These days, Facebook has created just as many enemies as fans because it’s ever changing policies and algorithms regarding post reach. If you don’t boost your post or place an ad, you have to learn to be creative if you want to expand on the current average of 6% of followers seeing your post. Yes, that is only 6% as of a study done in February 2014. (In a recent study of more than 100 brand Pages, Ogilvy & Mather found that companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12% of their followers in October to just 6% by February.) And Facebook continues to drop that average to 1 or 2%.
So what are some FREE ways to get more eyes on your posts?
1. Be engaging! This is more logical than an original idea, but if you want people to read, like, share, comment on, then offer content they care about. A helpful hint, free advice, a promotion that is exclusive to Facebook, something to make them laugh, or something that shows you are a real person instead of just an owner of company page. It takes a little creativity, a dash of humor and a whole lot of knowing your target audience.
2. Be original! Facebook announced in January that it would be reducing the distribution of text posts and increasing distribution of others post types for pages. That being said, your photo posts will get even more exposure so use original, quality images that are not “meme photos” aka redundant, over-shared, generic, or just plain boring. Post photos, graphs, visual art that incite a reaction, emotionally or intellectually.
3. Be informative! People use Facebook to share and connect, including staying current on community events, their family and friends lives, or their favorite brand’s news. Facebook has seen a rise of people clicking on informative articles, so they have begun giving more priority on news feeds to posts that link to articles (particularly on mobile).
“Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme.” – Facebook
To get even more engagement on your article-link posts, make a comment or write an opinion and encourage others to do the same. If new comments are made, Facebook will resurface or bump your post to the top of the news feed. If you are linking an article, don’t just embed the link in your post but use the Facebook link-share feature so it looks like this:
Article Link posts get more engagement (more likes, comments, shares and clicks) and they provide a more visual and compelling experience for people seeing them in their feeds.
4. Be Trendy! Find out what people are talking about with the new trending topic feature, the use of hashtags and embedded posts. Trending shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. Now that you know what people are talking about, join the conversation or provide a useful link with the use of a hastag.
5. Be Experimental! Regarding the best times to post, there is no clear answer to the question, even though many social media marketers have attempted to provided an abundance of answers. The truth is that there no set time that works best. Depending on your target audience, the product/service you offer and if you are a retail, consumer-based or business-to-business company, the best times to post differ. Some suggest posting at off-peak hours (late at night or early in the morning) to reach a certain demographic with less competition. Vary the times of your post and analyze what days and times get the best reach.
6. Be Selective. Did you know that you can target your posts to a certain language, location, gender and age group? Facebook allows you to add targeting to your Page posts so that only the most relevant people will see them in their News Feeds. Facebook doesn’t say that targeted posts will achieve a larger organic reach in the news feed but it will reach a large percentage of your target audience. How do you target your posts? Here’s the directions.
7. Be Strategic. Whatever suggestions you take or try out, always keep a close eye on your insights to learn what works and what doesn’t for your specific audience. And keep an eye on Facebook announcements, as they are continually adding and taking away features, revising their algorithms and adding new creative ways to get their users to buy ads. So we’ll keep you updated ….