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Dear Marketer, Has Facebook f**ked up your page interaction rates? Read on…

 We are half way into the year and a number of social media agencies and digital marketing managers are not having a great time explaining a dip in their Facebook page interactions. With more than 200 brand pages having more than one million fans and more than 1000 companies doing some or the other form of social media promotions in India, there seems to be a lot of money invested in fan acquisition over the last few years.

To put things in perspective, there were 62 brand pages with more than one million fans in April 2012, this number has shot up to 200+ as of today. With an estimate of a minimum of 60% of the fan base acquired inorganically and a per fan cost of INR 4, there has been a whopping investment of INR 3600 million spent to acquire these fans hoping to reach out to most of them for free for the coming years!

Facebook Edgerank with just three parameters sounded like a mystery conquered by the brands, but with the recent announcement of addition of about hundred thousand parameters to the algorithm, it will take time for brands to work things out. Facebook has obviously done this because they have sensed that brands are not spending much on fan acquisition post the one million mark and they are now forcing brands to pay for promoted posts, with posts going to limited people organically. It could be considered unfair on their part, but they own the platform and there is nothing much that we can do about.

Here are some things that could help counter the change –

1)     Work out an ROI versus investment for fans acquired – You’ve spent an X amount of acquiring fans, you are not going to be redeeming benefits of if all your life. Work out an ROI of organic reach you’ve achieved till now over the amount invested, revise your organic interactions targets to ensure the balance is achieved in the rest of the year.

2)     Text posts – Starting putting up short text posts, like Tweets, with hashtags on Facebook, FB wants to imbibe a culture of richer frequent conversation like Twitter and these posts would do no harm

3)      Focus on volume – A number of analysts and number crunchers would have worked out complicated interaction rates, growth rates, average interactions per post, etc. for engagement on Facebook, however it is time to look at how much volume have your posts achieved, atleast till the new algorithm is conquered.

4)     Video uploads – I know that videos are the next big thing in digital marketing, if not already, but most Indian Facebook users are receiving a brand’s communication over the phone with moderate 2G speeds and hence the interactions on videos will be limited, unless you’ve invested in an intriguing story, hence video uploads on Facebook need to be limited.

There is still a lot of figure out to get the best combination for the page content, but one thing is for sure, we need to consider Facebook as another broadcast medium, just like radio and TV and do not except it to market your content for free, even to your existing fans.


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