Facebook and the Science of Consistency
Consistency is the foundation for success in all aspects of life. The constantly repeating, almost instantaneous execution of a perfect golf swing or a piano master performing a near-perfect rendition of Chopin's piano concerto comes from years of repeated practice until perfection.
Believe it or not, Facebook business pages offer the same opportunity for perfection in creating a post designed to get the maximum amount of organic growth from your potential audience. While recent changes at Facebook hint at a drastically reduced reach when it comes to organic posts, there are still plenty of things business pages can do in order to maintain their current audience as well as remain active enough until they can decide to pursue Facebook ad campaigns.
According to Facebook Newsfeed Chief Adam Mosseri, he recently commented on his thoughts about posting to the news feed. What he says applies to nearly any business and brand on Facebook:
"Post frequently. News Feed tries to show people the stories that will be the most meaningful to them. By posting high-quality content that doesn’t violate our guidelines and posting it frequently, you will increase the chance that our algorithms match your content to an audience that finds it meaningful. News Feed uses a variety of diversity rules to prevent people from seeing too many stories from a given publisher. That means you don’t need to worry about spamming your fans or followers provided that the content you post is new and high quality.”
It's consistency that's the key to keeping your page alive and active. I always follow two basic rules when it comes to posting on Facebook: the 3 a week rule and the 80/20 rule. Three times a week is an ideal amount the gives enough new content every week without flooding someone's feed. Eighty percent of the content you post shouldn't be there to sell your product or services, but rather to provide information, entertainment or some other kind of value to your audience other than a hard sell, that is what the remaining 20% is for. While it is not necessarily a bad thing to deviate from these numbers, going too far on the scale in either direction risks turning off your audience, making them lose interest or worst of all, blocking your page from their feed.
It has been said that most of the traffic that comes to your page doesn't come from direct page visits, but rather posts that show up in their feed. Think about it, do you wake up every morning to visit your favorite brands Facebook page to see the latest update? Not likely. Personally, I am a huge fan of the Carhartt brand but I rarely if ever, visit their page. Instead, I see their ads and posts in my feed and if they interest me, I click. While it's most likely that Carhartt has a marketing budget that includes Facebook ads, they also post consistently every week, making sure there is always new content to be shared, most of which consists of interesting photos or posts and rarely ever tells me to "buy their stuff."
Post with a Plan
If posting consistently and coming up with a plan for this said content every week sounds easy, you're partially right. It starts out easy enough, but as most business owners know, their required attention in other areas of the business soon require their attention and suddenly what was once three times a week turns into once a week. Once a week turns into once a month and that turns into every three months until you come to a point that the page is nearly comatose with activity. At this point, your page is on life support, your audience has most likely moved on and the already difficult task of getting seen on Facebook has now become almost impossible.
To beat this, one must come in with a plan, a dedicated number of hours (a minimum of ten but I recommend twenty) and the willingness to look at each month and compare it to the last. Did my engagement and reach increase or decrease? Who is viewing my posts? What time are they viewing them? Take notes, come up with a new plan if something isn't working and try again. Finally, have you set aside a budget for ads? How much do you want to spend? What do you want your clients to get out of the ads? All of these things are essential to consider and if are not given the proper attention, can hurt you and your business in the long run.
If you have any questions about posting on Facebook, what an "ideal" Facebook post looks like or just want to chat about your online presence, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you and would love to talk to you even more!