If you have a Facebook business Page, chances are that you have noticed a big change in your organic post reach in the last twelve or so months.
In this blog post I am sharing with you some of the reasons behind Facebook's algorithm, as well as some handy tips & tricks for making sure that your community is being reached.
**I have also created a check list for you, that covers what is within this post, summarised for you to keep as a reference- click below to get it!
First of all, why does Facebook decide what your fans see and don't see in their feed?
One of the main reasons for this, is the amount of content out there, as well as the fact that the number of Pages that users have "Liked" has increased dramatically over the years.
To protect the newsfeed and ensure the longevity of the platform, Facebook has developed it's algorithm to provide users with quality content that they are interested in, rather than overloading them with marketing material.
So how does the algorithm work?
Facebook's algorithm is complex and always shifting to improve the user's experience, according to Techcrunch, it works by assessing the following:
- How relevant your post is to your followers
- Your fan base (follower numbers) in comparison with other known quality pages
- How popular your posts have been in the past
- User's previous interactions with your Page in the past
- How timely the post is, is it about a recent event?
- The type of post- as in video, photo, link etc. assessed again the success of those types of posts in the past.
Tips on increasing your Pages organic reach:
1. Post quality content
A very common theme that you will find social media experts talk about, is the quality of your post. But there are so many variables that can come into developing a post to share with your followers. I have made a few notes below:
- How relevant is the piece of content that you are sharing, is it interesting in the eye of your follower?
- Is it based on a recent event, or is it happening now?
- Is the content share-worthy? (Think info-graphics)
- Is the post transparent, does it show something personal, authentic and real?
- If sharing a link or a post from another party, is the source trusted?
- If your post contains an image, is the image of good quality and eye-catching?
- If the post contains a video, are you teaming it with a headline that will make the viewer want to watch it?
- Consider- if the post came up in your own feed, would you want to see it?
2. Strategic posting times
When was the last time you had a look at your Page Post Insights? By viewing these insights on a regular basis and as your audience grows, you are able to determine when the majority of your following is actually online and using Facebook.
You might be posting whilst you are at your computer or phone during the day, but that doesn't generally mean that your ideal customer or reader is. So take a look at these insights today and adjust your scheduled posts or posting times accordingly.
If you want to go a little further, you could experiment with posting during quieter times- in theory there should be less content being shared by users and the competition. Less clutter in the news feed means that you might stand out- be sure to analyse your post results and take note for next time.
Post insights can be found in the "Insights" tab, under "Posts". See below:
*Tip: While you are there, you can scroll down the page to view your "Posts Published" and take a look at the engagement, reach and link clicks that each post received. Are there any patterns you can pick up on? Make notes on what posts were popular- consider the time of those posts and the type of post (video, link share, image etc.)
More posts to Facebook doesn't necessarily equal a greater reach. A Page that posts five times per day isn't necessarily going to gain more exposure than say, a Page that posts three times a week, particularly if the three posts are high in quality. The key here for businesses is trial and error- work out what works for your audience and once you find the magic number, stick to it- consistently.
- Be consistent with the quality of your posts
- Be consistent with the amount of times you post each week
- Be consistent with your post theming- don't stray off topic, be strategic with the content that you post.
4. Encourage interaction on your posts
Perhaps an obvious one to some, but being creative in encouraging engagement with your followers can prompt them to take an action that they might not normally do.
Ask for viewers opinions, get more personal- people tend to like to share what they think about certain topics. Encourage conversation and be sure to join in if your post sparks some interest- responding to comments is very important and a great way to really connect with your community.
5. Take advantage of Facebook's organic post targeting
A great function of Facebook Pages and also easy to use, the Post Targeting option allows you to narrow down the target audience of your post to location, interests and other demographics.
If you haven't already done so, you will need to enable Targeted Posts in your Page General Settings, see below:
You can easily target your audience by clicking on the target icon in the Status Box, see below:
Then it is just a matter of having a play around to get the right audience, be sure to analyse your results in the Page Post Insights Tab and work on it until you have something that works for your Page.
To sum up, I believe it is all about really knowing your brand and what makes it stand out from the crowd. You also need to know who your customer is and what they enjoy engaging with on Facebook.
If you haven't already or haven't done so in a while, spend some time on working out who your ideal customer or client is. This will really help you in targeting your posts, as well as being able to aim your posts at the right people- ensuring that you are speaking in the right tone of voice and using appropriate language (for example- how you speak to a 60 year old is definitely going to be different to how you speak to a 21 year old).
Your turn- I want to hear from you...
Have you experienced a drop in organic reach lately, how have you counteracted it?
Do you have any tips or comments to add? I would love to hear from you, drop me a comment below.
Do you know others who face the same frustrations? Please use the icon (below right) to share this with your peers.
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