Want more organic reach on Facebook?
To boost organic reach on Facebook…
…stop posting status updates.
Let me explain… boosting organic reach on Facebook requires you to follow certain rules…but first, you need to know where Facebook is going as a social media platform.
And, what business Facebook is in.
Facebook is in the business of personalized content curation.
Facebook continuously tracks what content you interact with and develops insights based on your behavior.
There onward, Facebook will feed you only those posts which match your interest areas exhibited by your usage behavior.
The idea behind this is very clear; Facebook wants you to spend as much time on their platform by giving you more and more relevant posts. And, in doing so, earn greater advertising revenue by showing you more and more relevant advertisements.
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Now, in order to earn this revenue, Facebook has to do two things:
1) It has serve you relevant (hyper-targeted) advertisements
2) Ensure that more and more people advertise their posts
The way they go about achieving this is by ensuring your posts get limited organic reach on Facebook (for non-promoted posts). On an average, Facebook shows your post to about 7-8% of your friends.
Does that mean that you can no longer hope to get good organic reach on Facebook? And, you have to promote your post to get reach all your friends?
Certainly not, there are many ways, still, to get better organic reach on Facebook and engagement for your posts. Let’s go through them one-by-one, here.
For a start, know that there are certain kinds of posts that get more reach and engagement. Facebook uses its algorithm – EdgeRank to decide which post gets more reach and which doesn’t.
Broadly, Facebook’s EdgeRank uses 4 criteria:
1) Who posts it (Who)
2) What kind of post is it (Post Type)
3)How people engage with it (Engagement)
4) When was it posted (Timing)
Let’s look at the first criterion– WHO
Facebook tracks the amount of time people spend reading a post or watching a video and decreases its visibility if people immediately jump from it or simple scroll past it.
Tips And Tricks To Make This Work For You
Tip 1) Use Your Photo
If you post messages with images having you own photo in them, they act as attention grabbers. When your friends and family scroll through their news feeds, your face makes them stop in their tracks.
This prevents them from scrolling past these posts, without investigating what you’re saying in the post, and this increases the chances of the post getting viewed and commented upon. This increases your EgdeRank and the reach for your post.
Second Criterion: WHAT TYPE
Certain types of posts, because of their inherent type, get more organic reach on Facebook than others.
In May 2016 a University in Helsinki conducted an experiment to study the social engagement of Facebook campaigns involving promotional messages with images.
The business chosen for the experiment was a cafe. They used Facebook advertising to promote these messages.
What they found was very surprising.
The campaign ran for duration of 4 weeks and over the period of 4 weeks. Each week a new image with a message was promoted.
The reach of the promoted message went on decreasing. In the fourth week, the reach had decreased by so much that it was less than half of what it was in the first week.
And, it was a promoted message.
At the same time, the store happened to post a video of an interview taken with the store manager along with a personal product description. This video wasn’t promoted at all, and yet, the video far out-performed the promoted messages.
This gives us an important insight…
It has been generally observed that the types of posts which get the most organic reach are; in order of decreasing reach- engaging questions get more reach than pictures, which get more reach than pre-produced videos.
But, the types of posts that get the maximum SHARES are the complete opposite- with videos getting the most shares, followed by images and the least shares for questions.
… Facebook’s Newsfeed prefers Facebook Live and prioritizes it in real time and have now started tracking how long people watch pre-produced videos, too and compares it to those watching Facebook Live videos.
Tips To Use This To Increase Organic Reach
Tip 2) Mix your post types
How about combining these types? What if you ask an engaging question in a video? Will it help increase reach as well as get you more shares? It should, and it does.
Tip 3) Upload Videos to Facebook directly
Whenever you have a video to post, I would recommend you to upload directly to Facebook rather than posting videos uploaded on youtube, vimeo or other such platforms. The advantage of doing this is that the video uploaded on Facebook directly starts playing (auto-starts) as soon as someone scrolls to the feed, which helps in drawing people’s attention and thereby generating more likes and shares.
I suggest you try your own experiments and then decide for yourself.
Tip 4) Have posts with links?
I’ve found that posts that have a URL in them do not get as much reach as ordinary text posts. To work around this, what I do is…
I post the text-only post like I would, normally. And, then post the URL in the comments below. This way, my text-only post gets the extended reach and so does my URL tucked in the comments below the post.
Third Criterion: ENGAGEMENT
This is, perhaps, the most important criteria. Facebook wants people to remain on their platform for as long a possible.
If they see any particular post generating a good amount of likes, shares and comments they make sure that these posts get more exposure than the others. This is, generally, the philosophy behind the EdgeRank algorithm.
As you scroll through your newsfeed, if you stop for a while on a particular post, Facebook makes a note of it and marks the post as something you’re interested in.
Similarly, if you click on a post while you go through your newsfeed, Facebook will note this too and mark that post to be more relevant that the one you just stopped at.
Next, if you happened to “like” a post it gets more marks for relevancy and if you share a post, it gets even more marks with respect to its relevancy for you.
The more you engage with a post the better its EdgeRank. Better the EdgeRank more is the organic reach given to that post.
Tricks To Increase Engagement
Tip 4) Seed Your Posts
Seeding is social proof so if your posts already have likes or shares or comments then they’re a lot more likely to get more likes and more shares and more comments. So, give your posts the initial push by sharing your posts with your friends, family and professional colleagues and asking them to share it. Next, you could…
Tip 5) Post in Relevant Groups
Another way to increase your reach is the post them in groups. First search for relevant groups on Facebook and join them. Just make sure that these groups are relevant, where you’re likely to find your target audience.
Let’s say, you become a member of 20 groups. What do you do next?
It’s going to be cumbersome to manually post in all these groups one-by-one.
