If you’ve paid attention to statistics for your company’s social media pages the past few years, you’ve surely noticed that Facebook and LinkedIn impressions are down—WAY DOWN.
Seventy to 90 percent down, in many cases.
Facebook impressions have plummeted over the past few years for a variety of reasons, while LinkedIn impressions have dropped nearly as precipitously over the past year.
What can you do to get your impressions on Facebook and LinkedIn moving in the right direction (up)? Let’s take a look.
METHOD 1: BITE THE BULLET
Method: Do what Facebook and LinkedIn want and pay for sponsored posts.
Advantages: 1. Sponsoring posts if the most reliable way to reach large audiences. 2. You can target specific audiences.
Disadvantages: 1. Cost. Sponsoring posts on LinkedIn, in particular, can be expensive. 2. Engagement tends to be a fraction—often a small fraction—of what happens organically, because the audiences aren’t previously engaged with you.
Verdict: Sponsoring posts is worth experimenting with, provided you have high-quality content or other assets worth sponsoring. Consider allocating a modest amount of marketing dollars for post sponsorships. If you’re happy with the results you achieve, then sponsored posts can become a staple of your social media marketing (just don’t overdo it). If results are disappointing, then the cost of the failed experiment is relatively minimal.
METHOD 2: THE MORE THE MERRIER
Method: Have a dedicated strategy to get others—your employees, influencers, etc.—to expand your organic LinkedIn and Facebook reach.
Such a strategy could have a variety of components. Here are some to consider.
- Pay Influencers to Engage with Your Posts or Share Your Content on Their Accounts
Advantages: 1. If you pick the right influencers, you can achieve good reach among your target audience. 2. A certain level of results is guaranteed. 3. You can develop stronger relationships with the influencers.
Disadvantages: 1. Choosing the right influencers can be difficult, as can be reaching agreement on payment. 2. Cost. 3. Evaluating ROI can be difficult if not impossible.
Verdict: Provided that you can identify the appropriate influencers and the cost is reasonable, this can be a good option. Recognize, however, that it can be hard to evaluate whether this is successful. One solution to consider is participating in a formal influencer marketing channel that provides detailed reporting and features leading influencers ready and willing to share quality vendor content.
- Create High-Quality Content Designed to Encourage Engagement From Influencers and Others
Advantages: 1. High-quality content is always great to have. 2. Better content tends to get higher engagement, and thus broader reach. 3. Cost is limited. If you have internal writing resources, the cost is largely in terms of time and effort to research topics.
Disadvantages: 1. Creating high-quality content is challenging, especially on a regular to semi-regular basis. 2. There’s no guarantee that engagement will be higher, or that influencers will share it, even if you mention them in the content and tag them in social posts.
Verdict: Every company should aim to produce high-quality content, and it’s a good idea to mention the ideas of others in content and tag them in social posts. However, high-quality content alone might not be enough to dramatically impact your visibility on LinkedIn and Facebook, especially if your existing reach is small.
- Ask Employees, Business Partners, Etc. to Like and Share Your LinkedIn and Facebook Posts.
Advantages: 1. It’s relatively easy to send emails out when you have new posts you’d like people to engage with. 2. Minimal time and no cost involved. 3. When people do engage, it will have an impact on your LinkedIn and Facebook visibility.
Disadvantages: 1. Difficult to track results—total results, who is driving results, who is and who isn’t participating, etc. 2. Results tend to diminish significantly over time, as fewer people engage. 3. Programs tend to dissolve as other priorities surface.
Verdict: Getting employees and others consistently engaging with your LinkedIn and Facebook posts is a great way to increase impressions. The problem is these efforts tend to flame out quickly because they aren’t part of a dedicated program.
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- Create a Formal Advocacy Program in Which Employees, Business Partners, Etc. Share Your Content and Other Assets on Their LinkedIn and Facebook Accounts.
Advantages: 1. It’s easy to track results and engagement — overall and for individual participants — through advocacy software. 2. Content shared by individuals gets eight times the engagement of content shared by brands. 3. Advocacy software facilitates process both for you and for participants, improving sustainability. 4. Overall visibility of LinkedIn and Facebook is amplified as number of participants grows. 5. Gamification helps increase engagement from participants, and drives desired sharing behaviors.
Disadvantages: 1. Requires investment in advocacy software.
Verdict: If you’re serious about increasing LinkedIn and Facebook impressions and engagement (and on Twitter too), a formal Advocacy program should be part of your strategy. Having a formal program driven by a dedicated software solution, compared to most other marketing initiatives, is simple to run, inexpensive and impactful.
For Results to Change, You Need to Take Action
Your results on Facebook and LinkedIn are very unlikely to change unless you take steps to change them. We hope the methods and options detailed in this post will be helpful in that effort.