Remember the days when it was still “The” Facebook and all of your friends’ information, pictures and stories scrolled up right away in your newsfeed?
We got involved with Facebook a couple of years after its inception at around 2006. Since then we have had, admittedly, a “love/hate” relationship with the platform on both the personal and the business side.
Since launching the HSCT page in late 2012, we consciously decided to leverage Facebook strategically to gain an audience, and drive traffic to our blog. For the most part, this approach has worked well. About 44% of traffic to the HSCT #Communication Blog comes to us through Facebook. The remainder comes through email connections, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social distribution methods. And that Facebook driven 44% is almost 100% organic traffic.
Even as our dependence on Facebook to drive traffic has increased, we have noticed that conversion among our live audiences (the people who come and see us) has fractured, mainly along age lines. Those between the ages of 35 and 55 are connecting with us through Facebook, but the younger demographic (i.e. 18-35) are connecting with us through Twitter.
So…in 2015, the question becomes: What are we to do about social distribution through Facebook?
Well, this is a larger puzzle that many brands are working out in 2015, but for our money, the best approach is to change our thinking taking the following two points into consideration:
- Facebook is now a billboard service on the digital highway. And, just like billboards on the physical highway, certain people see the billboards if they drive on that highway and certain people don’t. Physical billboard space has become pricey in the “real” world. In the digital realm, Facebook Ad spend, and Boost Post spending in an era of zero organic growth has also become pricey for a small, one-person shop.
- The gamification of the SEO process on Facebook continues to yield dividends. We have to tag our friends on our personal page, whenever we post a blog article, in order to bump up our numbers of content views. This is unsustainable, to say the least, because the cost-per-click of ad spend on Facebook is only going to increase, even as the dubious benefits of gamification become less viable.
So, what to do?
Beginning this week, and for the remainder of 2015, we here at HSCT are going to pay for fewer posts, less often. The posts will be mostly image based and will always link back to blog based content.
The other thing that we will be doing is posting fewer links back to our original, blog based content. Instead, we are moving in the direction of creating newsletters and beefing up our distribution model directly to—and through—our website.
So, for those of you who have liked and consumed our content via Facebook, we’ll still be there, just less often.
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And have a great 2015!
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org