If you’ve spent time on Facebook lately you might notice the world seems smaller. Maybe you keep seeing repeat posts from the same handful of people, or you’re following 20 pages, but you don’t remember seeing much new from them.
This phenomenon is called throttling. And for your sports program, it means fewer people are seeing what you post.
“One of the fundamental changes we’ve seen in the past couple of years, as Facebook gets more crowded, there’s more competition for eyeballs,” said Conrad Kaczmarek, a social media strategist who has worked on social channels for the NBA and Nike Basketball.
Mike Jacobs, CEO of Proper Villains, advertising agency agrees, “If you’re trying to have conversations with existing folks (customers you already know), less than 6% of your posts will get seen by your intended audience.” This can be especially tough for small businesses and organizations, like sports programs.
Here are some ways to make sure your message gets out:
Use Facebook to Reach New People:
With Facebook posts seeming so invisible, you may wonder if it’s worth the effort. But Mike says Facebook is the best way to get the word out to new people. “The targeting on Facebook is unmatched, they simply have the best way to reach specific populations,” says Mike referring to paid Facebook ads, which he says may be one of the best ways to find new people in your community and tell them about your program. “You have to put some dollars behind it, but you can do it at a relatively low cost.” Facebook lets you target down to the neighborhood. “It’s an impactful way to reach people, if you have a very specific target.”
Use Other Methods to Reach Existing Customers:
Do not rely on Facebook for updates to people who are already part of your program, like current players, parents and coaches. “The way platforms, like Facebook, are going, you don’t even see every post on every page you follow,” says Conrad.
Mike agrees: if you have something important to tell people in your league you’re better off putting it in email or text. “An email has a higher delivery rate,” more people are likely to actually see it — and to open it. Mike says sports organizations should get people used to coming to their blogs websites, or even better, send a weekly email newsletter with all the updates they need.
Don’t Give Up Facebook – Just Keep it Efficient:
So, does throttling mean we should just break up with Facebook? No.
Our experts believe it’s important to keep up your presence on Facebook. It’s a great way to find people by putting a little bit of money behind targeted ads. It’s also a way for people to find your sports program through search. It’s generally expected that organizations have a Facebook page, so just make sure it works for you. Mike suggests using a tool like Hootsuite so you can easily update your social media accounts from one place, or dashboard, and schedule posts.
All these tools and channels make it seem like it would be easier to reach people, but it also means we are all more distracted. Facebook is a great way to find a new audience, just make sure it’s not your only method. It can seem daunting, but if you are clear about your goals and the folks you are speaking to, you’ll be better able to avoid getting throttled.