Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How To Get More Reach on Facebook

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There has been a lot of chatter lately about the decline of reach (amount of people that actually see posts from business pages) on Facebook.  Business owners are frustrated with the new algorithm changes from the social media powerhouse.   Let’s shed some light as to why this is happening:  Facebook would like businesses to invest money in it’s platform, and the reason why is simple:  Facebook is a publicly traded company and here to make money.  This does not mean the beginning of the end for companies that depend on Facebook marketing to attract new business.  In fact, I have personally seen little to no impact in the pages that I manage when it comes to reach and I want to share some tips with you that has kept my content consistently in the newsfeed.

1. Aim to please fans, not an algorithm:   Pages that try to cater to an algorithm get punished when the algorithm changes.  One thing that will never change is people (fans of pages) love valuable information.  Whether it’s a helpful tip, entertaining picture, or sharing product information related to their industry, it’s all about pleasing our audience.  That’s what keeps fans coming back, engaging in our posts and eventually using or recommending our products/services.  People can tell the difference between a genuine post and a post designed to just get reach.  Pages that post valuable content never have to worry about an update or algorithm change.  It gets really fun when great content is shared organically and making the reach go through the roof!

2. Run Targeted Facebook Ads: In my opinion, it’s an absolute must that businesses run ads on Facebook to target the correct audience.  I am mainly concerned with helping and attracting owners of small businesses in the McKinney area so I run ads to target that exact audience.  I would not get a ton of engagement (comments and likes) from people that weren’t business owners or interested in marketing.  My reach hasn’t changed because my audience is generally interested in my content which leads to more engagement and most importantly, people sharing my content with others.

As you can see, I am trying to attract a very specific audience:

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3. Post at the correct times: Another way to get more reach on posts is to post at the correct times.  I firmly believe that there is no bad time to post (well maybe 2:00am), but there are definitely optimal times to post.  EVERY page is different so it’s best to experiment with different times and see what times work best.  This tool in the insights is helpful as well to see when our fans are online:

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My page is pretty steady, and peaks at about 4:00, so the afternoon is best for us.

4. Post pictures:  I cannot stress this enough. The majority of my posts should include pictures (here’s a guide to size them correctly:size guide) because they attract attention in the newsfeed and spark an emotion.  Pictures will get people to engage in the post and more likes and comments will increase the reach. Also, if entertaining enough or helpful enough, our pictures will get shared and be introduced to a new audience!

5. Respond to comments:  Okay so we’ve established that engagement is good.  Continued engagement is even better!  The best thing a business can do when someone takes the time to comment on a post is to reply back and continue the conversation.  This will encourage others to chime in because they know you are “really there” and also condition that person to comment again in the future.  When a page doesn’t responds to a comment, the person doesn’t feel motivated to ever comment again. What’s the point right?  Always reply to comments and mentions.

6. Boost posts:  I have bad news for some: social media is not free.  There will have to be an investment in time as well as money.  What’s great is by “boosting posts” we can reach a very targeted audience for a relatively low amount of money (even as little as $5 to reach hundreds).  I recommend boosting promotional posts such as events and new products and services.  Blog posts (I will boost this one) and videos are great to boost as well.  

I know it can seem like Facebook is about to get us or punish us, but they’re not.  It’s an extremely powerful network to generate sales and they are trying to make money just like we are.  Remember, if you chase an algorithm, your strategy will always change and you will be frustrated.  If you provide value to your followers each and every day, you’ll create raving fans.

For those that do not have the time to execute these recommendations, I invite you to the social media management tab at the top of the page to see if I can help.  Thanks for stopping by and your comments are more than welcome as always!

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