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Is Facebook for businesses on its way out? Many sources suggest that organic reach for Facebook pages is all but dead. While paying for advertising on the world’s most popular website is alive and well, as a “social” media platform, Facebook has definitely changed. It’s tougher than ever to achieve natural, organic reach, even from those who already like and follow your page.

Statistics show that organic engagement is down for all types of pages on Facebook. The infographic below shows a sample based on niche/industry:

Source: AgoraPulse

Even Facebook admits that only around 16% of your fans see your updates. This is a challenge for a business relying on Facebook marketing to reach its customers.

Facebook’s algorithm history supports these changes. They announced various changes over the past several years—changes which nearly always spelled bad news for marketers. Even in late 2016, Facebook let us know that posts from friends and family would be prioritised in users’ newsfeeds, further pushing aside the reach of business pages. If we observe the trends over time, it seems that organic reach for Facebook pages will only continue to decline.

So what is the savvy Facebook marketer to do in 2017 (and beyond)? Here are some tactics to try:

Accept the changes & adapt

Facebook managers must accept the fact of an altered Facebook strategy. The only option is to adapt to the changes and use them to your advantage as much as possible. If Facebook is becoming a pay-to-play network, let that be a factor in your new strategy. Boosting posts and running ads has proven very successful for many businesses.

Post less frequently, using more carefully curated content

It used to be that you could overcome the algorithm by posting frequently to your page. This is no longer the case. Now, what seems to prove effective is to be far more reserved with posts. When you do choose to share a blog or update, make sure it’s your very best content, and that it’s ideally attuned to your target audience. This is also a chance to make sure you reach the right people with your update. Did you know you can select your preferred audience for a post? Doing this when sharing to your page could make a big difference.

Don’t forget about boosting posts, either. Even a few dollars per day can improve your reach.

Emphasise video

To succeed on social media, businesses must get on the bandwagon with what works. In 2017, video is growing like mad, and the smart marketer capitalises on this. On Facebook, you can experiment with swapping out text-based or image-based content with video. Facebook Live, when used properly, can also be a fresh and effective way to reach your audience. Use it wisely, such as to highlight events or exciting news updates.

Consider other outlets

Finally, if Facebook isn’t performing for you, never fear. Every business is different and will find success on varying platforms. It’s ok to cut the cord on what isn’t working and funnel your energy towards what is. And social media platforms are often fleeting, too. When in doubt, focus on long-term gains such as your website and SEO. These elements will pay off and have much greater staying power.

What is your business doing to keep Facebook engagement alive?