What began as a way for Harvard college students to connect with each other has now grown into one of the world’s biggest social networks and the best marketing resource out of all the other social media platforms.
Facebook currently has over 200 billion active users.
Yes, you read that correctly, 200 BILLION users.
Hence the reason why Facebook remains ahead of other social media platforms when it comes to social media marketing. This is also the main reason why I highly recommend all entrepreneurs to get serious about promoting their businesses on Facebook by creating highly engaging Facebook business pages because that will translate to money in your pocket.
So how can you make your Facebook page more profitable?
Simple, you need to attract potential customers by engaging them first on your Facebook page and then eventually driving them to your website. But here’s the thing, you have to do it organically though. Doing this organically won’t cost you anything besides your time and effort. You need your customers to engage with your content because the more organic reach you have, the better your chances are of converting potential buyers into actual buyers.
So the big question is: how can you engage potential buyers? How can you get organic reach?
Well, first we need to take a look at how Facebook’s news feed algorithm actually works first. Then we can take a look at some practical strategies we can implement to increase your business page’s organic reach.
There are a ton of factors that decide which posts eventually show up in a user’s news feed. Adam Mosseri, the VP of News Feed at Facebook, explained in detail how the algorithm works by presenting a real-world problem – he compared it to ordering something for his wife at a restaurant as an example.
Adam broke the explanation down into four steps:
1. He goes over the menu to determine what his options are.
2. He takes into account all of the information that is at his disposal (for example, what does his wife like to eat, is it lunch or dinner time, what’s good at the restaurant?)
3. He then comes up with predictions in his head (for example, would his wife enjoy having salmon for lunch today or would it be weird if he ordered her a chocolate soufflé for breakfast?).
4. After considering all of this information, he’ll be able to then place his wife’s order.
Here’s a quick summary of his explanation:
Inventory – What’s on the menu?
When you first open your news feed, Facebook’s algorithm immediately takes an inventory by reviewing all of the stories posted by your friends as well as the pages you follow which is similar to Adam reviewing the menu.
Signals – Is it lunch or dinner time?
Facebook then reviews all the available data and tries to decide how interested you may be in a particular story. Facebook refers to this information as “Signals”. This is what Facebook uses to rank your content. Facebook takes into account things like who posted the story? What’s the frequency of posts from that person? What’s the average time spent on the content? What phone is the user on? What time was the content posted? What’s the overall engagement the post already has? When was the story posted? Facebook even takes into account your friend’s tags or even recent comments from a friend.
Predictions – Would she enjoy the salmon?
Facebook then uses these signals to create predictions and calculate the probability of specific outcomes; for example, how likely are you to click or comment on a story? How likely are you to spend time or share a story?
Score – Place an order.
After coming up with predictions and calculating the probabilities, Facebook combines all the information it has gathered to calculate a “relevance score,” an actual number that represents how interested Facebook thinks you may be in a particular story.
Adam eventually pointed out that Facebook doesn’t really know how interested you are in a specific story – it’s an educated guess at best. In a nutshell, Facebook’s algorithm uses these four steps to help it decide as to how to rank your content in the news feed.
So what’s Facebook’s ultimate goal for its News Feeds?
Just like Google, Facebook cares the most about its users. Facebook only wants its users to experience high-quality and relevant content.
So how can you boost your Facebook organic reach taking into account its constant algorithmic changes? Below are ten effective strategies.
1. Focus on providing valuable content rather than reach
Going after Facebook’s organic reach can only get you so far. In hindsight, it should just come secondary to providing valuable content because your audience should come first.
When you post Status updates – your primary focus should be engaging your followers and getting likes and comments. When you post links – your primary objective should be driving traffic to your website.
So how do you do that?
Simple, you need an attention-grabbing headline as well as an attention-grabbing photo. The post should also be short; it should just be around 40 characters or less for maximum engagement. Here’s a perfect example from Buzzfeed.
2. Find out what your audience wants
What better way to gain engagement than by finding out what your audience actually wants?
Maybe they want to see photos? Or perhaps they want links or videos?
The best way to find out is through your Facebook Insights which I will explain in more detail later. You need to keep a sharp eye out and figure out which content gets more likes and shares.
Another way is to conduct a voting poll on your Facebook page to figure out what content appeals to them the most. You can create a Facebook voting poll by clicking this link on your page.
3. Build authority
It’s nowhere near enough to just focus on increasing your business page likes because realistically, the number of likes on your page gives no indication as to how the content you post will perform.
What really matters is building authority and a strong presence online because by being an authority in your field, you’ll be able to command your audience to respond favourably to your posts. Therefore, they will be more likely to positively engage with your content.
If you want to increase engagement on your page here’s what you can do:
– Only post content that is relevant to your business and make sure that you post consistently.
Posting about a cute cat video on a business page that sells plumbing tools is just plain dumb and will get you 0% engagement because you’re just posting irrelevant content.
– Promote your Facebook page on your other social media platforms.
If you have a huge following on other social media channels such as Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter, you can leave a link of your Facebook page in their bio section.
