Why Facebook Organic Reach is Extremely Difficult

With the many other social media platforms out there, businesses are giving up on Facebook and moving on to what they think are bigger and better opportunities. While I believe ditching Facebook is a really bad decision and there are ways to grow organically still, there is a reason why businesses are jumping ship. Facebook’s algorithms are making it extremely difficult for businesses to grow organically.

Facebook isn’t trying to be mean to businesses and force them to pay for advertising, although that is a big perk since many businesses who choose to stick with Facebook pay to grow. There are so many Facebook users and brands on Facebook that it takes a lot of management and algorithm updates to ensure the news feed does not become overcrowded and too messy to deal with. Especially since there are more than 18 million business pages on Facebook that are all trying different methods to get their content more exposure.

Image from BufferApp

Image from BufferApp

The algorithms have hundreds of thousands of ways to determine what shows up on users’ feeds. This is why it has become too difficult for businesses to figure out an exact method to get their content and brand noticed by thousands of users. There are four things that affect the content that is seen:

  • What kinds of posts receive more interaction from users
  • Device the user is accessing Facebook with
  • The speed of internet the user has
  • How the user interacts with Facebook ads
  • What posts a user chooses to hide or report as spam

Here is the good news! A small reach does not necessarily mean that you are not doing well on Facebook. Instead, when you look at metrics, you should measure traffic to your website, leads, and buys from customers as a result of Facebook. If these are contributing at all to your business’ growth, then you should stay on Facebook and ignore how big your reach is.

For a better chance of exposure on Facebook, you can look at my previous Facebook posts and try this odd tactic – do not post at peak times. There are many guides about the best time to post on Facebook and other social network sites. I even have articles about this! However, many businesses are saying they are having more success by posting at non peak times. The thought is since there is little sharing from other users at these times, your content will get noticed more by people who are on Facebook. This is further proof that sometimes a small reach is not detrimental to your Facebook marketing time.

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The Stats Don’t Lie: Pinterest vs Facebook

I may be confusing you all. Last Friday I wrote a post about why you still need Facebook as part of your business’ social media marketing plan. I still wholeheartedly think you need your Facebook still, and Terri Lively’s comment sums up why perfectly:

terri tweet

However, Pinterest is quickly growing into a social media beast that businesses can no longer ignore. These stats prove why you might want to see if Pinterest fits into your marketing plan.

Pinterest Positives

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Those on Pinterest are actively searching for products and solutions to make their lives easier. This makes Pinterest extremely profitable for B2C companies selling physical products. On Facebook, users are more like window shoppers, so your chance of selling products on Facebook is less.

On the other hand, Facebook users will take advantage of deals advertised on Facebook more than ones advertised on Pinterest. If you have a lot of coupons or special offers planned, Facebook is the place to advertise them.

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

Once Pinterest users see something they like on the platform, they become huge supporters of the brand and products. This is why Etsy shops do so well on Pinterest over Facebook. Users on Facebook need to see the product or business page multiple times and get friend recommendations before they decide to convert to customers.

The Only Pinterest Negative…

Via meeleeo.com

Via meeleeo.com

When Pinterest users are on the platform, they are actively engaged and have a high rate of conversion. However, users spend less time on Pinterest than they do on Facebook. This is why certain marketing posts will do better on Facebook because you have a higher rate of visibility.

The Facebook Machine and How It Decides Your Content is High Quality

One of the most important parts of social media marketing is creating quality content. You want content that is exciting to your followers so they respond, share, or click through to your website. Not only should you post content that you think your followers will enjoy, you also need to make sure the content is up-to-snuff according to Facebook’s high standards.

Facebook uses algorithms to set their quality standards so each user sees exactly the content they want to see and share with others. Have you noticed that Facebook ads reflect a status update you just made or a Google search you just performed? This is part of their algorithm that tries to give each user relevant content, down to the ads they see. Facebook analyzes:

  • The source of the content to make sure it is a trusted authority.
  • If the content is unique, fresh, and original.
  • How many times the content is liked or shared because it tells Facebook that many people enjoyed the content.
mkhmarketing19

Via mkhmarketing

This algorithim is part of Facebook’s evolution. Previously, it just showed all friends posts in your news feed in the order they were posted. Now the default setting is to organize the content by “Top Stories.” Some users (like myself) hate this option because I want to see everything that is getting posted, but many users just keep that default setting to see what is most popular.

Facebook has recently updated its algorithim to track, not only likes, comments, and shares, but also the quality of the source. Therefore high quality news sites will get a higher rank in the news feed over sites that are created simply to get likes and shares, such as Upworthy.

Via Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Via Official U.S. Navy Imagery

As mentioned before, Facebook grows smarter by tracking what each user clicks on, talks about, and searches in order to custom deliver content that user wants to see. Facebook even has options for the user to tell Facebook they don’t want to see that kind of content. To make sure your content meets Facebook standards, here are three things you can do:

  • Improve your SEO techniques by researching popular key phrases and inserting them correctly into your content. This is a new Google Panda update that mandates phrases as more valuable than keywords.
  • Make all content high quality that you would want to read. Quantity is not your friend any longer.
  • Register for Google Authorship so your blog post is under your name. This will make it a trusted authority website.

