5 ways to ignite your organic Facebook reach // Steph Taylor
5 ways to ignite your organic Facebook reach
Facebook has been getting a pretty bad rap lately. Phrases like “algorithm changes” and “pay to play” are thrown around left, right and centre. Small businesses that invested time and money into growing their Facebook following are lucky to reach 5% of their fans these days. Those who are new to Facebook now struggle to build up an audience in the first place. It seems like corporate greed at first glance; Facebook making money at the expense of small businesses. But, think about it this way: would you want your newsfeed filled with posts from every single Facebook page you’ve ever liked? Every single person you’re friends with?
This is where the Facebook algorithm comes in. It looks at things like what posts you’ve liked in the past and what posts are performing well. It uses these signals to decide what to show you next. The algorithm is smart. It knows that you don’t want to see yet another photo of Aunt Marge’s cat. That couple who proclaim their love for each other daily? Big Brother knows you’re rolling your eyes at that too.
Unfortunately, the same algorithm stops your business page’s posts from reaching newsfeeds. I’ve seen a lot of businesses use this as an excuse to get out of social media marketing altogether. “Facebook doesn’t work for us so we don’t use it.” Please. Posting updates to your business Facebook page might not work like it used to, but I don’t think it’s time to declare organic Facebook “dead” just yet.
Before you give up on Facebook altogether, I’d like you to humour me and try something. Have a crack at each of these things below, taking care to track your results. If they don’t work, that’s fine. You can move on and try something else. But, imagine how great it would be if they do work…
1. Share your posts into relevant Facebook groups
This is a sneaky one, as you don’t want to be spammy. Rather than promoting yourself, you have to have a little tact and find a way to add value to the group. Ask them a question. Ask them to share their opinion. Most importantly, ask them to comment on the original post from your Facebook page, and not the group post. It’s a nifty little trick boost post engagement. This means you need to first post to your (business) Facebook page, then share the post into the group.
In theory (and I say that, because nobody really knows how Facebook’s algorithm works), this will increase the organic reach of your post. Facebook wants to show people content that is worth reading or watching. If people are engaging, then it must be worthwhile… Right?
2. Create your own Facebook group
This is my personal favourite because you literally have a captive audience. Some of your members will even get a notification every time you post. Best of all, nobody can report you for spamming in your own group. Don’t do that though. If all you’re doing is promoting yourself, members will leave quicker than you can say “wham bam thank you SPAM”.
Facebook groups are the new Facebook page. If you’re offering value to your group members, then you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to grow your group. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to growing your Facebook group though. It all depends on your audience.
Try not to only post the same content that you post to your public Facebook page. These people are your loyal fans. Your tribe. They’re yours to brainwash… Mwa ha ha ha! Just kidding. But, in all seriousness, you should make them feel special. Make them feel like they’re part of some exclusive club and they’ll love you for it.
3. Test different types of content
Facebook is forever changing its mind about which content it likes best. Images used to perform well, but then video came along. Video is still a good option, but live video is even better. Who knows what they’ll come up with next. But the secret is this: whenever Facebook launches something new, use it as much as possible before the algorithm starts throttling its reach. This works for most other social media platforms too.
There is some evidence that links to posts outside of Facebook don’t perform as well as native content. That means linking to your blog might not reach as many people as if you were to post the entire article in Facebook. And, if you’re sharing video, make sure it’s hosted in Facebook (and not linking to YouTube).
4. Post shareable content
It’s kind of a no-brainer if you think about it. The more people who share your content, the more eyeballs on your post.
Maybe you’re already posting shareable content and it isn’t working for you. But, have you asked your audience to share it? To engage with it?
Think about the “Type @L and the first person to appear owes you a coffee” posts that are all over Facebook. You’re bound to have seen one. They’re not straight up saying “engage with my post” but they’re asking for interaction in an interactive, win-win way. You get a laugh out of it; they get engagement and increased reach.
I’m not saying you should do one of those posts. In fact, please don’t. They’re super annoying and probably aren’t relevant to your audience. I’m sure you can come up with something better. One cool way to do it is by asking your audience to vote on something using the Facebook reactions. For example, “like to vote for A, heart to vote for B.”
Or, simply post content that people can’t help but share. This could be the perfect excuse to finally get that office puppy!
5. Start a conversation
When did social media stop being about being social? You wouldn’t walk into a room and shout “buy my product” – so why would you only post stuff like that on Facebook? Sadly, so many businesses do this. They treat Facebook as a one-way communication channel, when it’s really all about conversation.
If you were interacting with people IRL, you’d chat to them. You’d make small talk, awkwardly juggling wine and canapés and trying to think of what to ask them next. Social media should be the same, albeit minus the awkwardness. You should ignite a conversation with your Facebook posts. I’m not saying you should post stuff for the sole purpose of getting a reaction though. It should be something that encourages others to share their experiences or their opinions.
I challenge you to try all 5 of these things. Give organic Facebook a second chance. Try something more than the “set and forget” post scheduling you’ve been doing for months.
Some of these things may push you out of your comfort zone. Personally, I hate being on camera so the thought of doing a Facebook Live makes me want to hide under my desk. But, funnily enough, those times that you’re most uncomfortable are when you grow.
Steph Taylor is a corporate square peg turned health and wellness entrepreneur. She is the founder and director of Australia’s first dedicated health and wellness marketing agency, Wildbloom Creative. Wildbloom Creative grows brands that nourish the mind, body and soul, with the aim of making health and wellness mainstream.