– Use your audience insights to track and analyze your organic search.
You need to identify where your weaknesses are by gathering significant metrics to measure your page’s performance. Without this data, you won’t know where to focus your efforts on.
4. Publish compelling content
You need to publish “evergreen content” if you want to engage your followers – a type of content that is always relevant to readers and highly unlikely to become immediately dated.
The word “evergreen” is usually used by editors referring to the type of stories that are always interesting to readers. The idea behind this kind of post is to write compelling stories that can be easily found by search engines while making sure they are always fresh (forever green) without needing to be updated so that your followers engage with your content.
Once you’ve found a compelling post that has gone viral, you can always repurpose that post by taking note of this content and approaching that piece of content and putting a new spin on it, or changing the context. Make sure you publish your repurposed content at different times. This guarantees that there always be some fresh eyes that get to see and engage with this “new” content.
5. Share other people’s compelling content on your page
Another smart way of getting your followers to engage in your page is to look at other similar Facebook pages from across the internet and share their viral content on your page.
Here’s the thing, you can’t just press the share button, and that’s it. Instead, you need to put a different spin on it. A great example is Problogger’s reading roundup of posts related to blogging. It’s a great way of putting a new spin on other people’s engaging content.
6. Post content when it’s the best time to post on Facebook
The best time to post on your Facebook page is when your followers are active on the network. This data garnered by Optimal times shows 20 studies that prove that posting at the best days and times will help you get more traffic, more engagement, and of course, more followers.
This data taken from 20 studies proves that posting at the best times will help you get more traffic, more engagement, and more followers.
Of course, I don’t recommend that you blindly follow this post because every Facebook page is different, I live in Australia, and I find that for my pages, the best time to post is past 5 pm on a weekday as most of my audience are on their phones on the train on the way home and around 3 pm on weekends.
But to make it easier for you, I suggest that you take a look at your Facebook Insights to find out exactly when your fans are online.
You go to your Facebook Insights and go to post, and you’ll see the most popular times your audience visited your page. You can even monitor the social media marketing posting strategies of your competitors by visiting Fan Page Karma if you want to take a peek how your competitors are going.
7. Keep an eye out for the latest Facebook app updates
Just like Google, the Facebook app gets updates all the time. You need to be on top of these updates because there’s always a new feature released and you need to take advantage of these updates so you can master it faster than anyone and be ahead of the game.
Here are some updates worth noting:
Facebook stories: Similar to Snapchat and Instagram stories, Facebook stories are short user-generated photo and video collections that can be viewed up to two times and disappear after 24 hours.
360-degree photos and videos: this feature gives you the ability to capture a 360, panoramic view of pretty much anything you want.
Video autoplay: Facebook users no longer have to manually tap the play button to play a video. You can now watch a video while still scrolling through your news feed.
Facebook offers: This feature enables you to create and share coupons, discounts, and other promotional offers on your Facebook business page.
8. Share your content on your Facebook Profile
If you want to boost post views on your latest post, then you need to first share a post on your Facebook page then share it from the page on your personal Facebook profile.
This is a useful technique for posts that you feel would resonate well with your Facebook friends. There’s also that chance for them to share your content if they like it so your brand will be exposed to a new crowd.
9. Use hashtags effectively
If you’re always on Facebook, then you’ll surely be familiar with hashtags and how they actually work.
But do you know how to use them efficiently for maximum engagement?
After analysing more than 1 billion Facebook posts from over 30 million pages, BuzzSumo discovered that Facebook users are in fact prone to hashtag fatigue. Posts with a lot of hashtags shockingly performed worse than those without.
Therefore, hashtags should be used in moderation – according to online marketing guru Neil Patel only two hashtags maximum should be used in any given post.
Why only two?
After analyzing 200,000 brand posts on Facebook, SurePayroll discovered that interactions were highest when only one-two hashtags were used that’s why.
To make the most of hashtags, your hashtags need to be unique so that it doesn’t get confused with anyone else’s. You can also use your hashtags to search for your content. This way, you’re enabling your users to continue to refer to your past content by carrying out a hashtag search.
10. Run a competition
Facebook contests are an excellent way to establish brand presence quickly.
First, you need to determine the reason for the poll, are you looking to generate more fans or more leads? The answer to this question will decide what you’ll do next.
Next, you need to figure out what sort of competition you need to run. If your goal is to get more emails then you need to establish an email grab system, if your goal is to get more followers on your Facebook page, you can require willing people to follow and like your page before they can enter the competition. Just make sure you have a decent price for the winner of the contest, offering something silly like “exposure” on your Facebook page is not going to get you anywhere.
Don’t forget to review Facebook’s guidelines when it comes to running contests and challenges before you start any contest – you don’t want Facebook to shut down your Facebook page for not following instructions.
Let’s face it, Facebook is an incredible marketing tool.
As long as you put into practice the ten strategies that I’ve enumerated above, you’ll definitely be well on your way to improving your organic reach and generating more income for your business.