And you don’t want to post in all these 20 groups individually.
Hack To Post Simultaneously
Here’s a nice hack to post in all these groups simultaneously. What you do is sign into your Facebook account open the group page, And copy the part of the URL that you see after groups/ (part that is highlighted in the image below). “adoroeamonatureza” in the our case.
Make a list of all the URLs of the groups that you’re a member of and where you want to upload the post. After the URLs type “@groups.facebook.com” these are the email IDs for these groups.
E.g. The email ID for the above group will be firstname.lastname@example.org
Now go to your email account, which you used to open your Facebook account and compose a new mail. Compose a mail with the post that you want to upload all these groups. In the in the mail-to section copy all the URLs that you made a note of and hit send. The mail goes to all the groups and uploads your post there.
It might not be a bad idea to start your own group too.
Tip 6) Need To Post URLs in Groups?
Some groups won’t allow you post anything which has a URL in it. These groups don’t want posts that promote you and your business right away… here’s a work around for that…
Trick to post URLs: When you first send the post to the group–send it without the URL.
Make it all content.
So, post images, quotes, questions, etc. to the group. Let it go to the moderator and await his, or her, approval.
Once the post is approved and it gets displayed, you can then edit the post wherever you posted it initially– like your own blog, website, or you wall, and add that link or URL so that it gets more clicks leading people back to your landing pages.
Sneaky, isn’t it? Shhh…. don’t tell this to anyone, let this be our secret, okay? 😉
Tip 7) Revive engagement
Even after you post to so many groups, you might receive very few comments or share. What can you do in such cases?
If you have received very few likes or shares, they too, help improve your EdgeRank.
However we want more engagement.
Trick to get more engagement
In such cases, I copy the names of all those who have liked and shared my posts, and I thank them in the comments and put in their names in the same comment.
This way those who have missed commenting are going to see the post and comment.
And additionally, those who you have thanked are going to reciprocate as well, thus increasing the EdgeRank of your post.
Tip 8) Re-Activate Old Friends
One more thing you can do to increase organic reach is re-activate old friends. You might notice some friends have stopped figuring in your newsfeed, over time. You need to reactivate these connections.
Trick to activate the connection
First, you have to actually go through your friend list and see which friends have stopped figuring in your news feeds.
If they have stopped appearing in your newsfeed, chances are you’ve stopped appearing in their newsfeed, too.
When you come across such names actually click on the name and go into their pages. Once you’re on their page– scroll down and see if there any post on which you can leave a comment.
Please note: Only leave genuine comments– ones they’ll probably like and possibly reply to.
That’s all that’s required. Because, once they do that… the connection gets re-activated. From now on they’ll see your posts in their newsfeed again. Neat, isn’t it?
Tip 9) Targeting Your Posts
You can increase engagement rate by using ‘preferred audience tracking’ to optimize who sees your content.
To do this, go to “Settings” and make sure “Audience Optimization for Posts” is turned ON. The next time you post, just click on the tiny target & choose the interest areas relevant to your content and people interested in the topic will be targeted for this post.
Tip 10) Cross-promote
When you publish posts on your website or blog, use the availability of multiple page types to your advantage.
First, post the link on your personal page as well as your business page.
Second, on your personal page, like the post using your business profile and on your business page like the post using your personal profile.
Third, use your personal profile to post the link in all the groups you belong to. This should get you a ton of likes, shares and comments.
Fourth Criterion: TIMING
To maximize organic reach it is important to post at the right time. But what time is right to post? And, how do you find that out?
Let see some examples.
Generally, it is observed that Thursdays and Fridays are the best for generating more ‘shares’.
And, the time between 1pm and 3pm is the best time to get more engagement with your posts. But then, your audience might be different and not follow this rule.
Tip 10) Find The Right Time To Post
Facebook insights is one cool way to understand when you audience is online. It creates a custom graph for every fanpage.
Tip 11) What Are Your Competitors Doing?
Another way is to track your competitors’ posts. Check those posts that have received good engagement and note the time when it was posted.
Trick to best your competitor
Then make sure you post your content one hour before this time.
Tip 12) Scheduling Posts
If you schedule your posts so that they are posted automatically with minimum human intervention, I would suggest you schedule your posts on Facebook, directly rather than using third-party interfaces.
Facebook is partial towards posts that are scheduled on their platform compared to those scheduled on other third-party interfaces.
Now, going back to my earlier suggestion, you’ve seen how Facebook decides what gets more exposure. Now, ask yourself, what chance does a mere status update have in reaching your friends and engaging them?
Additional Resources: 15 Experts Reveal How To Explode Organic Reach On Facebook - JeffBullas.com Get Smart With Facebook Ads- Maria Johnsen How Facebook Can Be Amplified With Your Business- Entrepreneur On Fire Stop Making These Five Social Media Mistakes - SpinSucks.com Getting Started with Live Streaming - Keith Keller What To Expect When Joining Social Media - Corina Manea
Even if you’re a self-proclaimed terrible social marketer.
Even if you’re used to seeing your social media efforts go down the drain.
Even if you hate using social media for marketing…
You can be an expert marketer on social media who goes out and brings home the social media bacon.
I am proof that it doesn’t require genetically inherited skills, or any extraordinary talent. All it requires is the commitment and the openness to try out new things, and the readiness to fail and fail again, till you discover the path.
There will be moments when the ride will get bumpy and you’ll feel like giving up, but when you see a swarm of people beating their way to shower likes on your posts, you’ll feel redeemed a million times over.
So, there you have it– tips, tricks and hacks to increase the reach of your Facebook posts without spending a dime.
This list should take you along on your Facebook marketing journey nicely. I hope you continue experimenting and discover your own unique tactics to succeed even further. And, when you do… do drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you.
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