Do you ever feel like you’re hitting a brick wall with social media? Like you’re wasting a lot of time with little results for your business? Especially Facebook?
From January to May of 2016, the reported drop in organic reach for Facebook pages was 42%! Does that sound familiar to you? It sure sounds right for my experience.
And it effected people with a very large following too. Kim Garst, a well known leader on Facebook, said that her Boom Social fan page had been getting a monthly reach of about 10 million before Facebook adjusted their algorithm in early 2016 – which dropped their organic reach to 2 million.
Reason #1: Facebook Is Too Big to Ignore
But we know that we can’t just ignore Facebook. It’s too big and it’s here to stay. According to Facebook’s own reporting as of February 2017, over 1.8 billion users worldwide log into Facebook every month. That’s a 17% increase year over year. And 1.23 billion log into Facebook daily (up 18% over last year).
Oddly, only 41% of U.S. small business are using Facebook (last reported in 2015). So there is still an opportunity to take advantage of Facebook benefits that many small businesses are overlooking.
But how do we find those benefits now that Facebook has so drastically limited our organic reach?
Facebook’s Move to Video
In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg explained that video was central to Facebook’s vision for the future. He said, “In five years most of Facebook will be video.”
2015 saw a 75% increase in the number of videos posted per person. Within the US, that increase hit 94%. Plus video views increased by 100% from April to November of 2015, going from 4 billion to 8 billion in just 6 months. As of April 2016, Facebook was generating an average 8 billion video views per day – double the video consumption of early 2015.
In Facebook’s eagerness to steal video viewers from YouTube, they have set up some unique conditions that we, as online marketers, can take advantage of pretty easily.
Reason #2: Facebook Gives Much More Reach to Native Video
According to SocialBakers’ research, the average video post gets 135% more organic reach than photo posts.
Just as a quick example, I heard a webinar by Sunny Lenarduzzi recently. She grew a huge business very quickly using content videos and social video and she is now teaching other entrepreneurs and businesses how to do the same. By changing her promotional posts from image and text to video and text, she almost doubled her reach – from 1,700 to 3,300 within one week for the same content.
That’s how important video is to Facebook’s algorithm!
But they must be videos that are uploaded directly to Facebook, not shared from YouTube or any other video hosting site.
Reason #3: Take Advantage of Autoplay and Other Current Realities
Because Facebook is currently the only major social media platform using autoplay in their newsfeed, you have a unique opportunity to grab the attention of your friends, fans, and followers as they scroll through their newsfeed.
85% of videos are watched on Facebook without ever turning on the audio! And Facebook published research that showed adding captions to videos increased watch time by an average of 12%.
The huge growth in the number of videos on Facebook means that people can be choosy about which videos they watch and which ones don’t look appealing enough, for whatever reason.
A couple more important facts: Recent statistics show that over half of Facebook’s regular monthly users are accessing the platform only from a mobile device. And 65% of all Facebook video views come from mobile devices.
My Experiments with Facebook Video
So it seems to me that the challenge with Facebook video is that we need to:
- Visually grab people’s attention in the newsfeed
- Get them to stop scrolling long enough to watch a video
- Display videos well on a tiny phone screen, without too much detail on screen
- Keep them engaged long enough to watch more than a few seconds of the video
- And do all that without any audio!
I’ve been experimenting with ways to take the ever popular quote meme and turn it into a mini video that would grab more attention in the newsfeed. I found some ideas that worked, but I don’t have a huge following on Facebook, so I wanted to find more “evidence.”
I found that supporting evidence in some of Kim Garst’s training. I discovered she was using some of the same techniques that I had been developing. But because she has so many more fans, she was getting huge numbers of video views and shares when she posted those videos on her Facebook page – videos being shared as much as 50,000 times!
Remember I mentioned above that the organic reach for Kim’s Facebook page had dropped from 10 million to 2 million in spring of 2016. After beginning to focus on posting mostly video and animated GIFs, by June 2016 their organic reach was up to 27 million.
Ongoing Experiments in Short Video
I’m continuing my experiments in what type of content my audience finds engaging, as well as what content lends itself to short animated video posts on Facebook. And I’m continuing to develop easy methods for creating those video posts as quickly and easily as possible.
I’ll share more in another post about what I’ve discovered. Meanwhile I invite you to check out some of the short videos I’ve shared on my Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/PowerPointQueenRules.
You can also find demonstrations for some of the techniques I’ve been using if you go to my Creative Marketing TV channel on YouTube. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the trainings.
If you subscribe to the channel, you’ll get notified when I post future demos.
Tell Me What You Think
What do you think about the idea of creating original, short video specifically for Facebook? Is it something you’ve tried yet? What questions do you have about how to get started?