Facebook is a powerful medium through which people do a variety of things: communicate with one another, share news, plan events, discover brands, and more.

According to Facebook, 1.8 billion people use the platform monthly. That’s an incredible number. If you’re a small- or medium-sized business, Facebook is undeniably teeming with new customer potential.

However, for businesses new to Facebook, there’s usually one question that precedes all others: How do I appear more often in the News Feed?

Truthfully, that’s not the easiest question to answer, but let’s explore some options.

The Paths to Appearing in the News Feed

To keep it simple, there are essentially two ways to more often appear in the News Feed:

  1. Invest in and regularly post original content.
  2. Invest in a Facebook advertising strategy.

By the way, these paths are not mutually exclusive! Let’s elaborate on each.

Appearing Organically in the News Feed

In order to give your organic posts the best chance of appearing in your fans’ and followers’ News Feeds, the most important thing is to develop a smart posting schedule. Consider how often your team can post unique and interesting content. Develop a cadence of posts – maybe Mondays you post a link to your company’s blog, Wednesdays is a link to a relevant article, and Fridays is a fun fact about your business.

While you don’t need to post every day, you should commit to posting regularly. It’s also important to consider how Facebook’s News Feed algorithm actually works.

Facebook tends to give the most weight to posts that receive engagement. If you have a personal Facebook account, then you’ve noticed how popular posts (you know, that one meme with the cat and the pizza slice around its face, which all of your cousins ‘liked’) always tend to pop up on your News Feed.

The best way for a fresh post to get momentum is for multiple customers to engage with the post. The more engagement a post receives, the more Facebook users will end up seeing that post.

Facebook also tends to prioritize posts that inform and entertain. Let’s say you’re a local dentist. An interesting news article about the benefits of regular flossing and brushing would be an excellent example of something informative.

Something entertaining? Maybe a video of staff acting silly, and “planking” around the practice (wait, what year is it?).

Lastly, we advise that you encourage ‘cheerleader’ patients to interact with your content. Feel free to make this simple, harmless request in a monthly e-newsletter, or include a handwritten note inside your post teeth-cleaning goodie bags.

Engagement could mean 1) liking your business page, 2) occasionally liking a post, and/or 3) sharing a post with friends.

Advertising Options to Appear in the News Feed

Facebook’s advertising options have grown and evolved substantially over the last few years.

The options are diverse and ingenious. You can drive customers to your website, generate buzz for an event, or directly capture somebody’s contact information.

There are some great resources out there that provide more detail on these options.

What’s particularly interesting about paid Facebook ads is that they can be liked and shared, just like regular posts. As a refresher, if a subset of your patient base engages with a paid post, then it’s more likely that you’ll reach promising new Facebook users.

The Combined Power of an Organic Paid Facebook Strategy

It’s worth noting that Facebook is home to various other businesses looking to do the same thing you are: pop up in the News Feed. It’s no secret that as Facebook has grown, so has the difficulty in appearing in the News Feed.

Ultimately, the best way to sow Facebook seeds is by combining the powers of organic and paid advertising.

We recommend posting thoughtful, stimulating content on a regular basis. Again, pick a schedule that works for you. Remind your Facebook followers to check-in on your page from time to time for updates. Also, ask them to “like” and “share” posts they find interesting and/or entertaining.

Finally, consider employing paid Facebook advertising; but with a specific goal in mind. Evaluate the performance of your initiative and determine whether it’s feasible to maintain a consistent paid presence.