By Emma Fitzpatrick
If your bank is like most, Facebook is your go-to social platform. It’s your largest social audience and the most engaged.
Yet, you’ve likely seen fewer and fewer views on your Facebook posts this year. You’re still posting the same, high-quality content that performed well in years past. What’s changed?
Scroll on to learn what’s likely causing the drop in your organic reach on Facebook.
Are fewer people using Facebook?
This year, Facebook has grown its total monthly users to 1.59 billion, a 10.4% increase from its 2015 Q1 results. To put that in perspective, 72% of adult Internet users are on Facebook, or 62% of all Americans, according to a 2015 Pew Research study.
Those users are active, too. On average, Facebook’s monthly active users each spend about 40 minutes a day on Facebook, according to the company’s 2014 Q2 results. If you think that sounds like a lot of time, you’re right. The average person spends about an hour and forty minutes on social media every day, according to the Global Web Index, so 40% of their time is spent exclusively on Facebook.
Facebook’s audience continues to grow–and users invest much of their free time in it. In fact, the only leisure activity that Americans spend more time doing is watching TV, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For now, there are no signs of Facebook fatigue.
Why is your organic reach on Facebook posts dropping?
The problem isn’t that fewer people are using Facebook. Instead, your less-than-stellar Facebook metrics are likely the result of an internal algorithm change.
After analyzing over 3,000 Facebook pages, with a total annual impression count of 500 billion, SocialFlow research found the overall reach per post from January through May of 2016 was 42% less than 2015. As a result, many of those pages were increasing their daily and weekly postings to compensate and match last year’s success.
Shortly after this research was published, Facebook officially announced a major change to its algorithm.
How does Facebook’s latest algorithm change affect my bank?
This summer, Facebook announced one of its most substantial changes to its algorithm in recent years.
Now, Facebook users see more posts from friends and family since that category is ranked highest in the News Feed. By making this change, Facebook hopes to deliver the content its users want to see most.
But, that’s not the entire story. As Facebook detailed in its official announcement, with a constant barrage of new posts from publishers, there’s “far too much information for any one person to consume” in their News Feed.
As Facebook ranks personal content higher in the News Feed, other content from brands, pages and publishers will rank lower. Facebook has said that yes, “this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.”
How can I improve the organic reach of our posts?
Even though Facebook changes its algorithm often, this is a substantial change and should affect your overall Facebook strategy.
This move back to “the idea of connecting people with their friends and family as… the driving principle of News Feed today” is here to stay.
Now, your bank should adapt. Below, Facebook research shines a light on what type of content will continue to perform well.
- Engaging Content. Facebook has said that if your referral traffic comes primarily from shares, likes and comments, you’ll see less of an impact. If you directly ask people to share a post, your shares increase– the same happens if you ask users to like or comment. Weekly, pen a post with one of these engaging CTAs.
- Entertaining Content. Of the top 10,000 most-shared articles on the web, 32% evoked either amusement or laughter. That’s the most popular emotion by far. Since people are using Facebook as a leisure activity, they want to be entertained. Be lighter, make a joke and have fun with your content.
- Informative Content. People love to learn—especially if you can share a valuable piece of content in a short amount of time. Create content that is formatted in lists or answer “why” or “what” questions to engage and educate your audience. As a bonus, these are proven to be some of the most shared types of content.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a Philly-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online training in digital, mobile and social media from ABA.