For those of you who have been involved in social media and online publishing for sometime you will no doubt remember the ‘good old days’ on Facebook when all you needed to do was post quality, relevant content on a regular basis to your Facebook business page and a large portion of your page’s fans would see the content and then hopefully like, share and comment on it. Those days are long gone now since Facebook started making it increasingly harder for business pages to get their content in front of their fans.
Why did Facebook decide to do this though?
The main reason was content overload and keeping their users happy. Facebook has been growing at a breakneck rate for many years now, even surpassing market expectations earlier in the year and just this week it was announced that over 1 billion people had visited the site in a single day. What this means is that with a greater number of users come a greater number of business pages all of which are vying for your attention and users would have found more and more of their feeds dominated by nothing but posts from business pages and less from their friends and family. This would not be good for the end user and eventually would have pushed users away something Facebook certainly didn’t want!
There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.
Is that the only reason?
Unfortunately not, money and profits are also a major factor here. Now that organic reach for business pages has slipped from a high of around 16% of all fans to as low as 2% page and business owners are left with no other option than to pay for Facebook ads via paid or ‘Boosted’ content, although budgets as low as $5 can be spent here if you want to get some real reach on your content then it can get expensive fast. Data has also shown that each time organic reach goes down ads revenue for Facebook goes up along with it’s share price.
In a nutshell the free ride is over.
So unless I’m willing to spend I’m not going to be able to reach all my fans?
No, it’s still possible to reach more of your fans and improve your organic reach its just harder and you need to work smarter.
Don’t just post content aimlessly, analyze your data – Look beyond things like reach and dig deep into your page insights and look closely at what content your readers like and engage with the most. Previous interactions with a certain type of content affect what Facebook shows to a user so if photo and image posts have seen more engagement for you in the past then do more of these!
Stop selling – if you are still doing this then stop immediately, it drives people away and the chances of anyone interacting with your posts is highly unlikely. There’s also a chance that a user will hide this type of content as spam, having your content hidden like this is extremely bad for your organic reach ranking.
Mix things up a bit – these days everyone knows the usual best practices such as posting at peak traffic times and days of the week, instead of doing that try doing the opposite, look at your insights data and post when not so many of your users are online and then see what happens. Are you normally posting 4-5 times per day? Stop doing that and change to twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening, or maybe even just once per day. What kind of images are you posting? Instead of just posting photos try making some custom images and insert quotes, thoughts or other text into them, Canva is a great tool for doing this.
More videos – Fans respond better to videos than other content, research has also shown that videos uploaded directly to Facebook do better than ones re-published from other platforms such as Youtube, it may seem like more hassle to re-upload a video if you already have it on Youtube but if you want that reach then this is what you have to do.
Look at the negatives too – don’t just focus on the positives, look at your posts individually and see if any of them have been hidden or reported by your fans, if so look for patterns and if there are other of your posts that have been hidden too then stop posting them!
Some of you may be thinking ‘This all sounds like a heck of a lot of work!’ and you would be right, but this is the Facebook world we live in now and there are no more free rides, we all got a bit too used to getting a lot of exposure for free and now we have to learn how to earn that exposure! Facebook is still a great platform for publishing your content and getting exposure for your brand and with the above tactics you should be able to still squeeze some more life out of it 🙂