Beat Facebook’s mysterious algorithm and get more eyes on your posts
Everyone hangs out on Facebook, right? Every marketing article you read or friend you talk to is adamant—Facebook is the place to be!
So, you built a great company page and spent time and effort connecting with your customers and making it as near perfect as possible.
Yet, no matter what you do, your Facebook reach is steadily declining.
The reason you post in the first place is so that people can read it!
So what gives? And, what can you do to increase your organic reach and make sure your followers see your posts?
The Big Mystery Behind Facebook’s Algorithm
Before I launch into some surefire ways to improve your reach, let’s take a look at why your organic reach has been dropping in the first place.
Before 2013, Facebook relied on a few select factors to determine how content was displayed. Then, in 2013 it switched to a machine learning algorithm that uses over 100k different factors that influence who sees what.
Facebook’s algorithm strives to create as great a user experience as possible. That’s why it prioritizes updates it thinks would interest you (along with a few select ads of course).
And, while no one knows exactly how it works, there are a few known factors that affect it.
Factors that Affect Organic Reach
Engagement with your content
Facebook wants to give users more of what they want and it takes cues from their behavior!
So, when you like, click, share or comment on a page’s posts, Facebook sees that as your stamp of approval and shows you more of their content.
Engagement with the same type of content
To keep you engaged, Facebook shows you more of the type of content you already like. So, if you spend a lot of time watching videos and don’t really engage with article posts, it prioritizes video content.
Quality of your content
Facebook uses engagement metrics to decide if a piece of content is quality or not. It takes into account how many of the people who saw the post, engaged with it.
If that number is too low, then it reduces the post’s reach. No point showing you something you won’t like, right?
While there’s a lot of other factors at work, these three have significant weight and affect your reach.
Or, for the more cynical of you, this graph by Jay Baer will provide a pretty interesting insight.
How to Improve Facebook Organic Reach
Mystery aside, there are still some actionable steps you can take to get your posts seen by more of your fans and optimize them in the process. Ready?
1. Don’t just stick to peak times
The standard advice is to post when most of your followers are around, right? And that does make sense.
But, it also increases the amount of posts you are competing against. And because Facebook’s feed is not chronological, it affects your visibility.
To skirt the competition, schedule a few of your posts for your off-peak times and monitor the results. Time is only one of the deciding factors so don’t be afraid to experiment and track the results.
2. Give them more of what they love
Take a look at your engagement metrics- you can find them under “Insights.” Look at the type of posts that have the highest engagement numbers and give the people more of what they want.
The higher the engagement, the higher the organic reach.
3. Be a human
Facebook is a pretty relaxed social media platform. It’s full of cat pictures, relatives, and dogs on skateboards. Use that to your advantage!
Your followers want to do business with you, the humans behind the page. Share posts of what goes on behind the scenes. Snap a picture at a team outing or backstage shot at an event. Share a bit of what matters to you and you’ll be surprised at the results.
Still not convinced? This adorably human campaign by Zappos has been extremely effective!
4. Include a CTA in your posts
Because Facebook judges a post based on how much users interact with it, encourage engagement by including a call to action in your posts!
Ask a personable question and start a conversation with your followers! Ask your fans for their opinions on a product, issue or related events. Let them know that their voices matter to you.
5. Respond to comments
If your followers take the time to interact with you, interact back! Social media is a two-way street. You have to show you actually care.
Your replies don’t have to be long or super detailed— sometimes, a simple thanks will do!
Draw inspiration from super-entrepreneur Neil Patel. No matter how busy he gets, he always answers Facebook posts and then reaps the engagement benefits.
6. Use organic post targeting
To help businesses like yours increase their Organic reach, Facebook released a specific set of tools.
Organic Post targeting lets you segment your audience and choose who sees what. This lets you get super specific and only show specific posts to the people who’d enjoy them the most. Taking this approach makes engagement more likely (meaning your post will get an organic boost and be seen by more eyes overall).
Using interests or demographics, you can target each post right inside MavSocial while you preschedule your content.
7. Design optimized images for your Facebook post
A wall of text is boring! An image, on the other hand, can make you stop dead in your tracks while scrolling down that feed and actually see the post.
Use optimized, branded images to Facebook’s specifications to captivate your follower’s attention and encourage interaction.
To get the exact specifications for Facebook (and every other platform that matters) download our cheat sheet!
8. Pay attention to negative engagement
You know all about replicating high engagement posts but the flip side is just as important. Do less of what isn’t working.
Check the number of fans who hid a certain update. If a high enough number of your followers really disliked something, it’s an important warning sign to heed!
To find the detailed feedback, go to your page Insights, click on posts and then click on the individual post to see it all in greater detail.
9. Experiment with different post types
Don’t be afraid to step off the beaten path and try new things.
Try answering questions using Facebook Live. Post video content. Create and share an infographic. Run a survey. And, then measure the results.
You may find a post type you’ve never tried before really hits the spot with your fans.
10. Repeat your evergreen content
The one upside in Facebook’s low organic reach is that the platform also has a typically low overlap between audiences when a post is repeated. Meaning you can and should repeat your best content.
Be picky in identifying your evergreen content: what links or images have received the most positive comments? What content that you’ve produced is the most entertaining or helpful to your audience?
You can repeat your best content using MavRepeater, which allows you to create cyclical campaigns. Each campaign will publish the next post in line at pre-designated time slots and then cycle through.
Once you’ve got a cyclical campaign set up, be sure to monitor it regularly—at least every six months and possibly every three—to take out content that is no longer relevant (or getting the desired level of engagement).
Don’t let the reach metric get you down!
Organic reach is great, but it isn’t everything. Don’t let it dishearten you and lose focus on the stats that really matter to your marketing goals.
While reach is important, metrics like engagement reveal the story of your influence with fans. And harnessing that influence and improving that relationship is the real secret to long term social media success.