You finally had Facebook wired—or so you thought. But changes to the social media site’s algorithm’s in the past year have cut deeply into your organic reach (the number of followers who see your posts in their News Feeds without you having to pay for Facebook ads). A study by Ogilvy early this year found that for Facebook Pages with under 500,000 likes, organic reach dropped by half between October 2013 and February 2014.
If you’re frustrated because hardly any of your followers are seeing your posts, try these tips to beat Facebook’s declining organic reach.
- Ask for user-generated content. People are more likely to share their own or friends’ content than brands’ content. Asking people to post photos, comment or share experiences or opinions is a great way to spread the word.
- Go visual. Facebook photos and videos get more engagement, likes and shares than plain text posts. Get creative using filters available on your smartphone to make your photos stand out. Keep videos short and sweet (15 seconds is enough).
- Focus on interaction. Create posts that encourage engagement, such as contests, questions or surveys, or having users vote on something. The more users interact with a post, the more it will show up in people’s News Feeds.
- Reach out to influencers in your industry. If you have relationships with bloggers or industry experts, see if you can get them to mention your company in their Facebook posts—be sure to offer some type of help to them in return.
- Get Facebook fans to sign up for email from your business. Facebook is always changing its strategy, but email is something you can rely on—and once you have a list, you’ve got control of how you reach out to it. Regularly encourage Facebook fans to sign up for marketing emails from your business.
- Be timely. Tapping into big events—in your industry, your community or nationwide—can boost engagement and sharing. For example, tying posts to the Olympics or the World Cup was a successful strategy for many companies. See what’s trending on Facebook, Twitter and Google and tie posts to those topics. (Just be sure to focus on positive events. Too many companies have stumbled by using tragedies as jumping-off points for social media comments that backfire.)
- Consider trying paid reach. You can boost reach by paying for Boosts or Promoted Posts. While you may feel bitter about having to pay to reach the customers you once reached organically, these tactics are actually very inexpensive, allow you to control your budget by setting limits and enable you to target Facebook users very specifically. You may find that a combination of paid and organic posts is just the trick you need to get more customers from Facebook.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.