There’s been a lot of talk — and, frankly, a fair amount of doom and gloom — about marketing on Facebook in 2015. The most significant development in that sphere came from Facebook itself, which announced late last year that from January 2015 self-promotional posts on Facebook pages would no longer be shown to Facebook followers.
As we’ve commented previously, that’s both good news and bad news. Bad news because marketers fondly hoped that the fascinating news that they were offering a discount or having a sale would be freely distributed to all their followers by Facebook; good news, however, because the new rules actually require that marketers create posts that are relevant and interesting if they are to be shared.
So, here we are at the middle of 2015. How are we doing?
NZ Facebook Marketing 2015
If we look at how New Zealand Facebook pages scored this time last year versus this year, the answer is: not so good.
Across the 25,603 New Zealand pages we track, just 0.75% of followers were (to use Facebook’s terminology) “talking about” the pages in June 2015, compared with 1.92% in June 2014.
In other words, on average expect less than one in 100 of your followers to be “talking about” your posts this year, half the engagement you might have expected last year.
As always, of course, there are outliers — Facebook pages that achieve far better results. Let’s take a look at some of those pages and see what we can learn.
Most engaged Kiwi Facebook page of all (in percentage terms), at least in mid-June 2015, was the Fox Glacier TOP 10 Holiday Park & Motels page.
This normally unassuming page, with just 647 likes, achieved a “talking about” score of 812.86% – 5254 people were talking about this page, more than eight times as many as actually followed the page.
The reason for this indecent popularity: a single good Samaritan post that was widely shared.
This success is, alas, likely to be a one-off. On the other hand our next example is more replicable. It’s from Kings Sound Centre, whose page enjoyed 367.69% popularity thanks to a series of videos as part of an online talent quest, their NZ Music Month Ibanez Guitar competition:
For a more sustained success formula, check out ZM Online, whose success (272.82%) derives from multiple posts each contributing to total engagement.
One common thread that you see across all these pages: these marketers are NOT talking about themselves, surprise surprise!
Media channels such as ZM Online obviously find it really easy to talk about other things that are relevant to their audience, without lapsing into self-promotion. They’re simply doing online what they already do through their own channels.
On the other hand, if we look at some of the NZ Facebook pages that are under-performing the average, we typically find plenty of posts that Facebook has deemed self-promotional and not to be shared (without the advertiser paying for the privilege).
For example, when NZ Breakers writes about products it is selling, such posts only get 9 likes and 1 share (despite the team’s 79,209 Facebook followers):
On the other hand, posts about its returning superstars do so much better:
Similarly, despite 1391 followers, My Little Gift‘s really cute pictures also fell afoul of Facebook’s new rules and attracted just 10 likes.
Perhaps the toughest task in NZ Facebook Marketing 2015 is faced by retailers (both online and traditional), who’ve been accustomed to posting their new products to Facebook and attracting attention as a result. Now, businesses such as Designer Gear Women are greeted by deafening silence (just a single like for the post below) despite having 6,854 followers.
It’s not that their followers don’t like what’s being posted, but rather that (under NZ Facebook Marketing 2015 new rules), they’re simply not being shown the posts.
By the way, we should note that the three examples we’ve chosen are simply that — examples, drawn from the 13,836 New Zealand Facebook pages that have less than 1% of their followers talking about them. In fact, these three are much more successful than most, having already attracted thousands of followers. All we’re saying is that times have changed and now new Facebook Marketing strategies are required in 2015 and beyond.
So how can you actually succeed with NZ Facebook Marketing 2015?
For you to achieve success with NZ Facebook Marketing 2015, you need to put on your thinking caps and do some serious brainstorming about your content.
In our Facebook online training courses (Facebook Accelerator and the Complete Facebook Marketing course), we tackle the issue head-on, and recommend that you:
- use Graph Search to learn more about your followers and the sort of content that will interest them
- identify the types of posts that your followers are most likely to share
- create more of those types of posts
- create posts in styles and formats that encourage more engagement
- identify when your followers are most likely to be active on Facebook
- publish your posts at those times
- post more frequently than in the past
- pay to promote the best of your posts to your followers
- bump evergreen popular content
- aim to drive Last Actor engagement as much as possible
- crunch your numbers regularly to see exactly how well you’re doing (and whether or not you’re fulfilling your potential)
- use Facebook advertising to drive Facebook users to your website
PS We would be remiss if we didn’t suggest that you check out our Complete Facebook Marketing and Facebook Accelerator online training courses, which discuss in great detail exactly what you need to succeed in NZ Facebook Marketing 2015.