Have you noticed a drop in Facebook organic reach for your page posts?
You’re not alone. We wrote about it when we spotted the first sign of the reachocalypse back in December 2013 and our site nearly blew up with traffic in the first 48 hours. Apparently it resonated with many people and we weren’t the only ones noticing the sharp decline.
Although the drop has been noticed by most, it’s important to note that Facebook organic reach is not declining for everyone. AgoraPulse analyzed thousands of pages’ data and some industries are even reaching more people organically now than they used to. See the full report here.
We spoke to 10 experts to determine practical tips and strategies for page owners that want to combat declining Facebook organic reach.
Here’s what we came up with:
1. Use The 10-4-1 Method
As a general rule, plan for 10 posts that are helpful, fun, entertaining and social as you prepare content to share on Facebook. This is likely not your own content but content of others you have found that your audience would find useful and relevant. By getting users to engage with these posts, Facebook is alerted fans want your content and will begin to show them more of your posts.
The “4” should be four posts related to your brand. This can be status updates that send fans to your blog or other brand-related information that is useful to your audience.
Keep your sales pitch down to that 1 post that drives them to your site for a compelling special offer or deal. The 10-4-1 ratio flows with the interests of users on Facebook. Get past the “sell” posts and realize that the social connecting actually helps your reach improve.
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
When it comes to content that impacts brand awareness, the solution is to post more often. Since it’s difficult to come up with good content more often, my advice is to do the following:
- Repost evergreen content from the past. Jon Loomer is an example of someone who does this with great results.
- Put a process in place to publish curated content from top bloggers in your niche. Use Buzzsumo to identify the best performing posts this week.
Start posting casual content about your team, company and things that are happening to you as a business. You’re travelling to a conference? Post about it. You had a great lunch with someone in your ecosystem? Post about it. You just bought a new PS4 for the office? Post about it. Snackable, bite size content that will help you post more at very little cost will help your overall strategy.
3. Include Action Words In Your Post
It might sound too easy but believe it or not people actually tend to do what you ask for in your posts. Do you want more shares? Ask them and give them a reason to share. Do you want comments or likes? Explain why! You’ll be surprised at how often this works. Keep in mind that the more engagement you get, the more likely you are to generate a “viral” effect.
4. Boost Your Important Posts
I run a bounce house business through Space Walk on the side and recently Iboosted a post for just $20 to announce the arrival of a brand new, massive water slide. I targeted the post at existing fans and their friends and limited it to a 25-mile radius from my town.
Due to that one initial post I have now had 20 reservations in less than two months! That equates to roughly $6000 in revenue. Not everyone booked the unit after directly seeing the post but within the first five days, I had nine reservations and an additional 11 referrals since then from friends or family members of those initial nine reservations.
This is perhaps the best $20 I’ve ever spent!
Not every business will see these types of results from boosting a single post, but there is huge value in doing so. The key is posting quality content on every post so that you keep engagement at a decent level and then once you do boost a post, your followers will have a much better response.
5. 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.
6. Post At 2am Daily
It might seem counterintuitive but try posting at 2am daily. We’ve seen it work consistently for hundreds of pages, large and small. You have less competition at that hour, which gives you a running start into 6am, when the traffic picks up. If you’re a real pro, run $1 a day micro-targeted ads to get reach with workplace targets.
7. Watch Your PTAT Score
I believe a page’s People Talking About This (PTAT) score is a tangible sign of how Facebook views and ranks that page in the News Feed. If a page has a low percentage of PTAT for the amount of people that like that page, Facebook will penalize them with decreased post exposure. On the flip side, if a page has higher PTAT relative to the total amount of fans, Facebook rewards them by showing posts to more of their fans and beyond.
This karma (good or bad) is transferable to your page. By sharing a post directly from a page with a good PTAT score, pages can increase their exposure of that post. I’ve also noticed that sharing or tagging a page with poor PTAT can kill the post quicker than you can figure out what happened. Facebook is all about engagement ON FACEBOOK. Figure out a way to feed Facebook’s need to be the center of attention within your niche and it will smile upon you.
8. Think Beyond The Share
The continuing drop in organic reach on Facebook is affecting some pages more than others but the majority of pages are feeling the pinch to one degree or another. My suggestion is to focus on posting content that will get shared but you also need to think beyond the immediate share you get when someone clicks the share button. The power of social media is not in selling directly but in inspiring and motivating others to do it for you.
Posting content that interests our fans and compels them to engage by liking, commenting and sharing is the key to a higher organic reach but there’s only so much any of us can do with one page. By providing a quality product, building a respected brand and sharing quality content on our social pages we create brand advocates; those people who like our brand enough to tell their friends. If we take the time to encourage those advocates we can turn some of them into evangelists who won’t just tell their friends when it’s easy, like clicking a like button, but will go out of their way to tell anyone who will listen and when they create the content for you on their own pages (or Tweets or YouTube videos) that will grow your reach far beyond what you can achieve with your Facebook page alone.
9. Conversation Is The New King
It’s more important than ever to join and contribute to discussions happening on your Facebook page. The more engagement your post receives, the higher the EdgeRank score. This means it will remain higher up the News Feed, allowing more users to interact and see that content. A simple way to achieve this for your business is to participate and provide feedback in the comments stream when asking questions on the page. This is not only a great way to increase comments but also build a stronger relationship with your audience.
10. Focus On A Multi-Channel Strategy
If your Facebook Page is starting to see a decline in organic reach, even though you’re posting like you always have, you’re probably not doing anything wrong. Facebook organic reach is declining because Facebook changed its algorithms. As a general rule, the best way to combat declining reach in one area is to boost reach everywhere else.
I recommend focusing on a multi-channel strategy that brings your audience to all of your online channels, including Facebook. The key is to focus on your business’s overall goal. If your goal is to have more people engaged, then go platform agnostic and start reaching them everywhere; email, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, wherever you can. When you drive traffic to multiple channels, your overall reach will increase, including your reach on each individual network.
How Are You Improving Your Facebook Organic Reach?
What sort of strategies are you using to gain more Facebook organic reach with your page’s posts? Let us know in the comments below.