Many online businesses are tearing their hair out over Facebook page reach at the moment. They social media giant has slowly changed the Facebook news feed algorithm. In turn this means that posts from business pages are not shown to users as often, meaning for many, less sales and brand visibility. Unfortunately it seems that Facebook have made the executive decision to make some money from businesses that have built up their Facebook pages. As annoying as it is for those in eCommerce, who can blame them? Over the last few years businesses have made millions just by having a good social media following, all for free. Not only that, but the network want the Facebook experience to be more user friendly, rather than just being bombarded with advertisements. We examine why Facebook page reach has been restricted and how you can boost your Facebook page reach for free without turning to paid adverts. Get those viewers, visitors and sales back with our boosting facebook page reach tips! The good news is, you will be ahead of the competition if you do.
Why has my Facebook page reach dropped?
When Facebook first introduced fan pages, it was easy for any “liker” to see updates from the page. Updates would be displayed on the news feed of nearly every user that had liked the page. This meant businesses were able to use a solid social media plan to ramp up engagement and get their products going viral. However over time, Facebook realized that the network was at risk of becoming cluttered by marketing and they had to make changes to keep the user experience a good one. A bad user experience means that users could potentially change to other social networks such as Twitter.
Facebook therefore introduced a new news feed algorithm to stop the posts from Facebook page’s appearing everywhere. This algorithm works by showing only the stuff they think the user will enjoy viewing on their news feed. According to Outbound Genie, when someone visits Facebook, there are on average 1,500 posts that they could be shown and Facebook gets that number down to just 300. The algorithm therefore halted Facebook page reach. Unfortunately many businesses that relied on the social network to gain visitors and customers, had to think again about their marketing strategy.
How does Facebook page reach work now?
If you are wondering how Facebook decides what is shown, then well done, because this is the first step to success. How do you make sure that your brand is in the 300/1500 updates that are shown? The trick is to learn a little about how the Facebook news feed algorithm works, and also how to manipulate it.
Although Facebook (like Google) keep quite quiet on exactly how the news feed algorithm works, us experts (from trial and error) definitely know a thing or two for sure:
Promotional posts will not be shown: As we addressed previously. Facebook does not want the network to become a website full of advertisements. This is because users do not want to be constantly sold to when browsing online. If you share content with the primary goal of getting a sale, expect it to perform poorly in the news feed. You will definitely not improve your Facebook page reach if every post is promotion or sales. Make your content varied, fun and engaging.
You are more likely to show up with people who have recently interacted: If someone has recently interacted with your Facebook page, you are more likely to show up on their feed again. Facebook looks at the last 20-30 posts that someone has liked, and will tailor their feed accordingly. Therefore if you have a particularly popular post, it is worth posting again fairly quickly to take advantage of the engagement that you have acquired.
The more people like, the more people will see: Obviously you want as many people as possible to like and comment on your posts. This is also really important to improve your Facebook page reach too. When others like and comment it shows Facebook that the post is newsworthy. Therefore it’s more likely to be shown in other news feeds. It is imperative that you are really working hard on your content to make it interactive. If you do not, there is a chance your page will get completely lost.
Time decay: It goes without saying that older stories are less likely to show up in a news feed. This is very dependent on the Facebook user. If they login and scroll their newsfeed often, then Facebook will look for new stories to show them. If they do not log in very often, they may show your post from a couple of days ago. Get to know your audience and their social media habits to find out just how often you should be posting.
You post a photo with every update: There was a time when Facebook marketers believed that posting a photo with every update was a sure-fire way to maximize engagement. Unfortunately this has turned out to be less than true. In fact some pages find that posts with too many photos can actually be penalized too. Many Facebook marketers now think that varying your posts is the best strategy possible. The rule of thumb is.
- Do not use a picture in every post.
- Do not link in every post.
- Use a nice variation of pictures, videos, text only and links intermittently.
Some extra tips to help your Facebook page reach
- Ask questions or opinions
The best way to enhance engagement online is to ask for opinions. For eCommerce brands this could be a simple comparison of two of the store’s products. Ask your customers which one they would choose. Or maybe get them to pick which discount they would prefer this week. Would they like 10 percent off store-wide or free next day delivery?
2. Upload any videos to Facebook, not just You Tube
If you use video to promote your brand a lot, do not just link to You Tube. It may be tempting to get more views on one network, but it is best your video is seen in the first place. Facebook will always favour content that is hosted on Facebook. Therefore it is important to upload it directly.
3. Keep it short
Shorter posts seem to get more Facebook page reach than longer posts. Keep it short, sweet but compelling.
4. Post between 9pm – 10pm
These are the most active times on Facebook especially for 18 – 24 year olds. Make sure to post within these times to get the most engagement possible.
Should I use advertisements to boost my Facebook page reach?
The answer to this depends on your business budget for advertising. However Facebook advertising can work out fairly cheaply if you optimize your adverts correctly. We recommend to our social media clients that yes, they should put aside some money for Facebook advertising. Why? Well if you want to promote something to sell, it is really the only way of getting it seen anymore. Just because promotional posts are so penalized now. Plus you are attracting a whole new, engaged audience to follow and like your page. Statistics show that the more recent the “like” the more chance you will get seen on their feed. If they continue to like your posts, you will become a priority page on their news feed and you have the chance to market to this customer over and over again.
If you need some help with your Facebook page (or any other social network for that matter!) our team of social media marketers can help. They know every trick in the book to help your ecommerce store’s social networks buzz. Leading to lots more visitors and sales too! Do not hesitate to email email@example.com for more information.