As the amount of content created and shared online every day continues to increase, competition in Facebook’s News Feed also continues to rapidly grow. This makes it much harder for content creators, including small businesses, to gain exposure in News Feed.
Because people now typically have thousands of stories vying for their attention, Facebook’s News Feed ranking algorithms try to select just a few hundred of the most interesting/relevant stories for each person to see. The result is that the “organic reach” for any given story is at an all time low.
But have no fear! While the days are gone when you could throw up any old Facebook post and then just sit back and relax, there are still things you can do to increase your organic reach on Facebook and make it one of your most successful channels. Here are our top five recommendations:
1. Focus on Content That Resonates with Your Audience
It might sound like a cliché, but the single best strategy available is to continuously produce content that your audience wants to see. Learn from your readers and constantly try to ascertain their wants and needs. Use this input to consistently deliver the content, images and style they expect and appreciate. Remember: inform, entertain, and engage. Every time your readers like, share or comment on your content, Facebook’s algorithms learn that they, and other people like them, want to see more of what you are posting. This, in turn, will increase your organic exposure.
Having your website visitors Like your content on your site with the Facebook Like Button can also help you get additional exposure on Facebook. When a visitor Likes your content online, it shows up on Facebook in their friends’ News Feed.
If you haven’t started incorporating live streaming into your social media strategy (or posting videos natively), you should start thinking how your content could possibly translate to this format. eMarketer recently released a study that showed Facebook Live is second only to YouTube for live video viewership. Exciting, right? Additionally (at the time this research was conducted), Facebook Live was the only social media live streaming platform to grow, while others like YouTube, Snapchat Live Stories, and others saw a decline. Facebook Live can also help boost your organic reach because when you go live, the video goes out as a notification to your followers.
You can learn a huge amount about your audience and the content with which they are most engaged by using Facebook Insights. If you’re not already leveraging this analytics tool, it’s time to start! Facebook Insights tells you all about your Likes, Reach, Visits, Posts and People.
2. Repurpose Your Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that continues to be relevant and useful to your audience over time, never becoming obsolete. By reposting evergreen content at intervals, you will help ensure that it reaches new audiences, you will continually drive traffic and engagement, and you will strengthen your “thought leadership” in your space. Your goal is to consistently share valuable information and make your content into an important resource on which your audience will come to depend.
You probably already have tons of content you can repurpose as evergreen content: think about your most popular blog posts, how-to guides, recommendation lists, frequently-asked-questions lists, customer testimonials, etc. If you’re finding your evergreen content hasn’t quite stood the test of time, give it new life with a few tips and examples of how we’ve refreshed content on our site.
3. Target Your Organic Posts to Particular Audiences
Did you know that Facebook lets you optimize the audience that will see your posts? By optimizing the audience to the most relevant people, you can significantly increase the impact of your posts. Facebook gives you various parameters with which to define your target audience, including age, gender, location, education level, language and interests.
To take advantage of this feature, you need to turn on Audience Optimization for Posts in Settings and then set your Preferred Audience and Audience Restrictions. While your posts will still always appear on your Page for everyone, audience optimization can significantly increase engagement by reaching the most relevant audiences via News Feed.
4. Carefully Select Your Posting Times
There are lots of opinions about when the best times of day are to post on Facebook for maximum reach. Some marketers will tell you to post at peak times when most of your audience is on Facebook, while others will tell you to post at off-peak hours, when fewer people are sharing content and competition is less intense. In fact, we’ve even done some of our own research on the best times to publish content to get it shared to social media.
The truth is that your Facebook Insights can tell you your best times to post on Facebook. One strategy is to look for those times of day when the largest percentage of your fans are logged into Facebook, and then look for holes in those hours during which your competitors aren’t posting as much. Fanpage Karma is a great tool to learn about what and when your competitors are posting.
Because you can’t be posting all day everyday (nor should you), make it easy for your visitors to share your content to Facebook for you with the Facebook Share Button. It’s a great way to get additional exposure and drive new traffic back to your site.
5. Interact with Your Audience and Build Relationships
Social media is all about human interaction and building a community. It pays to keep in mind that your audience consists of real people who want to connect with other real people. When someone leaves a comment, respond! Promptly! Personally! Make them feel heard and valued. Show them that you are paying attention to your Facebook page and that you are interested in connecting with your audience. When members of your audience discover how responsive you are, they will be more likely to engage with you more often – and tell their friends about you too.
No matter what you do, make sure your website visitors have the ability to share content from your website to Facebook and to Like it. After all, there’s no better way to get visibility and increased reach on Facebook than by having your visitors promote your own content for you.