There has been trouble brimming on the horizon on Facebook fan pages for a while now. Some of our ecommerce clients have complained of their Facebook not reaching the audience that it used to. They are not alone, social media marketers all over the web have been tearing their hair out over Facebook posts getting no likes, comments or shares in the last couple of months. In short, organic Facebook reach is lower than it has ever been making it difficult for business owners to connect with their customers. Is this a money making scheme from the social media giants? Are they trying to force ecommerce owners to pay to be seen? Or is it in fact for the greater good? According to Facebook themselves, the change in algorithm is for the greater good, with Brian Boland, part of the Ads Product Marketing team, stating: Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. It seems that Facebook is confident that this change is working. Therefore it is unlikely there will be another update any time soon. Improve Facebook reach as much as possible with these tips, but first we will need to understand how the Facebook algorithm works:
How does the Facebook reach system work?
To try and avoid overwhelming users with bad content, Facebook introduced the News Feed Algorithm (used to be known as Edge Rank), to deliver the correct content to the right people. As a fan page owner this means that not all of your posts will be seen by everyone on their news feed. The Facebook News Feed Algorithm uses several factors (that we can tell!) to determine what posts will get shown the most in the news feed. Here are the three most important factors Facebook considers when deciding whether your content is relevant to your followers and therefore determines your overall organic reach.
Engagement rate You may notice that when posts begins doing well, they manage to keep generating likes and comments. This is because Facebook calculates the Engagement Rate for each post and favours those with better engagement. This figure is calculated by adding the number of clicks, likes, shares, and comments together and then dividing that number by the total number of people who saw the post. Therefore if a post is reaching a significant amount of people but not producing much feedback from your audience then Facebook will decide your content is uninteresting to your audience and mark your page down on engagement.
How often do you post? Did you know that Facebook keeps track of the last fifty pages a follower interacted with? This then give a small boost to pages who are in the last fifty of a number of users. As a business page, you must aim to be a part of those last fifty interactions in to boost your content. Therefore if you go too long without posting, you risk the chance of falling out of a fans last fifty interactions. If you have fans or followers that like lots of content you may need to post more regularly.
Negative feedback from your audience If you post unwanted, spammy or irrelevant updates then it is likely that your page followers will hide it from their news feed. This is termed negative feedback by Facebook and penalises your page. Too many hidden posts could really be detrimental to your page reach. So make sure everything you post is relevant and also work friendly (at a glance) to improve Facebook reach!
Tips to improve Facebook reach
Get rid of any negative feedback Take the time to really look at your Facebook insights in the admin panel. This will also show you which content is attracting negative feedback from your target audience. Go through all your posts from the last 6 months and find out which posts are being hidden most often.
Concentrate on your content Compelling content that promotes a response from your customers, fans, and audience is the best thing you can do to keep your Facebook page healthy. Make sure to take plenty of photos and create a personal experience rather than just advertising. Using your website blog to write informative content is a great way to get visitors while also providing a good social experience. Make sure to focus on understanding what type of content your audience likes, comments, and shares the most.
Post regularly Plan out how often you are going to post and when. We would really recommend a post a day, but it depends on your brand and how much you have to talk about. Many companies post in the week but engagement is actually higher of a weekend. If you do not have time to post every day then user a program such as Buffer or Hootsuite to manage your content better. You should also do some live updates too to make sure the page does not seem too static.
Encourage Likes & Shares As we mentioned before, the more likes and comments your Facebook post gets, the more followers it will reach. If you have a loyal following then it does not hurt to subtlety ASK for a share. If you've done a good job building a relationship with your fans then this will be easy to achieve.
Ask Your Fans To Receive Notifications If you have built up a strong following then fans may be happy to receive a notification every time you post. All they have to do is hover over the like button on your page and turn notifications on. Make sure you do not over post as they may find it irritating and stop following you.
Give Reasons To Comment People love to read comments and are more likely to respond if a post already has them on. Try to get conversation going by asking questions and opinions on your posts.
Partner with other successful fan pages Target successful fan pages, but no one too big as they are unlikely to respond. Tag the other fan page in posts to get interaction going. They will hopefully see your tag and respond. It is promoting the reach of their page too, so it works out well for everyone involved. This is a tactic used by Alpybus, a company that supplies Geneva to Chamonix transfers. If you are interested in learning more how to showcase your products take a look at how to get more Instagram followers.