Back in 2012, social media managers had a good run promoting their Facebook pages at little to no cost. It was a wild ride. We wrote statuses and our fans saw them. It was a beautiful thing; but those were simpler times. If you’re a small business owner here in Nashville, you may have noticed this decline. Simply put, organic reach is not what it was like three years ago, or even six months ago, and the future isn’t looking any brighter.

Studies show that organic reach of an average Facebook status is 2-4%. So, for example, if you have 1,000 fans, on average, only about 40 of them will see your content. Industry experts expect unpaid post reach to fall to ZERO within this year for brands that have under 20,000 Facebook fans. The cause of this is simple: Facebook users like more pages than they used to, have more friends, and brands are producing content with increasing frequency. A user can only see so much content in one day and Facebook has come up with some pretty complex algorithms to support this change. But the simple fact is that too many businesses are competing for coveted placement in the News Feed.

Facebook's decline in organic reach from 2012- 2014.

So, this would leave most marketers to wonder, “Why do my Facebook fans still matter?” The answer is simple. Facebook Fans, if acquired correctly, are still a huge opportunity for marketers. But we will get to that later.

The solution to fight this decline in organic reach? Facebook ads. Yes, this means spending money, but it really allows marketers to dive into Facebook’s powerful targeting and remarketing options.

We all know the power of social media is potent. Facebook remains one of the most frequented social media platforms in the world and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. This social media network boasts more than one billion people, and each of these people participate in “liking” events, posts, and business pages on a daily basis. That’s one billion different interests, tastes, and styles your business has the potential to market toward. This kind of potential holds a significant value for businesses, but only if their targeted marketing is implemented correctly.

Now, let’s preface that not all “fans” are part of this targeted marketing. If you’re a local business in Nashville, Tennessee and someone in Glasgow, Scotland “likes” your page, they are (in all reality) probably not going to be frequenting your brick and mortar anytime soon.

However, there is an enormous business value to what we will refer to as “qualified” fans. Qualified fans, on this particular social media network, are a tremendous advantage to your local area business or restaurant. These are the people who live within buying range of your business, who already know about your brand, and have found you on Facebook and “liked” your page.

These are the people who are most likely to click and engage on your links when you post them. When you have an opt-in, they are the most likely to convert. And most importantly, when you market a product through social media, these are the consumers who are most likely to drive their car to your door, and purchase your product.

How can it be then that these fans are ineffective? Easy, they aren’t.

First, let’s talk about your current fans. These are consumers who already know about your business and have gone through the process of finding you on Facebook and “liking” your page. Why not use Facebook ads to reach these users? The brand awareness is already there, doesn’t this make them some of the most highly-qualified people to put your message in front of? As mentioned earlier, you may not be able to simply make a post and have these consumers see your content, but you can promote your ads to these consumers. It’s no secret that these days, you have to pay to put your message in front qualified consumers. Why not put it in front of your already die-hard fans?

Next, let’s talk about growing your fan base. Again, Facebook ads can be extremely powerful in this scenario. If someone has been to your website, why not ask them to become a fan? If you have someone’s email address, why not ask them to become a fan? With Facebook advertising, you can do just that. This will help to continuously grow a highly-targeted fan base from a group of consumers who already know about you and have already shown some sort of interest in your brand or product. Now that you’ve got these people into your circle, you can then continue to market to them, keeping your brand front-of-mind and always present in the News Feed. Pretty powerful, huh?

So yes, organic reach has significantly declined over the last few years, and yes, it will continue to do so. But this does not mean your fans don’t matter. Your fans are the users who already show fondness for your brand. These are the people who have gone out of their way to visit your page and click “like.” How can they no longer be valuable?

If you’d like to learn more about how to market on social media, and specifically, how our targeted strategy can help grow your Nashville business, read more on our services page, or contact us for a free consultation!