A Facebook announcement this past week panicked a few social media pundits. But for those who are sensitive to, and carefully monitor social media marketing trends the announcement wasn’t a surprise — organic reach for typical businesses’ posts will continue to decline, while meaningful, share-worthy content will continue to flourish even more.
If there’s one constant in social media marketing, it’s change. Social media is a young medium, and social media platforms are constantly evolving and experimenting to be more useful, enjoyable, efficient and effective.
But here at My Social Practice, we’ve always preached the same sermon. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Or, in English, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
A recent announcement from Mark Zuckerberg outlined Facebook’s next steps in their efforts to provide a better user experience, which can be summed up as this:
- Facebook users will organically see fewer posts from business pages.
- Content that sparks meaningful conversations between people will have a better chance of appearing higher in users’ news feeds.
Some of those panicked digital marketing gurus are calling this “the end of business pages on Facebook.” And for some types of businesses that don’t truly understand how social media really works, they may be right. But as far as this announcement applies to and affects our clients, fans, and followers we’re calling the gurus’ reactions vast overreactions. We view the announcement as another huge reinforcement and support for the things that smart practices are already doing to grow flourishing businesses using social media marketing. Remember, social media marketing is not advertising — even on Facebook.
Organic Reach Has Been Declining for Years
This is nothing new — the writing has been on the wall for a long time. The organic reach of business page posts has been falling sharply since 2014. Today, it’s about 1 percent. For businesses who have had their ear to the ground, it’s no surprise. Boring, impersonal posts with no engagement — and particularly those that attempt to sell or promote — didn’t grow businesses through social media before. Nor will they today, or in the future.
Facebook continues to crack down on spammy, low-quality, feed-cluttering posts, and clear the way for meaningful content that users actually enjoy seeing — the type of content we’ve been helping practices learn to create for many years now. Today, in light of these continued announcements, your practice’s engaging, high-quality posts will likely have an even better chance of being seen and shared by patients and fans, especially when coupled with a modest boosting strategy and an understanding of the value of patient-generated content.
Remember, the best social media marketing strategies don’t rely on your organic reach anyway! Our practice campaigns and Photo Booth program give patients a reason to post a photo from your practice to their own Facebook accounts, where friends, family and colleagues are most likely to see them.
Smart Strategies for an Engagement-Based Future
My Social Practice is laser-focused on helping your dental practice build a flourishing, vibrant, online presence — one that doesn’t rely on exploiting pitchy “advertising tricks” that social media platforms like Facebook are identifying and suppressing.
So, in light of Facebook’s announcement, should you be doing anything differently starting today? We suggest taking the opportunity to double-check your Facebook strategy to ensure your page is ready for an engagement-based future. Start by asking yourself these three questions (and check out these free resources):
1. Is what we’re posting to our Facebook page share-worthy? First and foremost, the way to building a strong social media presence is simply to provide content that is worth people’s time. Learn the fundamentals of creating quality content in our free ebook below:
2. Do we understand why and how to boost a post? Paid social continues to be the best value for your advertising dollar. Build a content promotion strategy that works for your practice with our free guide:
3. Are we encouraging at least one patient per day to snap and share a photo from our practice? Patient-generated content has tremendous marketing power. When a patient posts a photo from your practice to their own account, they introduce your practice to family and friends who trust their recommendations. Find out the easiest ways to encourage patient posting in this free ebook:
Through these changes, the keys to effectively marketing your practice online remain the same: be consistent, be human, and provide engaging, share-worthy content.
Over the coming weeks and months, stay in close touch with us here at My Social Practice. We’re constantly monitoring the social media marketing landscape. It’s what we think about all day. Our goal is to distill the most valuable, applicable strategies from all the “noise” for our valued clients, fans and followers, and to best advise you on effective ways your practice can benefit. Onward!