Not Feelin’ the Love with Likes?

There’s a reason why.

We’ve all been there – you spend the time to write and rewrite a creative and engaging post, add a compelling photo, publish, and ta-da! Then….nothing. Remember the good ‘ole days when simply creating and publishing great content meant you would see a consistent rise in your page growth, reach and engagement? Unfortunately, it isn’t so simple anymore.

Organic Likes and Engagement are Falling

The most recent studies coming out of the social media world are showing an unfortunate trend: page like growth and engagement on Facebook have reached an all-time low.

So what does this mean? It means if you have a business Facebook page, the number of new people liking that page and liking, sharing and commenting on your posts has likely dwindled significantly in 2015. But why, Facebook, why? Are most people moving away from using Facebook as a conversational tool due to all the new messaging apps available? Are people changing how they use Facebook altogether? Only time will tell.

Post Reach is Bouncing Back

But it’s not all bad news. Although Facebook organic page like growth (the number of new people liking your page) and post engagement growth (the number of likes, comments and shares on a post) is slowing, post reach (the number of people seeing your post in their news feeds) is actually starting to trend back upwards in December after a few months of steady decline in quarter four.

What’s a Business to Do?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the first step is to be clear about your social media strategy. Do you simply want to educate people about your cause, company or goals? Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Do you want to start a conversation and build a community? Is Facebook even the right platform for your brand? Follower growth on Instagram was almost double that of Facebook and Twitter last month. A key factor in any social media strategy is knowing where your audience is and how to reach them so don’t stress if Facebook isn’t the perfect platform for you.

If your goal is to increase the number of people seeing your posts, use the post format with the highest reach. The most recent data shows videos continue to deliver the most reach by post type, followed by links, photos, and status updates. It’s also important to take into consideration when your followers are online and meet them there.

If your goal is to increase engagement on your posts, you can start by revising the types of posts you’re publishing. The post types with the highest engagement are images, followed by videos, links and status updates. Don’t get your hopes up, though. On average, you can hope for a whopping 0.41% of your followers to engage with a post.

And lastly, if your goal is to simply increase your number of likes, you’ll probably have to pony up some cash. More than 40% of brands have started using paid ads to combat the trend of decline in page like growth. The latest survey shows that paid post reach was making up 30% of total reach as of December. If you’ve never used Facebook ads before, the most important thing to consider is relevance scores to make sure your ads get approved and perform well.