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With Facebook leading the charge towards making every business page owner have to pay for eyes on their content it is still becoming harder and harder to get decent traction with social media content.
Whatever your size of audience it is a real achievement to get an engagement level of over two or three percent. Look at a post that you think went well and do the maths…add up the number of likes and comments then divide that by the number of people who follow your page and times it by one hundred. If you have managed to achieve an engagement of over 3-percent then you are probably looking at a post that was either boosted or where people had to like or comment to enter a competition…so do it on a ’normal’ post. If you do get that impressive result frequently on normal posts then let me know as you should be writing this article instead of me.
I have whinged on about this before to anyone who will listen, and likely many times, but it just sucks that you work hard to build an audience of followers and then you have your capability to reach them choked down so brutally. It sucks for the audience too as they chose to follow your page because they want to be kept up to date yet it is likely that the content they want to see will never be put in front of them in their newsfeed.
It’s lovely that the founder of Facebook is going to spend billions helping out humanity with lots of philanthropic projects, but it’s all going to happen by ‘taxing’ business owners who use Facebook or Instagram…so boo to you Zuck!
This choke down on reach is also happening a lot more on Instagram too, so that one is heading the same way as Facebook…you need to pay to play.
There isn’t much that can be done to stem the tide and to dramatically increase your reach, but there are a few things that can help a little bit.
A good starting point is to familiarise yourself with how Facebook’s algorithm works, and I am grateful to a recent post from the Buffer blog (which you should all be following) which simplified matters very well. Here are some things the algorithm likes:
- Posts with lots of Likes, comments, and shares
- Posts that receive a high volume of Likes, comments, or shares in a short time
- Post types that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video, or status update)
- Posts that are timely or reference a trending topic
- Posts from Pages with complete profile information
For balance, here are some things that the algorithm does NOT like:
- Overly promotional content from Pages—pushing people to buy an app or service
- Posts that reuse the same text from ads
- Frequently circulated content and repeated posts
- Text-only status updates from Pages
- Posts that ask for Likes, comments, or shares
Using the above as a guide you can start to think about the next few posts you are planning. If you still aren’t using images or videos in your posts then get busy with them right now. Text-only updates fall flat…it’s pretty much a fact now. Get your page profile completely up to date if you haven’t done so already.
To generate more interaction with your posts try to create ones that ask a question or clearly require input from your audience. Too many pages publish content that allows the audience to remain passive. Try a ‘fill in the blank’ question…and example from the baby products industry might be “The baby product I couldn’t live without is _______”.
Make this a visual post by posting a suitable image with the text of the question overlaid on it and then repeat the question in the post text. This should start to get some responses and as more people respond then more people that see it will join in too. This makes the Facebook algorithm happy so it will put the post in front of more people than would normally see it.
‘Either Or’ or ‘True or False’ type questions also generate activity as they are easy to answer. It is a similar idea to the previous one but this time you might ask a question such as ‘Bottle or Breast?’, ‘Nappies…disposable or washable?’ or ‘Pushchairs…Big Basket or Small Fold?’. Other industries might throw up ‘Star Wars or Star Trek?’, ‘Apple or Android?’, ‘Christmas or Birthday?’ and so on.
Direct questions that stimulate longer answers also work, and this could be something such as “What is your biggest fear as a parent?” or something more positive such as “What is your biggest hope for your children?”. Perhaps even “If you were a jelly what flavour would you be, and why?”…OK, maybe not that one.
You know your audience best, so trial this type of content in the way that you believe will be the most compelling, but always be testing and learning as everything you do needs to be generating engagement if you want your page to be shown to more of your followers.
If you have any questions about Social Media and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…