Why Some Brands Still Do Great Organically On Facebook – Here’s Why #173

Most Facebook business pages seem to be hanging on for dear life these days, and some have already given up.

In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Stone Temple’s Mark Traphagen throws your brand page a rope, giving you tips from brand pages that still get huge organic reach on Facebook.

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Eric: Mark, a lot of marketers have complained about how hard it is to get organic reach with Facebook brand pages these days.
Mark: Well, for sure, and it’s only getting worse, but not for all of those pages. 
Eric: You mean there are some Facebook brand pages that are able to reach large numbers of their fans without paying to do so?
Mark: There are sure are. There’s a common misconception that Facebook doesn’t like brand content, and penalizes it across the board. That’s simply not true. What Facebook doesn’t like is content that doesn’t grip and engage users, and unfortunately…
Eric: That describes most brand posts.
Mark: Right. But I’ve found many examples where brand posts get tremendous reach and exposure in the organic News Feed. 

There are still brands getting tremendous reach from organic Facebook posts.Click To Tweet
Eric: Can you share an example?
Mark: Sure. One brand that continues to get great engagement, and, therefore excellent reach on Facebook, is JetBlue. Now this low-fare airline has built tremendous customer loyalty over the years with a combination of top-notch customer service, perks you wouldn’t expect from a discount airline, and a quirky sense of fun. 
Eric: So do they actually incorporate those things into their social media campaigns?
Mark: They sure do, and that’s part of the secret of their success. JetBlue understands why their customers are so unusually loyal, and many of their Facebook posts capitalize on those factors. That means they bring the double value of being instantly on point for their target audience and reinforcing the value of their brand. 
So one great example of how they do this was their live video event during last August’s total solar eclipse in the U.S. First of all, they teased that as a “No Blackout Non-Eclipse Non-Event.”

Eric: Oh, what in the world?
Mark: Yeah, I know. It was a title guaranteed to stimulate interest. They were latching on to the rampant cynicism on social media that the coming eclipse was probably over-hyped and therefore would turn out to be a “non-event.” 
Eric: So what did they do with that?
Mark: Well, the post became a Facebook Live video with popular actor Skylar Astin, of “Pitch Perfect” fame, videocasting from the roof of JetBlue’s headquarters in New York City.

Now for much of the screen time, the audience was just looking at a view of the sky in the general direction of the sun, but, every so often, Skylar would pop in and let them know he shared their skepticism about the eclipse, but was there to watch it with them, just to be sure.

It was all tongue-in-cheek, but his over-the-top, “No one believes this will really happen,” act got the live audience going with lively discussions. Viewers also started tagging their friends by the hundreds, and then the thousands, to come and see the show. The fake suspense of “will the eclipse happen or won’t it?” plus anticipation of the celebrity having to eat crow if it did, kept people watching for a long time.
Eric: So it sounds fun, but what’s the value in all that?
Mark: It’s a good question, but, first, the video got massive engagement, so most importantly, there were lots of real conversations going on in the comments. Facebook has told us that such conversations are one of the key metrics now for a post to get greater organic reach.

In addition, the fact that most viewers kept watching the video for a long time undoubtedly also signaled to Facebook that the recorded version would probably be of interest to many more. Altogether, that video has earned over 100,000 views to date.
Eric: That’s great, but we don’t want reach just for reach’s sake, right?
Mark: Very true. It does your brand no ultimate good if you get a lot of exposure but there’s no connection to your brand. 
Eric: So, did this live video succeed in that respect?
Mark: Well, absolutely. Now this is where the “No Blackout’ part of the post’s “No Blackout Non-Eclipse Non-Event” title comes in.

Most major airlines have loyalty programs where frequent flyers can earn points toward free flights, and JetBlue’s no exception. And most of those airlines have blackouts, which means flights that are not eligible for point redemption, but JetBlue made “No Blackouts” one of its brand distinctives. 
Eric: So, no eclipse, no blackout. I get it.
Mark: Yes, and that leads to the third way this video event is a great brand-match for JetBlue. It reinforces the playfulness and sense of humor that they are known for. 

 Eric: So, summing it up, the JetBlue post overcame Facebook’s supposed barrier to organic reach by using a creative, on-brand idea, newsjacking an event already getting a lot of social buzz, involving a celebrity influencer, and constructing an event to keep people watching and get them commenting. 
Mark: That’s it.

A successful social media campaign is engaging, on-point for the brand’s products and services, and consistent with the brand personality. Click To Tweet
Eric: Mark’s column for Marketing Land gives two more examples of business posts on Facebook that got huge reach without paying, and he draws out their common characteristics that can help your business do the same. You can learn about them here.   

Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.

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See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

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