When I started social media marketing half a decade ago, it was a totally different world. My Facebook posts reached almost everyone who “liked” my pages, engagement was booming, and social media seemed like the greatest marketing hack ever created.
But it’s time to face the facts, my friends: Facebook has changed. Due to algorithm adjustments and new features, fewer people are seeing and responding to Facebook posts on business pages. And if Facebook is changing, that means we have to change with it.
In the last few years, Facebook has made serious algorithm changes that resulted in lower organic reach for pages. The question for many is whether they can still make an impact with Facebook posts. Is it even possible to reach more than a measly 2% of your audience?
Here’s what you need to do.
Step #1: Increase the engagement from the first few people who see your Facebook posts.
The Facebook algorithm is big on “relevancy.” That’s why posts from friends and groups are so readily seen – the algorithm assumes that content will be relevant to a user. “Pages” are a whole different story. Facebook holds businesses, brands, and organizations to a higher standard, testing their posts on only a few people before deciding if it’s worth greater reach. If you’re posting on a Page, you’ve gotta prove your worth before Facebook will show your awesome content on more newsfeeds.
The good news: Due to that “relevancy” factor, the first people who will see your Facebook posts are those who are already most engaged with your content.
The bad news: If those first few people don’t respond, your organic reach will stop before it starts.
There are many ways to increase engagement both offline and online. Here are a few:
- Do tell your superfans about your Facebook page, especially the ones who are active social media users.
- Don’t encourage people to “like” your page if the content won’t interest them. An unengaged audience can kill your organic reach.
- Do educate your colleagues on how Facebook works, encouraging them to like, comment, or share posts they enjoy from your page.
- Do use audience questions, contests, conversation starters and humour to encourage reactions. Make sure you follow the Facebook guidelines for any contests!
- Don’t ask for likes and shares directly in your post. Facebook punishes pages which try this tactic.
Of course, the best way to improve your engagement is to post meaningful, relevant content. Seems simple enough. But since every audience is different, how do you know what works for your page?
Step #2: Test Different Kinds of Facebook Posts
Mixing it up with your content is super important if you want to reach more people with your Facebook posts.
When you try different things, you get to see what your audience likes the most. Pay attention to the posts that garner the most engagement, and try to duplicate these results with similar content. Data can make a real difference in your strategy.
However, a word of caution before dipping into the analytics: Please-oh-please look at why your most popular Facebook posts had so many comments and reactions. Not all “engagement” is positive, nor is it always possible to duplicate. Pay attention not only to how many people are responding, but also what those responses are. For many social media marketers, a single click that turns into a customer is worth far more than a 100 comment argument that runs counter to brand messaging. Define what a “win” is for you, and work towards content that achieves your goals.
Step #3: Consider the “pay to play” nature of Facebook.
Let’s get real here: Facebook is a business. Sure, some organic traction is possible with a great strategy, but they didn’t make 500 billion dollars by giving away free advertising.
The reason Facebook is so popular with marketers isn’t because it’s free – it’s because it works. Their paid advertising options are incredibly affordable and highly targeted. If you ask me, that’s the next best thing.
If you have a post which will drive meaningful traffic to your page or website, boosting it for just $10 or $20 can help you reach thousands more people. You can also up the ante by coupling your creative content with a high-performing Facebook ad campaign through Needls. Relevant ad campaigns that drive interested traffic are almost always a part of a successful social media strategy, so pencil in some paid promotion as part of your long-term plan.
Wait, does this “relevancy” thing apply to ads too?”
You betcha! Facebook’s priority is showing users the most relevant content possible. That’s why we all keep coming back to our newsfeeds day after day! While paying for ads can definitely increase your reach, Facebook’s algorithm will give better reach to better ads.
We have a juicy post about exactly how to create a relevant Facebook ad in the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out for that! Remember, Needls is here to help with your social media marketing success every step of the way.