Facebook has always used an algorithm to determine which posts appear in each user’s increasingly noisy Newsfeed. Many Pages have experienced a drop in reach at some point over the past year, due to the increasing demands of users and advertisers. Users want only the best content in their news feeds, and brands want to reach those users. One solution for nonprofits is to use Facebook ads. But ads are not the only solution! Here are the ways you can boost Facebook reach without promoting posts:
#1. Put in the work to really understand your audience.
For Facebook, their advice for boosting organic reach in light of the News Feed changes is for Pages to “post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends.”
After reading that, you’re probably thinking: “Duh.” While it may seem obvious, it’s also an important reminder we all need sometimes. Once we get in the daily grind, or as new initiatives roll out, or as some other new social trend comes along, we can lose sight—if only just for a minute—of who our audience is and what they really care about.
Take the time to dig into your website analytics and Facebook Insights to uncover the types of posts that are really resonating with your audience. Look at the kinds of posts that are driving the most traffic to your website, as well as those that are garnering the most engagement on your page. Use that information to tweak your content plan, as well as your messaging.
#2. Post The Right Content More Often
For those that have noticed a decline, the best way to fight declining reach (and still get value from your Facebook presence) is very easy: you need to realize that there is content that will impact your bottom line (new product or feature launch, discount or promotion, etc.) and invest in paid reach for those posts.
There are two types of content:
- Content that impacts your bottom line (new product, service, discount or promotion, etc.)
- Content that impacts brand awareness
#3. Get Personal
Trying to game the system only works for so long until the EdgeRank algorithm gets updated. Giving your audience an inside and personal look into your business will always be met with positive results.
Personal content can include text posts about how you’re feeling that day or a random thought or question for your audience. You’ll be surprised at the responses you’ll get from a simple photo of you from somewhere you just went on business. Or a video message to your audience. Or behind-the-scenes of something you’re working on. There are so many ways to connect with your audience in a way that shows them the “real” side of your business. And these posts will generally tend to garner more clicks, more likes, more comments, and even more shares.
And the more people engage with your content, the more of your content they will see, as Facebook will see your content as valuable to your audience, and the more reach your posts will get.
#4. Tag People in Photos and Posts
While attending a local chamber of commerce meeting, Carradice decided to snap a couple photos on her phone. When she posted them on Facebook, she tagged four of the committee members. Those tags gave her a big boost in reach.
“By tagging four of the selected committee members, within one day my brand engaged with many people, the post was shared far more than it usually would be, [it] reached 723 people, and my business page received 10 new likes from people I would never have engaged with on my own.”
What did she learn from this experience? “[W]hen you tag people in meaningful moments, they are going to share that post as far as possible because they are proud of the moment.” It’s a simple lesson, but a powerful one.
#5. Use hashtags.
While hashtags have always been an important best practice for Twitter and Instagram, it’s been a little unclear whether they’re important for gaining reach and exposure on Facebook. So simply put, hashtags are definitely a great way to get your content discovered.
Like Twitter or Instagram, when people click on a Facebook hashtag or search for a hashtag, they’ll see results that contain that hashtag, allowing them to find content on topics that interest them.
#5 . Consider native video.
Most publishers, brands and marketers have known for a while that including images and video content in their posts is a way to drive engagement and give Facebook’s algorithm something it knows people are interested in seeing.
But native video specifically can be the type of media post that gets great reach. When looking at it in the context of social media, native video is any video content that is created in or directly uploaded to a social media platform, and then auto-plays within the news feed.
It actually lives on your Facebook page, removing the a barrier to interaction and making it easy for people to share so you can expand your reach.
Upload videos that you’ve already created or utilize the Facebook Live function for more informal or sneak peek style posts.