Before I started blogging, I never realized that Facebook is a secret mastermind, using thousands of factors to formulate their (semi) secret algorithm that determines what users see on their news feeds. How annoying would it be if your feed included every post from all of your “friends” and pages you’ve liked? Super annoying, that’s how much. While Facebook does not divulge their ever-changing formula in its entirety, we do know several factors that go into it, and in fact, Facebook publishes relevant articles and news specifically for businesses on their Facebook for business page.
If you want to show up on your fans’ feeds, there are things you can and should be doing to boost your reach organically. What does that mean? Facebook is trying to eliminate fake likes; some people or companies have purchased packages of “likes” in order to increase their numbers, look more established, and hopefully entice others to join in their “thriving” community. Instead of amount of likes, you should focus on natural, consistent engagement. Let me share some ways you can achieve this.
Boost Your Facebook Reach Organically
Bloggers/businesses should focus on these factors of the algorithm:
- number of likes, comments, and shares on the post (Do you know how to view actual users who like your business page? Find out how here.)
- frequency of the user interacting with the business’ page in the past
- how recent the post was published
What can I do?
- Post quality, relevant content consistently: Do not only post content that promotes your blog or your business. I know you care about your fans, so think about them. What do they like? What would interest them? Of course they like you, that’s why they have liked your page, but beyond that, consider their lifestyle and anticipate their needs. Posting once or twice a day is optimal and no more than three times.
- Post inspirational or funny graphics: People like to connect with motivational quotes and they like to laugh. Social media users love sharing these types of posts, and the more they want to engage and share, the better for you.
- Reply to all comments: If someone takes the time to comment on a post or write on your page, respond back thoughtfully and in a timely fashion. This will let your fans know that you care about and appreciate them, which means they will be more apt to continue to support and engage with you. One sided engagement isn’t really engagement at all, so make sure you create trust and reciprocity with your fans.
- Build your community: You want your page to have social interaction. What does that not look like? Merely posting ads, promotions, or links to your articles. Instead, in addition to incorporating other relevant news and information, ask questions that will spark discussion. I love controversy to get people talking, but that’s not always appropriate. Think about what will get your fans talking and give them a place to voice their opinions.
- Write about timeless topics: Not all posts can achieve this, but when your blog articles are relevant now, next month, and in five years, you can post about it in various ways periodically to reach different audiences who will still have interest in your post. You can learn more about ‘evergreen’ posts here. Some popular types of timeless posts include to do lists, FAQ, tutorials, resources page, and testimonials.
- Focus on quality, not quantity: When I first started blogging, I wanted to grow my Facebook numbers as much as possible. I saw other bloggers and companies with one thousand or more likes and was in awe. Now I realize that it truly is about the quality of your fans, not the quantity. In fact, there are some blogging Facebook groups that post follow-for-follow threads, which means if you participate, you must follow all the other members in that thread. It sounds like a great idea, if you don’t know about the algorithm. If you’re ‘liking’ pages just to fulfill the requirements but do not actually care about the page, you won’t interact with them, which means your ‘like’ does nothing for the page you’re supporting. In fact, it can hurt them. Bloggers and businesses started seeing their numbers of likes dropping drastically within the last year because Facebook is cracking down on these unauthentic ‘likes,’ not to be cruel, but so they can do their job at creating the best, authentic social media platform. Joining relevant, invite-only groups of like-minded bloggers or people in your industry will do wonders for your organic Facebook reach! My favorites for blogging are Blog Passion Project, Fab Female Bloggers, and Show Your Blog Love. And another super secret one that is very small and targeted – you can start one yourself!
- Check Facebook Insights: You can learn about your audience from Facebook insights, such as what posts they’re clicking on, your post reach, where your fans are located, your fans’ gender broken down into percentage, and even when your fans are online. To find this out, go to the Insights tab and click the sub-tab ‘When Your Fans are Online.’ Use this data to direct your social strategy, and you can schedule posts directly from your Facebook page to hit those peak times.
- Include a variety of posts: In early 2014, a study showed higher interaction with picture posts; so what did marketers do? Flooded their feeds with images, relevant or not. So guess what studies showed after? A decrease in engagement for photo posts. The same can be said for posts with links, video, and text-only status updates. Your plan should include a variety of posts to appeal to your audience and keep things interesting. Native video posts are currently trending, so try shooting a good quality video and see how your post fares from your insights after!
- Swap with a buddy: Network with people who can add value for your readers and offer to share a relevant post on each other’s pages. This will help you to gain exposure from a new set of potential followers while bringing value to your readers as well.
- Share posts on your personal wall: By sharing a post from your business page to your personal page, you have the potential to reach more people through your family and friends. Even if it doesn’t result in huge Facebook engagement, you may still draw more people to your site directly.
- Don’t stress about your reach: It’s called organic reach for a reason – it shouldn’t be forced. If you follow these tips, natural engagement will follow. Ultimately, the goal is to drive people to your site, right? Well Facebook’s reach doesn’t always directly correlate, so don’t worry! Organic doesn’t mean not putting in work and effort though; if you put in the time and effort on these items, especially Facebook groups for bloggers, you will grow a wonderfully engaging network of not only fans, but also friends.
Wow, am I watching too many kids’ shows with my daughter? That ended a little too kumba-ya meets ‘they lived happily ever after.’