Facebook is still the best place for libraries to be!
1. Facebook is the Powerhouse Social Media PlatformLast spring, the Pew Research Center shared their update on social media statistics. They found 86% of Americans are online. Of this group, 79% of people are on Facebook. As you can see in the chart below, this far exceeds any other social media network. If you want to reach your patrons on a social media platform, you can't do better than Facebook.
2. Organic Reach is Better with Less FollowersIt works to your library's benefit that you don't have millions of followers. Over the years, Facebook's organic reach has declined from 12% to 6%-2%. If you have over 500,000 followers, you're more likely to have the lower reach. However, libraries typically do better on Facebook. I always felt that if I had 100 organic reach, I was happy. For my library, that was actually 10% organic reach. On our popular posts, that would jump to 25% or more.
3. Three-Quarters of Followers are on daily for 50 minutes!79% of Facebook users are on daily for an average of 50 minutes. You are not going to get this reach anywhere else. Instagram comes in second with half of their users (which is only 32% of Americans online) visit daily. When Facebook is used successfully (following these tips that we discussed back in 2015), you are going to reach your audience more often than anywhere else online.
4. Facebook can Grow Your NewsletterSince Facebook only shares your post with a small percentage of followers, you will want to find other ways to reliably get your message out. We highly recommend sending an email newsletter. With all of the social media platforms, email is still the golden ticket in advertising. Remember, Facebook's average reach is 6% or lower, but email is sent to 100% of your followers every single time. While not everyone opens their newsletters, an average of 20% subscribers do. So, use Facebook to your advantage and periodically redirect your traffic to sign-up for your newsletter.
5. You Must Be Social on FacebookI always find it heartbreaking when libraries only post about their upcoming programs on Facebook. You want to kill reach? Don't be social. Treat Facebook like a bulletin board. It is really important to understand Facebook's algorithm. The typical user receives 1,500 posts in their newsfeed DAILY. So, Facebook had to come up with an algorithm to make sure that their users were getting the posts they most want to see. It is based on 100,000 factors, but the chart below is the simplified version that we know for sure: they pay attention to what users respond to on Facebook -- what did they like, share, give an emotion to, comment, or click to read? Those are the types of pages and posts Facebook will show that user more often. If followers aren't responding to your post, Facebook will assume they don't really want to see posts from you and will show them less of your future posts. So, whatever you post, make sure you post it in a way that you know will get a response from people. (For example, don't just advertise about an upcoming story time. Take a picture from a previous story time of an adorable young patron and casually mention that story time meets weekly. People will like the picture because of the cute kid!) If you know people are going to ignore your post, it doesn't belong on Facebook.