If you have been managing your company Facebook page for a while, you probably will have noticed a change in the way people engage with your posts. In all likelihood, fewer people are looking at your posts, and declining numbers are also engaging with them.
Marketing for accountants has therefore become a lot more challenging on Facebook. A big change was identified in 2014, when marketers across the globe started noticing this decrease in Facebook page interactions.
Everyone was complaining about it. To the point where Brian Boland, VP of Advertising Technology at Facebook, had to issue a statement in response to the outcry.
Boland gave two broad justifications for the decline in organic reach (i.e. the potential your post has to reach more and more people, without paying to promote the post).
First of all, Boland pointed out that Facebook was increasing in popularity, and there had been a dramatic rise in the amount of content published there. It was therefore becoming harder for companies to get a look-in on people’s news feeds.
Secondly, Boland argued that Facebook was trying to place the most relevant content from companies in front of individual users of the platform. Marketing for accountants, therefore, should be primarily shown to people interested in getting their financial house in order.
All of this was, and is still, fairly depressing. Who wants to pay for something they previously enjoyed for free?
Yet there is quite a lot you can do in response to these developments. For instance, you can be more strategic with what you publish, when you publish it, and then “boosting” posts to increase exposure.
A Deeper Look At The Situation
From 2007, it became possible (through “Fan Pages”) for anyone to create a Facebook page for their organisation / company. Page creators could post as much as they liked to their fans. They could collect large numbers of followers (“fans”) very quickly. Marketing for accountants was a bonanza for anyone smart enough to notice the business potential!
By the time 2012 came around, however, the people creating these pages noticed that only small numbers of their fans (about 16%) were seeing their posts. By 2014, the figure had dropped even further to about 6%. Some studies put the percentage as low as 2%.
In actual terms, what did that look like? Essentially, it meant a page with 100 followers could expect 6 or 7 of their fans to see a given post.
Facebook has not stopped changing its algorithm. This has been interesting for us, as it makes marketing for accountants a field where you have to be on your toes!
Indeed, in 2016 Facebook strted pushing posts from friends above posts from pages that people were following. One Facebook director issued a blog post saying that the change would mean companies should expect to see even lower organic exposure.
All of this means that Facebook organic reach produces fewer page impressions, shares, comments, like and – most importantly – leads. A very annoying development for anyone engaged in marketing for accountants.
Do You Ultimately Have To Pay To Play?
Broadly, Facebook is now less of an organic marketing platform and more of a paid one. To reach fans on a wide scale, you’re need to be prepared to put cash into it.
Of course, Facebook deny that it’s a money-making scheme. From their point of view, it’s simply about giving users the best experience possible by putting good, quality content in from of people. I suppose the jury is out on that one.
The ways things are going, if you’re going to do marketing for accountants on Facebook, you need to prepare for the imminent day organic reach hits zero.
Facebook’s Algorithm and Marketing For Accountants
So, how can you counteract the decline in organic page reach?
1. Use selectivity
You must now be careful not just to post about anything and everything. Marketing for accountants needs to aim to get as much engagement as possible out of one post. Volume isn’t necessarily the key anymore.
Make sure you are targeting one specific audience, and tailor each of your posts towards them. Do not spray and pray!
2. Send Reminders To Fans
Every so often, remind your fans that they can view posts from pages they like by going to the left sidebar, next to their newsfeed. For really eager fans, you can also educate them about their notification settings on your page. If they set “See First In Your News Feed”, they are more likely to see your posts.
3. Directly encourage engagement
Make a point to tell fans to engage with your posts when they do turn up on their newsfeeds. If they do so, then your post is likely to travel much further.
4. Use Facebook Live
If you’re not doing this already, try it out. Marketing for accountants needs to tap more into video. Facebook loves it, and so do users. People also love live video. Anything “behind the scenes” or “authentic” generates a real buzz, no matter the industry!
5. Start Seeing Facebook As A paid Tool
Even if you do the above well, you will need to pay to really go the distance with Facebook marketing. Hone your strategy and get to grips with Facebook ads. Make sure you find out how to target to your niche demographics and audiences, and allocate your marketing investment wisely.