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Survival of the Fittest: Your Organic Reach on Facebook in the Pay-to-Play World
Posted on May 10th 2014
If you’ve spent any time marketing to your followers on Facebook, you have probably noticed that your organic reach has drastically, murderously decreased in the last year. Many businesses are frustrated with their lack of organic reach on Facebook to their followers. After all, the followers are the ones who clicked Like and presumably want to hear from those they follow.
While this isn’t anything new, the reach of business pages to their followers has been a hot topic since 2012, when Facebook restricted content reach to followers at 16 percent. This happened again at the end of 2013 when Facebook announced it would be focusing on quality content and tightened the brand reach to 6 percent. Today, larger brands with over 500,000 followers, are seeing a 2 percent reach.
So why is the reach so low? Well, Facebook is an ever-expanding universe with its average users seeing over 1,500 posts per day and heavy users seeing as many as 15,000. That is an insane amount of content. Facebook uses it’s algorithm to wade through the content and bring you the items it thinks you most want to see.
This is indeed a frustrating problem for marketers to small or medium-sized businesses that lack the funds to spend on Facebook ads, however, purchasing ads could seriously help with brand awareness. According to Moz, “If you just spend $1 per day on Facebook ads, you will get in front of 4,000 people that wouldn’t have seen you otherwise. If you are doing that and your competitors aren’t, you win the awareness game in your niche.”
Those are no small numbers, especially for small businesses. With that said, there are things you can do to increase your engagement before purchasing ads or killing your account. Here are some ways to ramp up your organic reach and Facebook engagement in its pay-to-play world.
Optimize Your Page
One way to ensure that people are finding you is to make sure it is completely set up. Under settings, make sure your page is categorized correctly and includes all pertinent information to your business, such as phone numbers, address, web site, and email. You would be amazed by how many brands overlook these simple details. Your page details also matter to Facebook – an incomplete page is seen as spam and will be overlooked instead of ranked. That’s no bueno.
Post Quality Content
As mentioned before, Facebook’s algorithm favors high-quality content. What is considered high-quality? Facebook loves links. Users love images. Luckily, Facebook has redesigned its populated links to include larger images. You can also get good engagement on posts that are image based that include a shortened link in the body of the post. Have time to create your own content? Do it! Original blog posts and images are perfect!
Create an Engaging Space
I don’t have to tell you this, but the nature of Facebook is social. People on Facebook are seeking to be actively social with friends, families and brands. Your followers will come back all the time if you actually engage with them. Ask questions that allow your followers to tell their stories or opinions. Host a giveaway – people love free and especially from their beloved brands. Ask people to caption an image that’s relevant to your brand. When your followers post something, take the time to respond to them no matter what the comment. Actually spending the time to get to know your followers will pay off.
While the organic reach on Facebook business pages is declining, there are still things you can do to delight your followers and create posts that wow them. If you wow your current followers, your following will likely grow, maybe not overnight, but in time. All is not lost yet. Have hope, my friends.