HINT - It's strategic....
Well, strategic in the sense that I'm not on the platform to go gangbusters with insane engagement and viral reach. If I only get a handful of likes per post, I'm really not phased.
Say what?!? A marketer with a marketing platform that isn't optimised for reach with thousands of followers?
Yep, and there ain't no shame in it either.
Let me explain.
1. THE PESKY ALGORITHM
It's no secret that Facebook and it's ever-changing algorithms have not played in favour of business pages for a long time now. With the exception of the OG's who have used Facebook as their primary platform since day dot, those who put their soul into it, and those who operate B2C with a massive presence, chances are you too have felt the struggle of trying to get decent engagement.
When selecting what content to display in your feed, Facebook will rank person-to-person interactions over person-to-page interactions. This means you're more likely to see posts that your friends have shared or engaged with, before seeing a post directly from a business page. The reason for this is simple, it's to help keep the app social.
As more and more social media apps drop, and our attention becomes diverted across them all, apps have to work harder to keep us coming back. Why? Because when you cut to the chase that's how they make money. More eyes means more ads, and more ads means more income.
Facebook recognised that users cared more about what their friends and family were doing and sharing than anything else, so they designed the feed accordingly in a bid to keep their piece of the social media pie.
So if I wanted my posts to get epic traction and reach beyond just a select few I would probably need to get all of my friends and family to like, comment and share every single post my page shares in order to generate rank-worthy interactions. No thanks.
2. TIME IS MONEY
I work in this business three days a week, and even then they're not full days. They're mixed together with some group fitness classes, cleaning, washing and anything else I try to cram in while I'm kid free. So like almost every other entrepreneur I've met ever, time is limited and I need to be smart with how I use it.
I could spend hours each week formulating a strategy just for Facebook that would get cut-through and give me exponential reach, but would it be worthwhile? Probably not. I am better off investing that time in creating content for Instagram and cross-posting. Why?
My clients aren't looking for me on Facebook.
Yes they're most likely on Facebook and yes they might follow my page, but when they want to connect with me or see what I'm up to, nine times out of ten they'll head to Instagram first. So if I'm going to spend time getting something right, I'm better off choosing Instagram.
I'm not saying Instagram is the be-all-and-end-all either. Depending on your business and your target audience, you might find TikTok or LinkedIn is the place to be. Or maybe people look for you on Google, in which case investing in your website, blogs and SEO is where you need to spend your time. My point is, it pays to expend your energy in the places where people go to find you.
3. RE-PURPOSING IS TOTALLY VIABLE
To cross-post, or not to cross-post - that is the question. This is something that has gone in swings and roundabouts ever since Facebook and Instagram hooked up.
For a while it was a big no-no and there was a hefty expectation to create content specific for Facebook and content specific for Instagram. And I'm not talking two versions of the same thing, but two completely different things altogether. It was thought that if people saw the same stuff twice it was seen as a waste of their time.
Here's what it pays to understand though. Users approach different apps with a different frame of mind. Some will use Instagram search before Google search, others will go on Facebook just for the groups, some will only ever look at reels on Instagram, while others just stick to stories.
If you cross-post, you're capitalising on the fact that within an app, and across apps, people's eyes are all over the show and the chances of them actually seeing the same thing twice is actually fairly slim (unless their a hardcore fan, in which case they probably don't care). Making quality content takes effort. For every piece of content you make, you want to squeeze as much out of it as you can.
The Meta Publishing Suite makes cross-posting between Facebook and Instagram so freakin' easy. Through Meta you can customise the post for each channel. For example you can put 30 hashtags on your Instagram, or add the "Get Messages" button on your Facebook. You can share a hyperlink direct on Facebook without the messy URL, and then have a Link in Bio CTA on Instagram. So with the same piece of content you can easily make small tweaks to it that will help it to perform better from one app to the other, without having to re-write the lot.
So for me, it's rare that you'll see Facebook specific content on my feed. Cross-posting is a better use of my time and it means I can focus on sharing something of quality and keep things up-to-date without drowning in the never-ending cycle of content creation. Plus it's an easy way to ensure that if anyone is linked through to my Facebook it's not a ghost town where nothing has been shared since September 2018.
Whether it's Facebook (or some other app you feel expected to be all over but just don't see the point) strategic marketing is about knowing your audience. Knowing where they are, and more importantly, where they are WHEN THEY'RE LOOKING FOR YOU. Being on YouTube/Facebook/LinkedIn/whatever is great, but if your clients are never going to think to go looking for you there, then is it worth it?
So why am I on Facebook and what do I actually aim to get from it?
I'm on Facebook because of the things it offers me that Instagram can't. I'm on it for direct link sharing, for events, for advertising, for the integration with my Google profile. And for the real secret sauce to quality lead generation and business connection, I'm on it for FACEBOOK GROUPS. Oh and mostly I'm on it for mum, because she hardly ever remembers to check Instagram. Hi mum.