Facebook may be failing social good brands
When Nate Elliot, Principal Analyst at Forrester wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg saying that “Facebook is failing marketers”, it was a loud and blaring wake up call. Plenty of terminologies have been tossed around to mark this phase as an apocalypse in organic reach or as Jayson DeMeers says, Reachpocalypse.
This is evident from the steep dip in views and likes on any post on business pages. Even in paid ads, the higher the PPC (pay per click), better is the reach of your ad. Once known as the king of visual content, visuals shared on Facebook, now only reach 3.73% of your audience organically. The organic reach started plummeting in 2014 at a rate of 0.5% every month which now stands at just 2% since 2015. Frequent alteration in algorithm and techniques like gating (forcing users to like a page before viewing it) have been the contributing factors to this phenomenon.
Commercial brands, with a dedicated marketing budget spend rigorously on Facebook, choosing quantity over quality. Social good brands on the other hand have to walk a tightrope due to paucity of usable funds and talent crunch. Social media is a goldmine of high engagement which they fail to utilize to the fullest. In the current scenario of depleted organic reach, Facebook is clearly not the best option for social good brands to reach their audiences and seek engagement with them, without shelling ad money.
Other social media channels may pave the way
Having said that, while Facebook has categorically demarcated its users, channels like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium and Google Plus still give equal importance to both personal and promotional posts (unless you are spammer or are a whammy business) paving way for higher organic reach without paying for it.
- Twitter: Boasting of a cool 320 million active users, Twitter is a channel one shouldn’t miss out on. Twitter is microblogging site where you get to say what you have to say, very precisely in no more than 140 characters. This ensures sharp communication, targeted reach using relevant hashtags, networking and the best part is you can post as many tweets as you can giving a day to day glimpse of activities that happen at your social startup. Users love to be involved and to know what happens behind the scenes and that’s exactly what every impact organization needs. To create social proof which Twitter lets you do it for free. Brands like, charity:water, TOMS shoes, Ashoka Changemakers are rocking their promotion on Twitter.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn has been highly neglected by social good ventures assuming it to be made ‘only’ for commercial brands. No. LinkedIn is a treasure-trove of valuable connections which impact enterprises need to attract donors, volunteers and talented candidates as their employees. LinkedIn helps every organization to establish itself as a great place to work and be associated with.
- Medium: Storytelling is the new age marketing. Users despise “salesy” ads. Impact enterprises can gain their users’ trust by narrating impact stories of the community they work for and medium is the best place to address a global audience
- Instagram: It’s the newest and the most viral kid on the block. Visuals speak louder than words and what could be more engaging than real life pictures? Post pictures of your event, your people, your products, how they are made and compliment it with a simple, relevant hashtag. Leading brands like charity:water, Krochet Kids have earned ample funds, earned loyal backers and created a brand identity without spending a single penny.
It’s disappointing that a powerful social media channel like Facebook does not serve the same utility it once did. However many other channels can help social good brands reach their audience in a very cost effective way. Smart and meaningful marketing is the need of the hour.