0602.15

Facebook Kills Off Organic Reach for 2015

Posted by Thomas Haynes in Online Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized

The average post by a Brand on Facebook is only seen by 2% of that Brand’s followers.

Anyone who reads about SEO will have heard the phrase “SEO is dead” numerous times despite the fact that SEO is alive and well (various methods and tactics are dead but that’s a post for another day…). So I was skeptical when I heard that Facebook’s organic reach was “dead” or at least greatly reduced until Facebook admitted it themselves. In this post I’ll explain why Facebook Brand pages no longer achieve the reach they used to, what this means for you and how you can overcome this issue.

What’s Changed?

In 2014 many marketers started to notice that posts by Brands on Facebook were starting to reach fewer people. Despite increasing the number of “likes” for their pages there was a significant drop in actual people seeing each post. In March Ogilvy analysed more than 100 Brand pages and found that their reach had dropped to the point where each post was being seen by only 2.11% of users for most Brands.

Facebook organic reach results from Ogilvy

Facebook organic reach results from Ogilvy

In November 2014 Facebook announced that they were altering their algorithm in order to reduce the reach of “overly promotional page posts“. Put simply if your post reads like an Ad then don’t expect it to reach people for free.

What Does This Mean?

The days of being able to drive significant amounts of traffic to your site, engage with your audience and promote your business for free on Facebook are over. It was good while it lasted but it’s time to face facts: Facebook have no obligation to help you achieve your business aims and if you’re not paying your results will be limited.

Officially this is about Facebook putting the interests of users over the interests of businesses (according to Mark Zuckerberg) but it’s similar to what we’ve seen with Google in regards to unpaid traffic vs PPC Ads. Each company has made it more difficult to get good results from free services in order to encourage Brands to spend more on paid services.

facebook-dollar

How Has This Affected Your Page?

The first thing to do it to look at the reach of your recent posts under “Insights”. Here you’ll be able to see the organic reach of your 5 most recent posts (how many people saw the post) as well as engagement metrics such as clicks and likes, comments and shares. You might find that your recent posts have had a good reach in which case there’s no need to worry, just keep an eye on this figure. You might also find that very few people actually saw the post – this isn’t necessarily an issue for you but you’ll need to bear in mind how much time and resource you assign to Facebook and what you’re looking to achieve from this.

What Can You Do About It?

If you still want to be able to get in front of Facebook users (and let’s face it where else can you find 1.39 billion monthly active users?), there are two main types of advertising on Facebook: Boosted Posts and  Facebook Ads. Boosting a post is quite straight-forward even if you haven’t created and Advertising Campaign before, you simply create a post as you normally would and then give it a budget and set an audience (for example those interested in Digital Marketing in Exeter) and let it do its stuff.

The snapshot below shows the reach of two recent posts on the Optix Solutions Facebook page. The first was an organic post which reached 65 users and the second was boosted for about £20 and reached 12.7k users.

facebook-boosted-post-stats

Digging into the engagement metrics would allow us to effectively measure the success of this Campaign but as you can see from the reach metrics it at least got in front of the right people.

Step By Step

Follow these steps to improve the effectiveness of your Facebook activity (you might have done the first few steps already):

1. Write down what you’re looking to achieve e.g. increase brand awareness, drive sales, increase donations or generate enquiries.

2. Decide how you can measure this e.g. site visits, page “likes”, sales, reach.

3. Measure the success of your recent posts (look in Facebook Insights).

4. Try boosting a post (you don’t need much budget to give it a try) and see if this has a better result/gives you a suitable return on investment.

5. If you want to know more about Paid Advertising including Facebook Ads get in touch with us.

2801.15

Google Non-Profit Scheme

Posted by Optix Solutions in Digital Marketing

Al: Hello and welcome to this edition of Coffee Top Talks, I’m delighted to have Mr Thomas Haynes back again, so Thomas, we are going to talk about Google Non-Profit Scheme which not many people actually know about which is a real shame because it’s a free scheme and part of Google’s CSR Programme, and pretty much any charity can get access to it (which we will go into more detail in a minute) and it’s effectively free money.

