October 18, 2016

Little known ways to increase Facebook organic reach

Oyekunle Damola
Over the past few years, organic reach on Facebook has been facing a steady decline. You would notice that that you are not actually seeing the status updates of all the pages you have liked. In fact, Facebook’s organic reach dropped from 16 percent to about 6 percent over the past couple of years.
It is physically impossible to show your users every post on your page. In truth, Facebook does not like free promotion. No matter how awesome your content is, Facebook does not want you promoting your brand for free.
The building of online communities is very important for your brand as it helps you target a wider range of people.
If you are interested in tracking your organic traffic, you need to visit your Facebook Insights page. Go to the post tab to see your posts’ performance over the past week. You can find out about older posts by clicking the ‘See more’ button.
To help you get started, I will discuss a couple of strategies that would increase your organic visibility and boost your engagement.

#1. Post your messages at the right time.

If you publish an update when your followers are not online, they obviously won’t see it. On an average, the best time to post on Facebook is 3pm because fewer people are sharing content at that time. Of course, it is a good idea to experiment with posting at different times to know what time your followers are online. The Facebook Insights tool is a wonderful tool for checking your optimal posting time. It shows you when your followers are logged-in and seeing your updates. You can then choose the hours when majority of them are online.

#2 Publish Amazing Content

A social media page that only posts promotional offers and the likes end up chasing their followers away. Engage your followers with updates that appeals to them and are not overly promotional. For example, a fashion store could post behind-the-scenes pictures and so on. Fan pages of top brands like Cocacola frequently share funny videos that tie to their brands.

#3  Interact with Fans and Followers

Your social media account is your brand online. All the top brands on Facebook have managed to build thriving communities by keeping in touch with their audience. If your followers are not engaged, they would stop interacting with your page. If your posts are not interacted with, it would imply that they are not relevant and the amount of time you would show up on their News Feed would reduce. A wonderful example of engagement at its peak is Groupon’s Facebook page. They created a new product called the Banana Bunker, it is a hard plastic tube used for protecting your banana from getting bruised or crushed.
As you can imagine, Facebook users turned the comments section to an extremely long stream of sexual innuendos. Groupon in turn responded to every single comment with extremely hilarious innocuous remarks about the virtues of the Banana Bunker. (You really should check it out).

#4  Learn from your competitors

Visit their Facebook pages and look at their trends. Study the reaction of their followers to each update. Are the updates with photos getting more likes? Are the Videos getting more engagements? This should give you a good idea of the kind of updates that would work well in your niche. Facebook has also added the ability to monitor your competitors’ pages and see their top posts.

#5 Streamline your targeting

Facebook now has a ‘post targeting’ option. With this option, you can target people that would be most interested in your content, leading to higher engagement per post.
To set up Facebook organic post targeting, follow the steps below.
•      Go to the Facebook Page you manage and Click Settings. (Only available to admins)
•      Select Audience Optimization for Posts
•      Check the box to allow preferred audience selection
•      Save your changes.
Setting your target audience: When you want to write a new post, you have the ability to set your targeting choices within the post area or as a popup box in some cases.

#6  Ask Questions

A smart way to encourage engagement is to ask your audience interesting questions they might want to answer. These questions can be related to your field, directly or indirectly. For example, Coca-Cola, a bottling company, asked their followers what their thought was on taking ice cold Coke with pasta and meatballs. The results speak for themselves.
Do a little research and find out what types of questions your audience will be excited to answer.

Conclusion

Pay-to-play is almost inevitable for a wide range of Social Media Platforms. That does not mean you cannot engage your followers organically. Here is a quick summary of the points mentioned in this blog post.
 
•       Post your messages at the right time. Analyze your fans with Facebook insights
•       Publish amazing content. Everyone loves good content!
•       Interact with fans and followers. No one likes feeling ignored!
•       Learn from your competitors. Check out their pages and look at what types of updates do well for them.
•       Streamline your targeting. Select the audience you want to target when creating a new post.
•       Ask Questions. Engage them with questions they would be happy to answer.
 
What are your experiences with organic reach on social media? Share your thoughts, questions and ideas with us in the comments below.
Oyekunle Damola
Damola is an Online Marketing Specialist who loves all things digital. You can find him blogging at oyekunledamola.com
April 5, 2016
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