You have worked hard and feel that you have earned the right to promote your products or services to your fans but the game has changed and you are now required to pay to play on Facebook. Are you noticing a decline of your Facebook reach this year? As you know that the only constant in Facebook is change, January 2015 came in with a significant change in Facebook. After doing a survey with a segment of their users about what they cared to see on their newsfeed, Facebook reported on their blog that they decided to tighten control of content that is seen as promotional. Here is what Facebook said:
“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”
So how do you determine what looks promotional on Facebook?
• Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
• Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
• Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
As a marketer what are you to do? If you are like me or any other small business with a small advertising budget, you must be frustrated and about to throw in the towel with Facebook. However, don’t give up because with a little tweak of your marketing strategy you can still reach a decent proportion of your fans organically (FREE).
Facebook wants its users to get the best experience from the pages they have liked and so they only posts to your fans newsfeed what they think will add value to them. If your fans have not engaged with your posts either by liking, commenting, sharing or clicking on a link, then Facebook assumes that they don’t care about that content and therefore does not push your posts into those fans newsfeed.
Here are 5 tips to use to make Facebook work organically for you:
1. Give value with your content
Engage with your audience by posting content that adds value. Find out what your ideal audience’s pain points are and post content that helps solve their problem. Your content should not look salesy but instead create content that sparks engagement. Content that teaches people to do something such as a “how to” video goes along way with engagement in Facebook. Oreo’s video on how to make an Oreo Banana cream pie is a good example and gets tonnes of views and shares!
When you post content, have one of these goals in mind. Is it a Like, a comment, a share or a click on a link that you want from your post? With a clear goal in mind you will be able to post content that elicits one of those four actions. A good example of a post that elicits shares is an inspiring quote. People like to be inspired, so if it evokes emotion they will like your quote. Another thing is that people want to look good to their friends when sharing content, so if you post an inspiring quote, chances are it will get to be shared. Always remember to include your logo on your post so when it gets shared non-fans get to know your brand. Check how this post by Iyanla Vanzant gets tens of thousands of likes – and thousands of shares!
3. Make it personal.
You have heard this before- “people like to do business with those whom they like and trust.” (Tweet this) Occasionally post a personal post. This can be a family vacation you took or a behind the scenes photo of your office and your staff. Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media does a great job with this post inviting her fans to know her better.
Ask questions in your post that relate to your brand that resonate with them that they can comment on. Even though likes are great, comments on Facebook are more valuable. People love to be asked for an opinion. Melanie Duncan asks her fans of their opinion regarding products she is creating. This has two benefits – one it works as a survey to find out if this is something they care about. Many people make mistakes by creating a product that they had not researched to see if there is a need for it. Second you are letting them know that you are soon going to be launching a new product.
5. Use link share posts on your images
If you want to drive traffic to your website then link share posts are a surefire way to lead your fans there. Link share posts are posts that when clicked on, drive the lead to a different destination. Facebook recommends this kind of posts and says that they help your content get pushed in the newsfeed. The way you post a link share post is you simply copy and paste the URL on your status update, it then pulls the image. Once it is pulled you can delete the URL and add whatever title you wish. In this example this image by Melinda Emerson is clickable not only on the image but also on the text below and drives her fans to her website to read the rest of the blog post from there.