A few weeks ago, Facebook shared some big changes coming to the platform starting in January 2015. In short, non-paid promotional posts you share via your business Page will reach very few of your fans. This “organic” reach has been on a steady decline for years and is now reaching the bottom.

But, this doesn’t mean that it’s time to delete your Page and go back to cold calling and buying Yellow Page ads. There’s still a ton of value that Facebook offers for most businesses. We just have to adjust the strategy a bit. Here are a few ideas.

No seats, no people

A few years ago, posting updates multiple times a day was a great strategy. It got you in front of your audience and you didn’t pay a dime. Now, with Facebook’s looming changes, that strategy doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially if those posts are promotional in nature or tone.

It’s a little like talking to yourself in an empty room. You might have some great stuff to say, but no one is around to hear it.

To take the analogy one step further…

Think of Facebook as an auditorium. A few years ago, the auditorium was packed, standing room only, with people that absolutely loved your business (aka people that Liked your page). A few years ago, Facebook removed some seats and that room became a little less full. This past year, Facebook removed even more seats. Going forward, the room will be just about empty. No seats. No people.

Now, if you want some seats, you have to pay Facebook. It’s really that simple.

It’s a pay to play world.

Put down the megaphone

Since we only have so many hours in the day, we need to prioritize how we leverage Facebook going forward.

Rather than thinking of Facebook as a place to share content, think of it as a marketing channel.

We no longer have a megaphone that reaches a bunch of people for free. However, we do have access to a powerful platform that has a huge audience.

It’s just that now that audience is behind a toll booth.

Think strategically

It’s tempting to post haphazard updates to your Facebook Page like we always have. Honestly, besides the time it requires, there’s no downside in doing that. Just don’t expect a lot in return.

Rather, think in terms of targeted campaigns – one per calendar quarter. Here’s how it might look.

Campaigns (focused efforts to proactively reach your target audience)The Facebook strategy that works in 2015 - 1

Heartbeat (baseline social, blog and/or email content to show that you’re alive)The Facebook strategy that works in 2015 - 2

Each campaign (in the blue boxes above) should have the following elements defined in advance:

Objective: What’s the point of the campaign? What are you trying to achieve? Clicks to a website? Leads? Likes? Exposure?

Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Male? Female? Demographics? Interests?

Concept: How will you execute the campaign? Infographic? Contest? Viral post? Like campaign? The sky’s the limit! Get creative!

Budget: How much money are you willing to spend on Facebook ads to achieve your objective above?

Key Performance Indicator (KPI): What determines success? How will you measure it? Pick one.

By the way, it’s a good idea to plan well in advance. Depending on the campaign, you’ll need the time to do the research and get the pieces in place.

Heartbeat vs. campaigns

So, with Facebook’s increasing push to “pay to play”, you may be wondering where those “old fashioned” status posts come into play. Think of them as the heartbeat of your company.

Heartbeat (baseline social, blog and/or email content to show that you’re alive)The Facebook strategy that works in 2015 - 2

For example, when people visit your Facebook Page, they see life. Something is happening.

Behind the scenes and lighthearted content seems to perform best on Facebook, but share what feels right for you.

Just keep in mind that most people will never see what you post. That’s why strategic campaigns are so important now!

Of course, executing all of this is a subject for another time. For now, it’s enough to start thinking in this direction so that you’re prepared for what’s ahead.

The bottom line

The social web moves quickly. There’s no doubt about it! Facebook’s upcoming changes are yet another reminder of that.

However, remember that Facebook still has a huge (and growing) audience. So, there’s a pretty good chance that YOUR audience is on Facebook, too.

We just have to leverage the platform in a new way to reach them.

Author Jeff Teschke

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