people want to share will entice people to interact naturally. You can also share your page’s content elsewhere, by embedding a post in the company blog, for example.
Another tactic is to get people not only to “like” your page, but also to follow and get notifications from your page.
Many Facebook users do not realize they have to do more than “like” your page, so write an article (ahem) or remind them to sign up to get your page’s notifications in another form of communication—such as a company newsletter.