(By Gabriel Barnes) Are Facebook’s recent updates the end for radio on social media? The short answer is no! However, the changes do require everyone to rethink their Facebook strategies — lest they suffer the repercussions. Let me paraphrase what Mark Zuckerberg stated back on January 11: Users of Facebook would begin to see more content from their friends and family and less content from business and publisher pages (for example, your radio station page). He went on to say that businesses and publishers would see a decrease in organic reach and a decrease in video views. But he did provide a glimmer of hope by saying pages that produce content that leads to discussion among users would receive preference in a user’s profile.
Now let’s pause for a second. Did we really think Facebook would continue to give away “free” marketing to businesses and publishers? No chance. But I know it might be a kick to the stomach to think that your station has spent so much time building up your social media following, only to learn that Facebook isn’t going to let you reach those fans as easily. That means you must play their game and adapt to the new rules.
Allow me to address a common misconception. Many believe that organic reach — posts you make without paying to boost/amplify — is gone. But in reality, Facebook was only giving pages about a 5 percent reach. This means that if you had 1,000 followers, only 50 people would even see your post. That being the case, here is what you can do to play by Facebook’s new rules and ensure you are able to engage with your station’s loyal social following.
SHOW YOUR COMMUNITY HOW TO SEE YOUR CONTENT FIRST
Users can still choose “See First” in their news feed preferences to make sure they always see posts from their favorite pages. Show your followers how to become “see first” fans of your page’s content.
EDUCATE WHILE ENTERTAINING
Stations will need to begin doing a lot more storytelling with their videos and content. Think the History Channel or Discovery Channel. Think episodic content. An example of videos to post Could be “A Day in the Life of [DJ Name],” or a mini-documentary on the history of the station. People have an appetite for this type of content, and it could drive interaction.
INVEST IN LIVE VIDEO
There’s so much value in going to your followers and having a dialogue. Doing a live show once a week could create conversation. Stations for some reason are still scared to go live (“This is not television”), but Facebook makes it easy.
USE THE FACEBOOK PIXEL
The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you can place on your website to get a better understanding of the traffic that visits your page. It will match people who visit your site to users on Facebook, and will provide you with the opportunity to market to that traffic and grow your following if they are not already fans of your page.
LEARN HOW TO ADVERTISE ON FACEBOOK
Get away from simply boosting posts and set your station’s page up with Facebook’s Business Manager. Just go to business.facebook.com and connect your page. Business Manager gives you more bells and whistles for marketing that you can provide to your advertisers to amplify their brand through your page. Tie this to the use of the Facebook Pixel and you will be an invaluable resource to your advertisers looking to increase their ROI with Facebook.
Facebook’s news feed changes may be viewed as the “end of days” for some, but it can also be seen as a tremendous opportunity for pages that can get creative and put together a strategy to produce content that will lead to engagement. Start with creating video content, then go and interview every employee. There is no need for a big production, only the effort to get it done.
Gabriel Barnes is the Managing Director of RevKick – a platform for radio stations to sell ad-targeting services and retargeting capabilities to their advertisers. https://www.revkick.com