Do you have questions about what Facebook wants to see? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

 

How to Make Your Facebook Posts Stand Out – Part 2

Facebook marketing for business is an often talked about subject. While there are many great Facebook tips for business out there, it is hard to find discussion on what makes a post stand out from the others on a user’s news feed. There are certain things businesses can do to make their posts on Facebook more authentic and noticeable.

There are seven basic things you can do to make your posts engaging and memorable. The first three we talked about last Friday. Here are the remaining four things you can do to grab the attention of the quickly scrolling user and stand out in the virtual crowd.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

  1. Shorten all links in posts. Many URLs you will share are long, causing people to not want to click on them. Use popular link shortening websites, such as Bitly and Tiny URL to shorten the link. Bitly will choose a name for the link while Tiny URL lets you add a custom end alias. Choose one that will grab reader attention and make them want to click on the link.
  2. Provide a call to action and hashtags. A call to action is when you write a post and put click here, learn more, read more, share this, or what do you think at the end of it. You are telling the user what you want them to do. This will increase user engagement and direct traffic how you want.
  3. Hold contests every few months. Contests are a great way to get user engaged since contests are fun! You could have users share a post in order to win one of your products or services. To make it more inventive, hold a caption contest where you post an interesting photo relevant to your market and ask people to caption it to win a prize.
  4. Find out what time of day is best to post. By looking at Facebook Analytics, you can find the best time of day to post in order to get more user response. For a few months, post three or four times a day at different hours, such as in the morning, at lunch time, in the afternoon, and in the late evening. Then look at your analytics to see what time of day users are engaging most often with your post.

    You can also only post six in the evening to midnight when most people are home. Analytics show that, overall, people are on Facebook more Thursday through Sunday than they are Monday through Wednesday.

Don’t forget to check out the second part of the post that was released last Friday! In the meantime, what are your favorite Facebook posts to see from businesses? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

5 Strategies for More Facebook Likes on Your Business Page

Getting more Likes on your Facebook business page can provide your company with great exposure and other benefits. Communities that are developed when you learn how to promote your business on Facebook will help you increase brand awareness and ROI. There are many marketing strategies that can be used to gain more Facebook fans.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Create Engaging Content and Be Active About Posting It

Content needs to be authentic and varied. Do not be overly promotional or only post one kind of content. Post links to articles related to the industry, text about specials going on, informative videos, and images. Images are by far the most popular content to put on Facebook, but it should still be diversified.

Include a call to action at the end of every post on Facebook. Tell them to Like, Comment, and Share. Pose questions to your fans in order to increase their engagement. You need to post content at least twice a day every day. When to post varies depending on the fans of your business. A good starting rule of them is to post in the evening from six to midnight. This is the period of time most people are online. Thursday through Sunday are the best days to post as well.

Network with Other Companies in the Area

Facebook provides many tools on a business page that allow you to find and interact with other companies in your area and market niche. Using a Graph search can help you find these companies. You need to Like them through your business page by going to Edit Page and selecting Use Facebook as Your Page. After the pages have been Liked, you can comment on and share their posts on your page. The company will likely follow you back and engage on your page, increasing Facebook Likes for both of you.

Via Flickr Ksayer

Via Flickr Ksayer

Ask People to Like Your Page and Supply Like Buttons Everywhere

Invite all friends, family, employees, and business partners to Like your page right at the beginning. This will give you higher visibility and credibility. Tell your customers, prospects, and your community to Like your page as well. Promote your Facebook page on your website and any other social media outlet your business uses.

Add social plugins on all of your social media accounts to include a Like button. This is especially useful when maintaining a business blog. Adding a Like button to the sidebar and on every post will increase the likelihood that someone follows your page.

Give Out Coupons and Hold Contests Exclusively for Facebook

Hold a contest exclusively for Facebook fans. Tell them to like a post and share it in order to be entered in a contest with a prize from your business. Offer multiple entry opportunities when they get someone else to Like your Facebook page.

The same sort of idea goes for coupons. Offer coupons exclusive to your Facebook fans. They are doing a lot of your advertising work by Liking and sharing your page and posts, so let them have 15 percent off their total order, free shipping, or another discount. This will make them feel appreciated and allow them to become loyal to your brand, increasing the chance they will get their friends to Like your page.

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Look at Analytics to Learn About Your Fans

Analytics are able to tell you how many people see your posts and when and why you get new followers. This helps you understand what your fans like to see, allowing you to adjust your content. Analytics will also be able to tell you which kind of content your fans like the best. If fans consistently Like, comment, and share videos more, then you should start posting more videos over other kinds of content.

Another thing analytics do is help you determine when to post your content. You can see the times of day and which days of the week your fans access your content and business page the most. From there, you can decide when to post content.

How important are getting Likes on your Facebook page as opposed to a following on other social media sites? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!