Have you noticed that the likes and interactions on your Facebook page are decreasing? If so, you’re not imagining it – organic reach on Facebook brand pages fell by 52% last year alone, and Facebook has even admitted that only about 16% of your fans see your updates. Yuck!
Why is this happening? With an overwhelming amount of content being published to Facebook every second and a limited amount of real estate in each user’s News Feed, Facebook tries to tailor each individual’s feed to deliver what it believes to be the most relevant and interesting for that person. It’s not too surprising then to hear that Facebook prioritizes posts from the friends and family that you interact with the most, and posts from your friends that are linked with your interests. All of this to say, it’s now harder than ever for updates from brand pages to be prioritized and seen.
In addition, Facebook is a business. They’ve found that many brands are willing to pay to boost their posts in order to reach more people, providing Facebook with a nice little (ok, large) revenue stream.
But what if your budget doesn’t support boosting Facebook posts? Don’t worry – it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your reach without getting out your organization’s AmEx card. Here are five things you can do to improve your Facebook page, reach more people, and get more likes and comments, without spending a penny:
- Always include an image with your link posts. The best way to make sure your link shares are prioritized and seen is to include a large preview image (1200 x 630 for the best display on high-resolution devices). The Facebook algorithm demotes links with low resolution photos or links with no photo at all, meaning your fans will probably never see the shared content.
- Know what’s even better than images? Video! Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. Wow! When uploading videos to Facebook, make sure that it’s an original video that you upload directly to Facebook, not a YouTube embed. Facebook prioritizes posts with native video that it can auto-play and caption.
- @ mention people and organizations. Get people to tag themselves in your updates. Doing this gives your post more velocity because they will show up on other people’s and organizations’ timelines and feeds. Plus, people get notified when they are @ mentioned and tend to like those posts.
- Be original and keep a dialogue going. When sharing posts from other people or other organizations, make sure you are including an original comment. Facebook likes to display posts that have been personalized in some way by the poster, that encourage new thought and dialogue. Also be sure to respond to comments and engage your audience, because this is social media, and consistent, thoughtful responses and dialogue is what will keep them coming back for more.
- Encourage direct visits to your Facebook page, and ask your fans to turn on notifications. Direct visits, or visits where people went to your page directly, and not in a feed, indicate special interest and affinity. When people do this, Facebook will tend to prioritize your posts for those people. Encourage direct visits by promoting your Facebook page and specific posts on your website and in emails. Also be sure to ask your fans to turn on notifications for your posts, and even to select “show first in news feed” under the follow options on your brand page, so they never miss a post.
Bonus tip: Always keep a pulse on the social media and search algorithm updates, but don’t let them rule you. Test, tweak, and test again to see what works best for your organization and your audience.