For years, garden businesses measured their social media presence by how many “likes” they acquired. Particularly on the platform that first introduced “likes” — Facebook.
Facebook has undergone numerous changes over the past decade. Just a few years ago, you needed to have more page likes to have your content served to people — it wasn’t even an option for people to comment on a brand’s post unless they liked the page. As Facebook grew, a larger number of page likes meant that more people would see your content and possibly engage with it.
Social media marketing continues to evolve as newer platforms like Instagram and Snapchat bring new features. Metrics that were once relevant, have lost their luster in light of news feed changes and competition for finite amounts of news feed space.
Having social influence online and in-person is still necessary for brands to thrive. Users look to one another to validate brands and what they have to offer, however there are more relevant ways to measure your garden brand’s impact on social media than page likes and followers.
Read more to learn why...
Page Likes Do Not Equal Organic Reach
Competition for newsfeed space has increased rapidly and users want a better experience on the platform. In 2009, Facebook switched from showing a chronological listing of photos and updates to a new type of sorting order — one that prioritized engagement on posts and showed those posts higher in users’ news feeds. Since then Facebook changes to the news feed algorithm have led to continual shifts in Facebook strategies for garden brands.
Essentially, Facebook is trying to show users the content that is most relevant to them. This keeps users coming back to the platform multiple times a day.
While in the past, a certain percentage of people who liked your garden brand’s page would see your content organically, various algorithm changes have continually reduced that capacity. Essentially, this led to companies paying to play not only to gain Page Likes, but also to boost their posts and launch ads. This is super frustrating for brands and marketers alike who see their posts’ organic engagement decrease.
The Facebook News Feed Is King
Many Facebook users never venture to a brand’s actual Facebook page. They rely on the newsfeed to bring them the content that is most relevant. Once again, this makes the newsfeed the best place for users to notice your brand.
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. The sense of connection and community that people gain from their personalized news feeds keep them coming back for more.
Page Likes Are Not Endorsements
If a friend liked a page in the past, it was very public. A notification would be added into the news feed or you’d see something like “Katie and 25 of your friends like Garden Media Group.” This doesn’t happen anymore.
Users can find your page, leave a review or make a post without ever liking your page. People will seek out pages because they like the content and think it’s relevant. From a marketing perspective, re-engaging with those people will likely require a few additional bucks.
There Are Other Tools
If you accept that paid strategies are the best way to serve your gardening content to a targeted audience who is likely to engage with it, you no longer need to rely on building page likes to have a community to serve your content to. You can choose other objectives such as reach, traffic, video views or conversions. Talk with your marketing team to choose the best objective for your goals.
In light of Facebook’s 2019 F8 conference, now is a good time to reevaluate your strategy to make sure that you are still engaging with the community on Facebook that you value most.