So, I know this is something that we’ve done for a number of our charity clients, what I wanted to do today was just to find out a little bit more about it and tell people how they can get involved in it really.

So, first of all what is it?

Thomas: There are various different elements in the non-profit programme, some of which people may be aware of already: Google grants; which is where Google will give charities $10,000.

Al: Hang on, $10,000?! And what period?

Thomas: A month

Al: A month! Right, that’s a lot of free money.

Thomas: Well, free advertising spend.

Al: Ok, so they’re not actually giving you money but they are giving advertising, which is effectively the same thing.

Thomas: As well as that there are other things like the YouTube Non Profit and there’s also some things to do with Google Earth, but the most interesting one for us is the Google Grants.

Al: So, what we’re talking about here is the paid advertising where you and I as a company would have to pay to be in there. This is that section, often across the top of Google and down the right hand side, you can get in to that bit.

Thomas: Yeh, you can get free budget.

Al: There must be a catch?

Thomas: There is no catch, you just need to be a registered charity, there are some exceptions, there are some charities that can’t apply but most can and it’s a very easy process.

Al: When you say easy process what are you talking – there’s no hoops to jump through?

Thomas: You just need to fill in a form giving your registered charity number, head office address and website and that’s pretty much it.

Al: Do they manually go and get that?

Thomas: Yes, I think it is manually checked.

Al: And then if you are approved you literally get $10,000 in your account every month to spend on your advertising?

Thomas: Yep.

Al: Brilliant, and as I said at the beginning, it’s a massive shame that more charities don’t know about it, because it’s effectively free advertising money. I’m aware that there are some nuances to the programme that makes it slightly different to if you were just buying, so I think there are maximum click charges and things like that that you need to be aware of.

Thomas: Yes, there is a maximum of a $2 max Pay per Click.

Al: So we can’t really go in expecting people to buy massive phrases that cost us £8 or £9 for example.

Thomas: Yeah you just have to be a bit cleverer about the key words you target. You can literally just go after the really high competition terms but if you’re a small charity or you’re doing local events for example you can target local search terms, geographical targeting, there’s lots of things you can do to make sure you use all of your budget.

Al: Okay and what’s the most important thing that the small charity you just mentioned (signs up, gets approved, gets the $10,000), what should they do while setting this up?

Thomas: The first thing you need to do is really think about what your aims are as a charity and what you want the traffic that you’re now able to pay for to do. So, do you want to spend all that money on driving people to your donation page? Or do you want to advertise local events? It depends very much on the charity.

Al: So, do we have specific advice for people or is it very much dependent on that charity’s goals and objectives?

Thomas: Yes, entirely.

Al: Ok, so it’s probably worth them thinking about it upfront, then, taking that to the programme. If you had to give one more piece of advice after they have done that what would it be?

Thomas: Probably to make sure you are measuring your goals that we spoke about, so if you are trying to get people to sign up for a newsletter, trying to get people to donate to your charity, or you are trying to drive people to your events, you need to find a way to track that on your site so that you can be sure that the traffic you are driving is useful.

Al: So we’re moving into the world of Google analytics here as well which you can put together with Google ad words can’t you, so reading the same data?

Thomas: Yes, you can connect your ad words account to analytics.

Al: And then set up your goals which you can then track through from the payments you’ve made.

So that’s been brilliant and I’m hoping that if nothing else happens, at least a few people can go and sign up and benefit from that $10,000 a month, so I appreciate that Thomas, thank you.

And that’s it from us, good day from Optix!

2112.14

Christmas and New Year break support details

Posted by Optix Solutions in Company News

santal-elfAfter an amazing, record breaking year filled with great work, wonderful clients and the expansion of Team Optix, we will be taking some time off over Christmas to enjoy the festivities both here and abroad.

Please note that our offices will be closed from the 24th of December until 9am on Monday the 5th of January 2015.

During this time our support services will be limited to email. If you have a support request, please email it to: support@optixsolutions.co.uk

We hope you have a lovely Christmas and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Team Optix