For those of you who are less familiar with Mari Smith, let us take this opportunity to introduce her. She is one of the worlds leading social media thought leaders. Recognized by Forbes as one of the Top Twenty Woman Social Media Influencers, Smith is a leading Facebook marketing expert and one of the top 10, overall from last year. She’s also the author of The New Relationship Marketing.

Recently she teamed up with Kerry O’Shea Gorgone of MarketingProfs to discuss the recent dip in B2C engagement facing many social platforms including Facebook Business Pages, as well as a declining reach for brands via the social juggernaut.

According to Mari, there has been a significant drop in what she would consider to be ‘organic reach’ stating:

“In late 2013, I had over 120,000 fans and my posts were reaching an average of 50,000. As of this year, were looking at an average reach of more than 3,000”

Mari attributes this to an increase in connectivity as the world continues to consume content via mobile, specifically by way of social. In the wake of ‘social saturation’, customers have in many ways grown numb to the content that line the social feeds they surf. The reality is that engagement continues to be of the utmost importance and businesses should carefully consider their ability to engage when choosing a social platform as a means to deliver these messages.

Facebook continues to be the most popular platform to attract and engage customers due to the surplus of opportunities offered to businesses including: promotional pages, a marketplace, applications and advanced advertising options.  However, many companies have experienced an exponential drop in traction due to recent algorithm updates made to the social network.

More Personal.  More Frequent  

it is vital that the content presented on any social platform (in this case Facebook) be of high quality and executed well.  Per Smith’s suggestion, there ought to be a shift in the way that messages are crafted.   No longer should messages feel like an interruption.  Smith claims that messages should feel “more relational, connected and warm and fuzzy.” Make the effort to connect with you audience in a more  personal way.  Additionally, go the extra mile to interact and engage with your audience on a consistent basis.  It is the companies that are “doing it a lot, regularly, frequently, promptly on their pages and they’re using people’s first names. It’s just a wonderful strategy.”

Not Just Your Typical 9 to 5

When posting on Facebook , it is typically assumed that posting outside the Monday to Friday range from 9-5 is taboo.  You dare not post anytime after 5pm and definitely not on the weekend.  However, Smith suggests that many businesses are “missing out by avoiding evenings, weekends and further posts.”  There is in fact a golden opportunity to be seized if you can plan ahead.  People spend a good amount of time on the weekends flitting from one social site to another.  This creates the ideal time to reach out, promote your brand and hopefully increase engagement.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Planning

As was referenced in the previous point, there is a golden opportunity to be seized if you can plan ahead.  Smith encourages the use of a content calendar.   While we may not necessarily see it, the man behind the curtain is spending an immense amount of time and effort in curating content while finding a balance and a voice between multiple social platforms. .  It takes time, creativity and brain power to write tweets, fill news feeds and advertise specials with content people actually want to see.  Thus, the importance of a content calendar is all too evident.

A content calendar will not only allow you to optimize ideas and content in order to focus on keywords but it will create the time and space to look ahead and plan, ultimately adding diversity to your content.  Caution: Be sure you content calendar allows for flexibility in order to include both evergreen and timely topics. Ultimately, keep in mind that a content calendar is simply a tool that ought to be utilized to help with optimization rather than a strict rulebook that must be abided by.

Mark Zuckerberg, has brilliantly crafted a social platform that allows people to be seen and heard as well as offered businesses a means in which to continue to create meaningful relationships with customers. As the digital world we live in continues to grow and evolve our ability to adapt will continue to play a valuable role in the way in which we engage with one another. To listen to this podcast in its entirety click here.