It’s getting harder and harder to reach your fans on Facebook, right?!
Facebook organic reach is the most coveted Facebook marketing goal for any business; small or big. Why? Because it is the amount of exposure – people who have seen your post – through unpaid distribution. Yes that’s right – free advertising!
However, over the years organic reach continues to decline, making it harder and harder for business pages to achieve good organic reach numbers. Hubspot estimate that the current average organic reach at around 6.5% per 10,000 fans. In other words, if you around that many followers, only 650 of them are actually seeing your posts.
Yet, increasing to a healthy organic percentage is not as impossible as we think.
So how do you grow your organic reach when it’s declining? Before we get to the ‘how’, let’s look at the ‘why’. According to Facebook, there are two main reasons why merchants continue to see a decline in organic reach:
1. Content Overload
The sheer increase in the amount of content being pushed daily means that – at any given time – when someone logs into Facebook there are at least 1,500 stories they could be exposed to on their newsfeed. 1,500 posts, links, videos that are competing for your attention. Not to mention that users are liking more and more business pages, bringing content to an all time high.
2. User Interests
Because of this volume, Facebook Newsfeed is designed to show the content that is most relevant to the user. In other words, only about 300 out of 1,500 stories are shown; decided automatically by the platform’s algorithm based on a ton of user considerations and interest factors – specifically tailored to each user. One of the ways they do this, is by seeing which Facebook page posts or types of content categories you like more often, and then bringing you more of the same.
But don’t get discouraged – we haven’t gotten to the good stuff yet.
Organic reach is directly linked to engagement… Meaning the more people react, comment and share a post, the more likely the content will be seen by their friends on their newsfeeds. Which is exactly how viral posts are born. How? By competing for people’s time and attention, not their money.
By creating content that is relevant and interesting to your potential customers, you do still have some control over your organic reach. This is not to say that you should not be boosting your posts. Boosting is an absolute must for your marketing budget. But the rule of thumb suggests that you should aim to get around a minimum 25% organic reach for every boosted post.
In other words, if a post has a reach of 1295, of which 324 of that reach is organic, it equals an organic reach of 25 and therefore you can consider that a successful post.
Here’s the bottom line: If your followers (customers and potential customers) don’t engage with your content, growing organic reach will be almost impossible. Choosing the right type of content, that appeals to your target market at the right time, is the number one way to start growing your organic reach.
When you’re competing with around 40 million other small business pages on Facebook, can you afford not to? We’ve put together these organic reach boosting tips to get you started.
1. Be Visual
Be as visual as possible to grab their attention and stand out in their newsfeed. There is a variety of content, beyond videos, you can use to grow your visual Facebook marketing and increase engagement. These include popular quote posts, blog links with enticing images, or re-posting great featured posts by your users. Just like one of our leading merchants Stik Wood Design does – not only does it grab users’ attention, but engages with their customers in the best way.
2. Cozy Up to the Data
Your Facebook insights are your best friend when it comes to organic reach. By knowing these insights in and out, you can make better organic reach boosting decisions. Why? Because these metrics tell you what works, when and will help you make data-driven tweaks to improve engagement – and ultimately your organic reach.
3. Timing is Everything
Posting time effects reach. But when there are so many suggestions out there about when is the best time to post, how do you know when is the right time? When to post on Facebook should be a strategic decision for your specific audience and target market. You can do this by accessing your Facebook insights, as mentioned above, to see what time of the day and what days you get the most engagement on. This gives you the tools to plan your post timing for the best engagement and therefore reach.
However, a handy tip that has worked for me with regards to posting time is this: Post five minutes before or after the hour. In other words, if max engagement it as 3pm, post at five to or five past 3. This is because that is when people are more likely to be “killing time” on social – while they are waiting for meetings or appointments.
4. Become an Expert
If you can provide relevant info by positioning your Facebook business page as the expert in your niche, you’re well on your way to big organic reach percentages. By making your page the go-to in that niche, and creating relevant content, you will ultimately increase engagement.
You can do this by:
- Creating content that helps solves the problems your audience may have
- Share relevant content from other pages to add value.
- Give away your knowledge and expertise for free – spread it around with confidence.
A good example of this is Fitgirls who have turned their Facebook page into a fitness community. Including tips and inspiration posts from eating right to working out, they have positioned themselves as the authority, or expert, within their niche market – health and fitness.
5. Engage Like You Mean It
Don’t forget to interact with the engaged users and to use Facebook as a customer service tool. By replying, liking and engaging with users who connect to your page and posts, you are positioning yourself as approachable and friendly – two very important things that will encourage page visitors to engage with your content again. Add to that good customer service and good products, and you’ll get engaging brand ambassadors for life.
6. Plan Ahead
Plan your content ahead of time and come up with a good content plan. Whether it’s a link post, share content or even Facebook live video, aim to plan at least two weeks in advance where possible. Planning ahead will not only allow you to mix up the types of content and post on a regular basis, but enable you to better strategize your content to maximize your engagement. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of staying on top of your content without the stress last-minute posting brings.
Ever noticed that leading online media Facebook pages repeat or bring back, if you will, previous content? There has been a couple of these instances with Mashable, for example, where I have noticed previous content being re-posted with new headlines and images a couple of months later. This is because when a post proves popular or if the subject becomes relevant or trending once more, they know they can get more traction on a post that has already proved to be on -the-money with their followers. This helps with organic reach as well as driving traffic.
8. Video, Video, Video!
Adding video to your content plan is a must in increasing engagement and therefore organic reach. Video is not only popular with Facebook users, but Facebook itself is geared towards pushing this content over other content forms.
If you’re not ready to face your fear of video head-on just yet, why not put your toe in the water with a video slide show? Slide shows are easy to put together and many stores such as Orange Mud are having a lot of Facebook reach success with it.
You can create these in Facebook by selecting video/image upload and then selecting ‘Create Slide Show’. After which you can adjust ratios, transitions, music and time displays as well as add up to seven photos as shown below.
Ultimately, whether you apply one or all of these strategies don’t forget to keep checking the results and be patient – increases take time.
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