Facebook has finally announced the end of organic social marketing on its site. It’s no secret that Facebook has been lowering Brands’ organic reach for years, while simultaneously making them pay to reach “their” Page Likes. So it comes as no surprise the door that’s been slowly closing all these years will finally shut. So why is this a good thing?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has sat with CMOs trying — and failing — to pry budget away from adding Facebook Page Likes, to try and divert those dollars to more effective digital marketing efforts. (Sorry, CMOs, while vanity-driven metrics are great if you want brag to your CEO that you have a million Facebook Likes, they don’t deliver sales.) Thankfully, the days where your number of Facebook Page Likes will impress anyone are finally over.
So what are some more effective digital marketing efforts? The ones with reliable reach: SEO, PPC, Email. These old standbys get better with age. They might not be sexy. They might be the “big splash” CMOs think they need to impress the C-suite. But they work. They work and work and work. Year after year after year. Study this chart:
Now study this one (and note that SEO is literally off the chart):
And this one:
What do customers prefer? What consistently grows every year? What provides above-average lifetime customer values? SEO, PPC, Email.
Life After Facebook Organic Reach
If you’ve fully developed your SEO, PPC, and Email Programs, and are fully confident there is “nothing else” you can do with them (and you still have budget left over), try these:
- Develop more content. Social media is just a syndication vehicle for content, and your content is your online currency, regardless of distribution platform. Your content will survive any social media changes. It will feed your SEO. It will feed your Email. It provides value to your prospects and customers.
- Develop better content. Make graphics, videos, and blog posts so poignant and beautiful that your customers will share them across social media (and Facebook users will see them in their feeds, for free, from their friends). Content is your brand’s voice, and the most effective way of telling your brand’s story.
- Add a social community to your own site. There is nothing like watching your customers talking to each other and giving each other advice, all on your own platform, all feeding into your SEO, all providing additional content for your Emails.
- Spread your social media budget around. It was never a good idea to sink your social media budget into one platform. Try Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc., etc.
- Revisit Email, PCC, and SEO. Sorry, I don’t buy that you’re doing everything you can. If you think you are, answer these questions:
- Do you have custom landing pages just for PPC?
- Are you running always-on A/B tests on your landing pages?
- Are your most profitable keywords in their own Ad Groups all by themselves? Are they a negative keyword in every other Ad Group?
- Does every keyword have an ad with that keyword, pointing to a landing page with that keyword?
- What is the quality score of your best keywords?
- Do your landing pages load on mobile in under 3 seconds?
- Do all your Ad Groups have Sitelink (with descriptive lines), Callout, Review, Location, and Call Extensions?
- Are you using television to drive shoppers?
- Are all your images optimized for Google Shopping?
- Are you using Google Shopping for Remarketing?
- What’s your impression share on your brand terms? For your most profitable keywords?
- Are you adjusting bids by geography, time of day, day of week, temperature (if relevant)?
- Are using digital to pull shoppers into retail stores?
- Does every page of your website load in under 3 seconds on mobile?
- When was the last time you reviewed Title Tags & Meta Descriptions?
- From memory, what is the Title Tag on your homepage?
- How many 404 errors does Webmaster Tools find on your website?
- Is the buy button above the fold on every page? How about on mobile?
- When was the last time you checked Webmaster Tools for errors in your Site Map?
- In 5 seconds, what are the Disallows in your robots.txt file?
- Do your URLs contain the product/service’s name?
- Do you have alt tags on all your images?
- Are your writers & contributors authorities/experts?
- Is contact information and return/exchange policies prominent?
- Do you have a welcome series? Is it customized with what you know about the subscriber? Are you really welcoming them to the brand or just exploiting them?
- Do your subscribers get a different email based on where they are in their customer journey, what they’ve clicked on before, their location, their interests, their nearest retailer, the temperature that day, local sales, what they bought previously, what’s on their wish list, etc.?
- Is there coordination across social, search, display, and direct mail to complement email?
- Are emails triggered on abandoned cart, browse abandonment, back in stock, replenishment, loyalty, reengagement, reactivation, post-purchase?